Dr. Robert Cook - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Robert Cook

Are Hot Showers Bad For You?



Short answer

Hot showers can be great for your health, just don’t be in there too long.



Long answer

Not only does a quick hot shower feel amazing, it’s also very beneficial to your overall health, muscles and mood. Let’s first talk about the reasons why it’s good for you.

First of all, a good hot shower is a natural stress reliever. It relaxes your body, mind, nerves and relieves tension so that you can get a more restful night’s sleep. Studies have shown that a hot shower can also increase oxytocin (“the love hormone”) in your body and therefore ease anxiety.

Enjoy a hot shower like a nice gentle massage to circulate blood flow and loosen up your stiff muscles. If you take a shower before you exercise in the morning this will warm up your muscles to get a better workout. If you’ve got a stiff neck, shoulders, or back, let the hot water run down that area for about 10 minutes to relieve the tension.

A hot steamy shower opens up your pores cleaning out toxins and removing impurities from the skin which helps prevent acne. Follow it up by rinsing with cold water to close up the pores and refresh the skin.

Hot showers are great for getting over cold symptoms. Steam acts as a decongestant that moisturizes your nasal passages and helps get rid of mucus and phlegm that can cause coughing and a sore throat.

Some people live for a good long hot shower. But can they be bad for you?

Yes, exposing your skin to hot water for a long period of time can severely dry it out. The heat from the water strips away the skin’s oil barrier taking away its natural moisture and its defense against dryness and irritants. Granted this oil barrier is where all the dirt and sweat is trapped, so we want to clean it off, scalding off all the oil on your skin isn’t necessary. This could lead to worsened skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and dandruff. 

Just like your skin, your scalp needs to stay hydrated, too, and hot water can do just the opposite. Cool water rinsed over the scalp closes the hair cuticle keeping the moisture in and increasing the shine of your hair. If you already have an itchy irritated scalp, it’s better to wash with cold water. 

Possible short-term side effects

  • if in the shower for too long:
  • itchy dry skin
  • dry scalp
  • moisture depletion
  • worsened skin conditions


  • relieves stress
  • relaxes body, mind and nerves
  • relieves tension in muscles and joints
  • promotes good sleep
  • decreases anxiety
  • circulates blood flow
  • warms up muscles for a workout
  • cleanses pores
  • relives cold symptoms

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Aubrie Robinson
Published on: 05-19-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Aubrie Robinson
Published on: 05-19-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

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