The spa industry is booming, and for good reason. Studies show that everything from a simple massage to a hot stone foot rub can help relieve stress and promote overall health. And it’s no longer just a female indulgence; men now make up 47% of all spa guests, according to the latest Consumer Snapshot from the International Spa Association.
Whether it’s a day trip to a local spa or a vacation to an exotic resort, many of us love the pampering feeling that comes with it. But can these treatments deliver on their promised benefits, and are there any hidden dangers we should be aware of? WebMD took a look.
A plethora of spa treatments claim to boost immune function, relieve back pain, and even cure cancer. Some of them are actually effective, while others may do little more than soothe the skin and give you a temporary high.
Some spas also offer detoxification treatments, such as full body exfoliation or wraps. But dermatologist Ellen Marmur says these services can increase germ exposure by creating microscopic tears in the skin, allowing more organisms to enter. If you have a condition such as dermatitis or psoriasis, she advises, you should ask your spa to skip these treatments.
If you’re thinking about buying a spa, it’s important to read the first-party reviews posted on spa manufacturer websites. While they can’t guarantee a positive experience, these reviews are a great way to see how others have enjoyed their own experiences and help you decide what type of spa is right for your needs.