Have you considered visiting a spa? Keep this in mind: In your 80s, the massage you enjoyed in your 30s may cause damage, and risking illness for a pedicure may no longer seem worthwhile.

But it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in some pampering. Here’s the lowdown on popular spa services so you may continue to indulge in self-care without risking your health. If you have any queries regarding treatment, talk to your doctor first.


Have you ever had a facial? Now could be the ideal time to give one a shot.

Your face and neck will be cleaned, massaged, and lotions applied by an aesthetician. “A facial can help hydrate older folks’ skin,” says Patricia Farris, M.D., a dermatologist in Metairie, La., and clinical associate professor at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

While facials are generally safe, you should avoid them if you have dry, cracked skin on your face or neck since some products can be irritating. If you’re discussing getting a chemical peel, go to a dermatologist rather than a spa, says Farris, because if done incorrectly, it might lead to illness or scarring.

Saunas and hot tubs are two types of spas.

Heat could be a problem.

According to John Osborne, M.D., Ph.D., a cardiologist in Dallas, “high temperatures may boost the body temperature and pulse, shifting blood from the essential organs to the skin for cooling.” “Low blood pressure and even fainting can result from this.”

Avoid hot tubs and saunas if you have uncontrolled high or low blood pressure, angina, or cardiac disease.

Healthy seniors, on the other hand, may benefit from them. According to several studies, spending time in a sauna daily is linked to lower blood pressure and a lower risk of heart disease and sudden cardiac death.

However, if you wish to soak or sweat, proceed with caution. “Don’t consume alcohol or use drowsy drugs before going in, and never go in alone,” Osborne advises.

Also, remember to stay hydrated, restrict your time in the hot tub to 15 minutes, and exercise caution when entering and exiting a hot tub. Slips and falls and overexposure to high temperatures were the leading causes of hot-tub injuries among adults aged 60 and more, according to a 2009 study. Also, make sure the tub is clean and chlorinated to limit the danger of infection.

Manicures and pedicures are two types of manicures and pedicures.

Manicures are generally safe for people of all ages if the salon is clean and employs sanitized tools and footbaths. Technicians who use non-sterilized tools can spread diseases like hepatitis C and cause fungal and bacterial infections.

For some older people, pedicures may be a concern. According to Alan Bass, D.P.M., a podiatrist in Manalapan, N.J., and a representative for the American Podiatric Medical Association, if you have diminished sensation in your feet due to diabetes or another illness, you may not be able to tell whether the water is too hot or if you’re getting nicked.

Spa pedicures can also be risky if you have poor circulation or any other condition that impairs your immune system because both lengthen the time it takes for an infection to heal. Bass recommends that anyone with these disorders seek the advice of a podiatrist for nail care.


A massage can relieve aches and pains by lowering stress, increasing circulation, and reducing heart rate and blood pressure. It’s even suggested as a supplemental therapy for treating several illnesses. However, Angela Barker, a registered massage therapist and proprietor of Premier Massage Plus in Milton, W.Va., cautions that not all styles are safe for everyone.

“If you’re on an anticoagulant, you shouldn’t have a deep-tissue massage,” she explains, “and you should never be massaged near a surgical or recent injection site.”

People with osteoporosis should exercise caution. Consult your doctor to see if a massage is right for you. Always double-check a therapist’s credentials. To locate a massage therapist, go to the American Massage Therapy Association’s website and click “Find a massage therapist.”