Why Hot Showers Are Bad For Your Skin
As always, we’re hoping to give you some niche advice that you can apply to your daily life. Today comes as no exception. We all take showers (we hope!) and although there is nothing better than a hot and steamy shower we suggest you take it easy from time to time…
What Hot Showers Do To The Skin
Although we all love a hot shower, they can put a lot of pressure on our skin. The inflammation caused by the heat can result in redness, itching and even peeling similar to sunburn. Not only do hot showers cause itching and redness, but they also disrupt the skin’s natural balance of moisture – this means a loss of natural oils, fats and proteins that keep your skin healthy.
What this will cause, in turn, is dry skin. We all know that dry skin is no fun, but it also can actually lead to an increase in infections and an over production of oils as your body attempts to compensate for the lack of moisture. This over production of oil frequently leads to spots and if you’re prone to it, acne.
Hot Showers Will Make Skin Conditions Worse
We now know, that our hot showers are not great for the skin. They affect our natural layer of oil and proteins. With this in mind, it is worth noting some of the skin conditions that hot showers can exacerbate. Any skin condition related to problems with our skin-barrier are going to be affected such as:
All of these conditions are generally related to an impaired skin barrier. In that, the skin barrier struggles or has a deficiency in the necessary healthy fats, cholesterol, fatty acids and many more ingredients that make up a healthy layer of skin. With diminished levels of these key ingredients we’re more likely to have dry skin and this is made worse with extended exposure to hot water. Hot water will strip away this protective lipid layer responsible for keeping moisture in and nasty bacteria and irritants out.
If you suffer from dry kin or you even just have sensitive skin then you’re more likely to develop eczema in the form of dry, itchy, red patches. Hot showers will not help the cause.
Benefits To Having A Hot Shower
Look, hot showers can be very relaxing and can also be a positive thing for the muscle especially after exercise. However, when it comes to your skin, there’s no real benefits at all.
What Temperature Should I have My Shower
Lukewarm is your best bet. Try to use a nourishing gentle cleanser that doesn’t have any stripping soaps in its ingredients. This will help add to your natural skin barrier rather than destroy it. If you must have a hot shower, then try to keep it to around 5 minutes long, use the mirror as your guide. If it’s getting steamy then it’s time to lower the temperature.
We don’t want to be a complete downer here since we know everyone loves a hot shower. We simply recommend you try and take them in moderation. If a hot shower is a necessity in your life then keep it to 5 minutes and below. When you’re drying off, pat yourself down lightly (don’t rub yourself) as this can make things worse. Dry gently and reach for the moisturizer immediately – this will help rebuild that natural barrier.
Last point… Remember you don’t have to suffer long waiting times before you see a dermatologist. It also doesn’t have to be expensive either. We have a range of options open to you should you wish to speak to our board-certified dermatologists.
Ask a Dermatologist
Anonymous, fast and secure!
Ask a Dermatologist Now
Anonymous, fast and secure!
The Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, alumnus UC Berkeley. My doctoral dissertation is about Digital Health and I have published 5 scientific articles in teledermatology and artificial intelligence and others.