This study combines many medical studies conducted in Finland with the goal of examining potential health risks of regular sauna use.
Lungs – Saunas have shown to decrease pulmonary congestion and increases the vital capacity, tidal volume, minute ventilation, and forced expiratory volume of the lungs. Patients with asthma and chronic bronchitis showed improvements in their con- dition with sauna treatment. Saunas were also shown to lower the risk of respiratory infections, though they should be avoided during the acute stage of infection.
Skin – Regular sauna sessions were proven to be harmless to the skin, including transepidermal water loss. Patients with psoriasis found benefits in regular sauna use by having less thick scales on their skin lesions.
Pregnancy – Almost all mothers in Finland take saunas regularly during pregnancy, but the incidence of central nervous system defects in Finland is among the lowest in the world. Studies suggest that moderate sauna bathing is safe during the uncomplicated pregnancies of healthy women who are accustomed to sauna.