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A steam bath might be just the thing you need at the end of a long day to help you unwind. Similar to a sauna, a steam bath is a spa treatment that provides moist heat at high temperatures, prompting you to sweat. Steam baths can be used to detox your body from impurities, to relieve aching muscles or simply as a carefree time in which you can relax and enjoy the heat without the risk of sunburn. Following steam bath etiquette will help you get the most of your spa treatment without any awkward moments.
Drink lots of water before you hit the steam bath, as well as during (if you're allowed to bring water inside with you) and afterward. Because you'll be sweating like crazy, you need to replace the fluids you're losing so you won't get dehydrated.
Shower before you enter the steam bath room. Steam baths that cater to more than one person at the same time, like at a gym, need to stay as hygienic as possible. Wash away dirt, natural oils and any scents you're wearing to keep the steam bath clean and avoid irritating any sensitive noses of the people with whom you're steaming.
Adhere to all rules of the spa regarding appropriate attire for a steam bath. If you've got your own private steam room, perspiring in the buff may be just fine, but when you're sharing space, you'll need to wear a towel or a bathing suit.
Be respectful of the tranquil environment created by a sauna or steam room. Speak in hushed tones, and keep gossip and other controversial-topic conversations to a minimum. Relaxation is hard to come by; some people might prefer to close their eyes and rest rather than chat.
Keep your steam bath visits short to keep yourself healthy. Columbia University reports that steam room temps can climb to 114 degrees F; staying in extreme heat for long periods of time can dehydrate you and make you lightheaded. Fifteen to 20 minutes is sufficient to get a good sweat going.
Make time for another shower after your steam bath to rinse away the sweat. If you put it off, you'll not only feel grimy but are also more likely to develop skin irritation or acne if your sweat blocks your pores.
If you're pregnant or have medical conditions like heart disease, blood pressure problems or seizure disorders, steam baths are not for you, according to Columbia University's Health Services. The high temperatures can interfere with your body's natural processes or medications, which may not be safe.