Hot showers are relaxing. I love jumping in a hot shower during the cold winter months to warm up, or after a tough workout to relax my muscles. But there’s a problem: hot water may be bad for your health.
1. Drop in Blood Pressure
Hot water has been shown to cause a person’s blood pressure to drop. Your skin dilates, your vascular resistance falls and then your blood pressure will drop. You might have this happen dozens of times, but it’s that one time when your blood pressure falls too much that causes a problem.
Your heart will become overworked at this point, trying to pump faster and harder to compensate for the blood pressure drop.
2. Potential Burns
I know the hot water in my home isn’t piping hot to the point where I am at risk of being burned. But I went to a friend’s home where they just had a water heater repair done. The new water heater had the hot water on the maximum setting.
If I just jumped into the shower without touching it first, I may have been burned.
Scolding hot water takes seconds to cause you to suffer burns. Burns are not uncommon, and the problem is amplified with:
- Babies that have delicate skin
- Elders that have less sensation
Always make sure that you touch the water with your hands before entering the shower. A defective water heater can also cause the water’s temperature to rise above normal levels, leaving to burns.
3. Dizziness and Risk of Falling
You remember how in the first point we mentioned that your blood pressure can fall rapidly? This is serious, especially for someone with poor balance already. A quick drop in blood pressure can lead to a person feeling dizzy.
Lack of blood flow to the brain is the cause of this dizziness.
Balance will become impaired at this point with a risk of falling, too. A lot of people will struggle to get out of the tub and may even fall over as a result. Falls in the shower can lead to:
- Hip injury
- Knee injury
- Broken bones
- Brain injury
The CDC reports that 95% of hip fractures are a result of falls. Elders are at a much higher risk of death after a hip injury. You read that correctly: death.
4. Dry and Itchy Skin
Hot water leaves your skin inflamed, red and itching in many cases. The problem with hot water is that it acts much like a sunburn. When this happens, the hot water will lead to a disruption in your skin’s:
- Natural oil production
When your natural oil production is interrupts, this means that your body isn’t able to produce proteins, oils and fats necessary for healthy skin. This leads to dry skin that is often irritated and a higher risk of infection.
Moisturizing can help combat these two symptoms and is recommended to keep the skin healthy and gleaming.
The next time you take a shower, turn down the temperature, or make sure that you spend less time in the shower.