OBJECTIVE: In the present study we investigated the effects of low relative humidity (RH) and high air velocity (VA) on physiological and subjective responses after bathing in order to present the evidence for required nursing intervention after bathing. METHODS: Eight healthy male subjects participated in this experiment. There were four thermal conditions which combined RH (20% of 60%) and VA (low: less than 0.2 m/s or high: from 0.5 to 0.7 m/s). After taking a tub bath, subjects sat for 80 min in the test room under each condition. In addition, one condition under which the subjects were exposed to 20% RH and high VA condition for 80 min without bathing condition was conducted. RESULTS: A decrease in mean skin temperature (T sk), dryness of the skin and eyes were observed, though thermal comfort and warmth retained, due to spending time after bathing in a low RH and high VA environment, compared to the condition without bathing. Moreover, dryness of the skin, a decrease in hydration of the skin and an increase in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) after bathing were significantly affected by RH levels, on the other hand subjective coolness, discomfort and perception of dryness in the eye were significantly affected by VA levels. The decrease in T sk after bathing was significantly affected by both RH and VA. CONCLUSION: From our findings we concluded that low RH and high VA have negative effects on humans after bathing, for example a decrease in body temperature and dryness of the skin and eyes. Moreover, it was indicated that the negative effects could be kept to a minimum and thermal comfort remain higher, if RH and VA levels were controlled within the optimum ranges.
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