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Cold and Flu Center

Vaporizer Uses and Remedies

by
author image Chris Sherwood
Chris Sherwood is a professional journalist who after years in the health administration field and writing health and wellness articles turned towards organic sustainable gardening and food education. He now owns and operates an organic-method small farm focusing his research and writing on both organic gardening methods and hydroponics.
Vaporizer Uses and Remedies
Congested woman in bed with tissue Photo Credit kosmos111/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Vaporizers are small portable devices that heat water to produce steam which is then projected from the vaporizer into the rest of the room. Vaporizers are used as an alternative to cool mist humidifiers. Because vaporizers boil the water before releasing steam, there is less of a chance of bacteria and fungus being introduced into the air. However, vaporizers do come with a risk of burns or fire if not used correctly. Vaporizers are used in several ways to remedy common health problems.

Humidity

The main way that vaporizers are used is to change the humidity of your environment. This makes vaporizers particularly popular in the winter when the dry, cold air outside and heated air inside create a low humidity environment, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). As water is placed in the unit and heat is applied, steam is created and propelled into the room. This steam raises the humidity levels.

Diffuser

Vaporizers can also be used as diffusers. Some vaporizer units are specifically built for adding natural essential oils or other liquid additives such as camphor, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil or menthol. As the unit heats up, these additives are diffused into the air with the steam, allowing the user to inhale them and experience their benefits. These additives are commonly used to help relieve the symptoms of colds or allergies, such as a stuffy nose, sinus congestion or chest congestion.

Dry Body Tissue

Vaporizers can also be used as a remedy for dry body tissues. Skin can dry out for several reasons, including living in areas of low humidity and as part of the natural aging process. This drying can lead to dry skin, lips, mouth, throat and nose, and can result in skin cracking, scaling, itching, inflammation and irritation, according to the NIH. Vaporizers introduce more moisture into the air, which can then be absorbed by the skin.

Congestion

Vaporizers are also commonly used is to reduce congestion. This is beneficial when fighting off a cold or dealing with allergies. Inhaling moist vapors can loosen mucus in the body, helping to relieve chest congestion or a stuffy nose, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. If you are using a vaporizer in a room for this purpose, especially for a child, be sure to place the unit in a safe location where it cannot catch anything on fire or burn a curious child.

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