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熱があるときでもお風呂に入ることが良いとされる6つの理由

熱のある男

昔から、風邪をひいたりして熱が出たときには、お風呂に入ってはいけないというのをよく耳にしますが、それは何故なのでしょうか。疑問に思ったことはありませんか。

そう言われてきたのにはいくつかの理由があって、ある条件下によってやはり入浴は控えた方が良いという場合と、必ずしもそうではなく、逆に入浴が良い影響をもたらす場合も実はあるのです。

そこら辺の基準が曖昧であることが私たちを惑わせる原因であって、しっかりとした知識を身につければ、今後お風呂をどうしようかと悩むことはなくなります。

そこで本記事では、お風呂に入って良いときと悪いときの違いに関するいくつかのポイントをご説明していき、あなたの疑問を解決したいと思います。

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なぜ熱があるときにお風呂に入ってはいけないのか

お風呂

風邪をひいているときに入浴を控えるのは、日本特有の習慣で、外国では逆に風邪で発熱したときには水やぬるま湯をかけて熱を下げるよう子供の時から教えられているようです。この違いの背景には日本ならではの2つの問題が関係しています。

1つは日本家屋の構造上の問題として、古い日本家屋ではお風呂が屋外にあることが多かった為、お風呂と室内を出入りする際の急激な温度変化で風邪を悪化させるだろうと考えられていたからです。

2つ目は、同じような理由ですが、昔はお風呂というと銭湯が一般的で、銭湯帰りに体が冷えることを注意したもののようです。また、銭湯では熱いお湯に長く入ることが多く、体力を消耗して症状を悪化させることもあったからなのだそうです。

つまり、風邪のときに入浴をしてはいけないという医学的根拠はないと言えますが、医師によるとやはり注意すべき点はあり、ケース・バイ・ケースであると言うのが一番正しい答えです。では具体的にそれはどういったケースなのかということについて次の項目で詳しくご説明していきたいと思います。

熱があってもお風呂に入って良いとき・悪いとき

風邪のときでもお風呂に入るメリットは主に6つあります。

  • 入浴は鼻詰まりにも有効である
  • 腹痛や下痢のとき、腸の動きを少なくして痛みを軽減する効果がある
  • 皮膚の清潔を保ち、細菌に対する抵抗力を高める
  • お風呂の蒸気は喉に適度の加湿効果を与える
  • 血行を良くし、新陳代謝を盛んにする
  • お風呂の水が熱を体内から逃がすのを助ける

しかしこれがプラスとなるかマイナスとなるかは、判断と注意次第です。まず、お風呂に入れるかどうかの判断基準は以下の通りです

  • 熱が38度未満である
  • ひどい悪寒や全身の倦怠感はなく、元気がある
  • 嘔吐やひどい下痢がない

お風呂に入れるかどうかを見極めるボーダーラインをクリアしたら、あとは以下のことに気を付けて、入浴をしましょう。

  • 脱衣所や浴室などを予め暖かくしておく
  • 熱いお風呂や長風呂は体力を消耗するので避ける(具体的には40度以下のぬるめのお湯に20分程半身浴をするのがおすすめ)
  • 洗髪は避けるか、洗髪したらドライヤーで完全に乾かす
  • お風呂から出たら清潔なタオルで体の水滴をしっかりと拭き取り、すぐに服を着る(ただし体がほてっている場合はほてりが取れないうちに服を着ると汗をかいて熱が奪われ、かえって湯冷めするので、ほてりを冷ましてから服を着る)
  • 水分補給を忘れない
  • 全て済んだらすぐに布団に入って休む

ちなみに湯船に浸かるのではなく、シャワーだけというのはいかがなものなのかというと、これには賛否両論あり、熱があるときに立ってシャワーを浴びると立ちくらみやめまいがしたり、気分が悪くなってしまうこともあり、体を十分に温める為にも湯船に浸かった方が良いとも、だるさなどの度合いによっては軽くシャワーを浴びる程度で済ますべきとも言われていて、真逆の意見が同じ数だけあるので、良いか悪いかをここではっきりとは言い切れません。

個人的には、体力はあっても、お湯をはるのまでは面倒だけれども、どうしてもさっぱりしたいというのであれば、シャワーのみを選択するのも一つの手段かなと思います。

お風呂の達人  バスクリン社員が教える究極の入浴術
石川泰弘
草思社
売り上げランキング: 58,203

まとめ:お風呂に入れない時には

重い症状が出ていて、熱が高い場合には、安静が第一であり、お風呂に入るのは避けるべきです。無理をしてお風呂に入って体調を悪化させては、後悔してもしきれないと思います。

しかし、熱のときは普段よりも汗をかくので、汗をかくと湿疹がひどくなるような赤ちゃんや小さな子供の場合には特に、洗面器に熱めのお湯を汲んで、柔らかいガーゼかタオル、スポンジ等で顔から順番に首周り、脇の下、手足、陰部などの汗をかきやすいところだけでも拭くとかなりさっぱりするようです。

大人の場合はお好みでラベンダーなどのアロマオイルをお湯に数滴たらしてみても良いでしょう。香りがあるだけで爽快感が違ってきますし、ラベンダーオイルには殺菌効果が期待できます。喉や鼻が気になる場合はさらに殺菌や消毒効果が期待できる、ティーツリーオイルやペパーミントオイルを利用すると良いそうです。

これは「バスセラピー」の一種で、リラックスしながら効果的に熱を下げることができる、熱があるときこそやるべきものであったりしますので、熱が出てしまったからお風呂に入れないとがっかりする前の最終手段として、取り入れてみてはいかがでしょうか。

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