Wooden bucket by a Japanese hot spring bath

Steam baths differ from saunas in that they tend to not only relax and rejuvenate you as you perspire, but also enhance your beauty. Besides its relaxing effects, steam baths may also provide health benefits, such as pain relief, easing dry skin, and helping with respiratory problems. Steam baths operate best if the temperature is between 110 F and 116 F, with the humidity at around 100 percent. For the steamy mist to be present, you must have an efficient generator and an air-tight cabin. While you enjoy your steam bath, follow a few safety tips.

Drink at least one or two tall glasses of water before entering a steam bath, because the process may dehydrate you. You will also want to replenish more fluids after you leave the steam bath.

Shower before going into the steam room. Most state laws at gym facilities require you to shower before using any pool or spa facilities, and this will help prepare your body for the steam bath. Your body must always be at normal temperature before entering the steam bath.

Avoid eating before taking a steam bath, because the heat interferes with your circulation and digestion.

Steam for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time, even if it may feel relaxing. Listen to your body, it will tell you if it becomes too hot or dehydrated, and it is time to get out.

Cool down first with a warm, and then a cool shower, to avoid shocking your body. Make sure your entire body has cooled down before you try another session in the steam room or switch to the pool, hot tub or sauna, because if you are still overheated, it could affect your circulation. Avoid going for more than three sessions in a row, because you do not want to overtax your body.