What Are the Benefits of Using a Steam Room for Acne?

The belief that acne can be treated in a sauna or steam room is pervasive and, unfortunately, untrue. Though relaxing and healthy in other ways, steam does not help with acne treatment and can actually make acne problems worse. There are ways to treat acne, and staying out of of the sauna is one of them.

Three young women in a steam room share a laugh. (Image: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Sweating It Out

The steam in a sauna opens your pores and makes you sweat. Because of this, many people believe that steam rooms and saunas treat acne. The theory is that open pores more easily release any dirt and oil they are holding, allowing your sweat to easily cleanse them by flushing away the dirt. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to support this belief and, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, sweating can actually make acne problems worse.

Back to Reality

To effectively treat acne, wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser. Wash after exercising and sweating as well. Avoid toners, astringents and other harsh chemicals as well as those that contain alcohol. Wash the skin gently rather than scrubbing and rinse with warm water. Wash your hair daily, and avoid touching your face or picking at any blemishes you do have. Consult a dermatologist if your acne persists or gets worse.

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