A sauna suit is basically a waterproof tracksuit that retains your body heat and perspiration when you work out while wearing it. As you exercise, heat and sweat build up inside the suit.

According to a 2018 study, exercising in a sauna suit increases physiological strain and induces larger sweat losses. These conditions can lead to dehydration and heat-related illness.

There are a number of sauna suits, shirts, and pants available for sale. Though there’s no clinical research to back up their claims, the companies selling these suits suggest benefits such as weight loss and detoxification through sweat.

Your kidneys and liver are your body’s best detoxifiers. Sweating only releases traces of toxins. Also, weight loss during periods of heavy perspiration is primarily due to fluid loss that should be replenished as you sweat.

If you’re using a sauna suit for rapid weight loss, there are some serious risks.

To rapidly lose weight, people often use a combination of equipment, environment, and techniques, such as:

  • sauna suits
  • vigorous exercise
  • hot environments, such as saunas or steam rooms
  • fluid or food intake reduction

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these techniques can have a negative effect on:

  • thermal regulation
  • cardiovascular function
  • renal function
  • hydration
  • electrical activity
  • electrolyte balance
  • muscle strength
  • muscle endurance
  • body composition

These negative effects could lead to potentially fatal conditions such as:

In 1997, three collegiate wrestlers died while using rapid weight loss techniques including exercising in hot environments while wearing sauna suits and limiting food and water intake.

In response to these deaths, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) revised their guidelines governing weigh-in procedures and weight loss practices, including the addition of noncompliance penalties. The new guidelines included a ban on sauna suits.

If you’re experiencing chronic inflammation from eczema, your doctor might recommend therapies to both hydrate the skin and increase the penetration of topical medication.

According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD), the application of topical medication immediately following a bath increases penetration up to 10 times.

The AOCD suggests that wet wraps following baths can also help. Wet wraps are commonly done with layers, such as gauze followed by two sets of pajamas — the first set is damp, and the second dry. Sometimes, a sauna suit is used in place of the dry pajamas.

Although sauna suits may promise benefits such as weight loss and detoxification, these claims are not based on clinical research. Exercising in a sauna suit can have risks, such as hyperthermia and dehydration.

If you notice symptoms of these conditions, see a doctor immediately. When you’re exercising or sweating in a hot environment, avoid dehydration by drinking during the workout to replenish fluids.

If you’re looking for weight loss solutions, discuss options with your doctor. They can help put together a plan with a balance of nutrition and exercise that meets your current health and specific needs.