I, like many girls grew up reading Jane Austen novels where the spas in Bath were the place to be, especially if you were sickly. It’s not just a romantic dream. Over the centuries natural spas or hot springs have become well known for their therapeutic benefits.
Spas are widely renowned for exfoliating the skin, reducing inflammation, increasing skin barrier function, relaxing muscles, improving circulation and treating conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, arthritis and other joint and bone issues.
Popular Watering Spot
The term spa is a 1600 Belgium word meaning “popular watering spot”. Over time the term has become more synonymous with natural, mineral-rich waters hence the word spa is often interchangeable with the term mineral springs.
My way of thinking is that if you are going to try a natural mineral spring to treat your eczema or psoriasis you should make a real holiday of it and travel to a far off exotic destination. So I have done some research and picked out my favourite three holiday destinations.
Bath In England
Bath in England obviously has to be my number one choice. Like I said I am a Jane Austen fan.
History indicates that the Romans constructed the first formal baths around the natural springs in the First Century AD. The Thermae Bath Spa complex was opened in 2006 after over a decade of renovations in and around some of the most historic bath sites.
Baths rainwater passes through faults in the regions limestone and contains more than 42 minerals including sulphate, calcium, silica, iron, and chloride. The Bath’s or spas are now mainly used for relaxation and relief of skin issues however in the past doctors have sent patients to the Baths to treat rheumatism, psoriasis, gout, infertility and rehabilitation for the wounded servicemen following WWII.
Blue Lagoon In Iceland
Blue Lagoon in Iceland. When I was a teenager there was a very corny movie called Blue Lagoon released that I hate to admit I loved. That is a very feeble basis for my second favourite spa location but what can I say – I’m corny.
Unlike the springs in Bath that have been around forever the Blue Lagoon is a much newer bathing complex. The lagoon was formed in the late 1970’s by a heating company to explore geothermal heating methods. People were bathing in the lagoon and noticing marked improvements in their skin conditions by 1981 and official public facilities opened in 1987 in response to how popular a tourist attraction the lagoon had become. A full spa was opened in 1999.
The lagoon has the appearance of being dropped on earth from another planet as it sits amidst volcanic rocks, electric green moss, and steaming waters. High amounts of silica help exfoliate skin, strengthen skin barrier function, and heal inflammation, while minerals from the seawater revitalise skin. Microorganisms found here also help reduce signs of UV damage and stimulate collagen production.
Kusatsu in Japan
Kusatsu in Japan. Who wouldn’t want to go to a hot spring in Japan. It is what Japan is known for.
Located in Central Japan near an active volcano and two dormant volcanoes, Kusatsu is the site where Samurai are said to have come in the 1600’s to heal their wounds. In the 1700’s it is where doctors sent those suffering from “illnesses of the night” like syphilis to recuperate.
There are over 100 springs and baths called Onsen in the area full of sulfur and minerals from the volcanic earth. Bathing in the water treats sprains, bruises, muscle stiffness, burns and chronic indigestion.
How Do The Hot Springs Help Psoriasis And Eczema
It is the high concentration of natural minerals in the water that treat and sooth the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis. Of course bathing in the springs will not cure your condition. Your skin will still be prone to flare ups when exposed to trigger factors but the springs may just be able to get your symptoms under control.
It sounds like the elite way to pamper yourself but history shows that the springs do actually work. And whilst there is usually a fee to enter the spring most are not that expensive (if you take away the cost of actually getting there).
I know that if I ever travel to one of these wonderful places I will definitely be giving a spa a try.