What Are the Pros and Cons of Body Wraps?

Body wraps are a popular spa treatment that spas claim melt inches off or detoxify the body of impurities. WebMD explains that such promises to deliver weight loss or other health benefits just aren't supported by scientific evidence. If used for relaxation or to improve skin condition, however, body wraps offer some value.

Though body wrap services vary depending on the spa, generally the body wrap experience includes a cream, herbs, or mud spread on the body, after which the body is wrapped up like a mummy and the client lays on a table to relax while heat is applied. A weight loss wrap promises to remove inches from the body. WebMD states that any weight loss is a temporary result of water weight lost through sweating during the wrap process. Any weight or inches lost return quickly. The "detox" wrap process is similarly debunked as having no scientific basis.

In fact, the heat applied during the process causes sweating that can cause dehydration in some clients, so remaining hydrated during the process is important. Similarly, clients must ask what the ingredients being used in the wrap are so that any allergies or sensitivities to herbs or fragrances can be taken into account.

Skin can improve in texture or appearance due to the cream or mud treatment. For example, a clay mask can improve the appearance of acne, or a moisturizing cream can improve the softness or texture of skin.