The sauna, skin and skin diseases

Ann Clin Res. 1988;20(4):276-8.


The aesthetic pleasure of the Finnish sauna may be disturbed by an intense itch caused by sweating in a few people with atopic dermatitis. The heat of the sauna may also initiate cholinergic urticaria. The sauna itself does not cause drying of the skin although incorrect washing habits may lead to this. The use of soap is adviced especially in the anogenital region and armpits, but the use of a washing brush and sponge is not adviced. Sauna bathing facilitates the removal of hyperkeratotic scales in psoriasis, and the use of petrolatum, emollient creams or topical antipsoriatic regimens has been found to be beneficial for many patients. Dermatophytes and other infective microorganisms are easily killed by the heat of the sauna. The pleasing sensations in the skin after sauna bathing are thus only very seldom disturbed by itches or some other unpleasant consequence.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / blood supply*
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Skin Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Steam Bath*