Published: 09/28/2015 - Updated: 12/28/2017
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Are you one of those people that takes really hot baths? Especially in the winter? If so, take a look that this information. Unfortunately, several medical specialists have announced that taking a bath in very hot water could affect your cardiovascular system, and could even cause a heart attack.
This doesn’t mean that you need to throw out your thermos or hot water heater and freeze while taking a bath. Especially during the cold season.
What you need to reconsider is the damage that very, very hot water can do, when used in excess. So don’t put an end just yet to your relaxing warm baths.
But, how can hot water be dangerous? According to heart studies, taking long baths with this type of water makes blood vessels to dilate or contract. This could cause a sudden drop or increase in blood pressure.
In several cases, this is enough to bring about a loss of consciousness, or even a heart attack.
Bad for the heart
This is even worse for individuals that suffer from heart conditions, for example, if you suffer from arrhythmia, very hot water could provoke it. When your blood vessels dilate, this changes your blood pressure, increasing your heart beat. The severity of the arrhythmia, and its consequences, will depend on the area of the heart that experiences the irregularities.
Pacemakers and tachycardia
If you have a pacemaker, or if a close family member does, it’s good for you to know that it’s best for these people to avoid hot baths and showers, especially in the tub, where you’re more exposed. The heat could open skin cells, leading to infections or damaging the pacemaker.
People who suffer from tachycardia should take the same precautions, as the hot water could cause dilation and changes in blood pressure, which could cause tachycardia.
Not for everyone
As we’ve seen above, hot water baths directly affect blood vessels and blood pressure, but this will only cause serious damage if you are a patient with some sort of cardiac problem, or if you suffer from hypertension.
We’re not blatantly saying no to hot water, especially if you truly like these types of bath and find them relaxing. However, in order to avoid any health complications, you could also choose simply warm baths.
Benefits of hot water
As you’ll see, not everyone is at risk or harmed by hot water baths. These baths also have certain health benefits. For example, they are relaxing. That’s why even spas or relaxation centers offer hot water baths in order to promote a connection with one’s inner self.
If you suffer from insomnia, a hot water bath will undoubtedly relax you as much as resting, in order to disconnect from the daily routine. If you want better results, add a few drops of lavender essential oil.
Hot bath water also helps eliminate toxins better than cold water. Don’t add too hot of water, however, as this could cause cellulite.
Another point in favor of hot water is that it increases blood circulation and improves the lymphatic system. It also helps to relax muscles, thereby reducing inflammation in damaged joints.
If you suffer from allergies or colds, the steam from hot water can help alleviate these conditions, because it acts as a natural decongestant. Simply add a few drops of eucalyptus, or mint oil, and notice how your nostrils and nasal passages become decongested.
And in regards to cold showers, even though they’re a nightmare for most people, it’s a good idea to indicate that doctors always recommend them for several of the different health benefits they provide. Although they’re really tough at first, if you try to you can get used to it. The secret is to do this slowly, until you can stay in for a long time.
Cold water showers improve circulation because whenever the body comes into contact with this water, the body quickly carries more blood to the organs and internal tissues, improving blood flow.
Fresh, healthy skin
A lot of people have told me that through their own experience, cold water has made their skin smoother and younger after stopping their use of hot water. Have you ever noticed that those long, hot showers remove your skin’s natural moisture, making it dry? And then you have to apply creams to solve the problem. The truth is that hot water washes and removes natural oils from the skin’s surface.
Recharge your energy
Cold water usually gives the body more energy. After getting out of the shower, people seem to manifest more strength and willingness to face the day to day tasks. They feel rejuvenated, fresh, and lively. Perhaps this may make you want to give up your hot water.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 12/28/2017
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