If a hot shower is what your body craves in the morning, you’re not alone. The majority of people crank the handle all the way up in order to feel the warm water all over their body. But did you know that cold showers should also have a place in your daily routine?That’s right — cold showers. The ones you dread to take when you’re the last person to get up in the morning. But, if you give them a fair chance, you might find that you actually like how you feel after taking one.

Regardless of how you feel about either type of shower, research shows that both hot and cold showers have health benefits you should be aware of.

Why do we like hot showers?

If you have trouble relaxing or falling asleep at night, you might be tempted to take a hot shower to ease the stress of the day. This is a common practice for muscle relaxation before going to sleep because hot showers activate the parasympathetic nervous system which makes us tired, says Keferstein.

Other benefits of hot showers include:
  • providing relief from respiratory symptoms
  • helping with blemishes
  • muscle relaxation

Hot showers provide relief from cold or respiratory symptoms

Standing in a hot shower with the steam surrounding you has long been used as a natural remedy to reduce cold and cough symptoms. The heat from the water and the steam can help to:

  • open airways
  • loosen up phlegm
  • clear out your nasal passages

Hot showers help with blemishes

Hot showers can help to open up the pores of the skin, which allows you to clean out the trapped dirt and oil.

Hot showers are good for muscle relaxation

Being in hot water effectively relieves body tension and can soothe muscle fatigue.

But yes, your beloved hot shower does have some downsides. But the good news is, you don’t have to give them up completely. You just need to turn down the temperature a bit and take care of your skin afterward.

The cons of hot showers include:

  • Hot showers can dry out and irritate your skin. Schaffer says the hot water causes damage to the keratin cells which are located on our most outer layer of the skin — the epidermis. By disrupting these cells, it creates dry skin and prevents the cells from locking in moisture.
  • They can make also certain skin conditions worse. Higher temperatures make it easier for the skin to dry out and worsen conditions like eczema.
  • Hot showers can cause you to itch. Friedman says the heat can cause mast cells (which contain histamine) to release their contents in the skin and cause itching.
  • They can increase your blood pressure, too. If you have problems with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease, taking a shower that’s too hot can make these conditions worse.

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