Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate compound, unlike sodium table salt. Epsom salt has been used for hundreds of years as a healing agent and pain reliever. Today, it’s most often added to hot baths and foot soaks to reduce stress.
The magnesium in Epsom salt can be absorbed through the skin, increasing magnesium levels in the body. This can reduce swelling and pain related to inflammation. Epsom salt can also help irrigate and cleanse wounds. This can be beneficial for foot health.
Supporters claim that in addition to reducing pain symptoms and promoting healing, Epsom salt can be dissolved in warm water to reduce inflammation from gout, eliminate odor, and help treat infection. More research is needed to support these claims.
When added to warm water, the magnesium and sulfate in Epsom salt are dissolved and easily absorbed through the skin. This boosts the amount of magnesium in your body available for energy production, muscle function, and the reduction of inflammation.
To make an Epsom salt foot soak, follow these simple steps:
- Fill your bathtub or a basin with warm water until it’s deep enough to cover your feet.
- Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to the warm water.
- Soak your feet for 30 to 60 minutes twice a week.
- For an aromatherapy boost, consider adding a few drops of diluted lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus essential oil to your foot bath.
- Moisturize your feet thoroughly after soaking them.
If you begin to experience pain, redness, or sores before or after using a foot bath, schedule a visit with your doctor to discuss alternative treatment.
An Epsom salt bath is often used to reduce stress. However, there are other benefits to an Epsom salt foot soak, including:
- treating fungal infections
- pain relief
- removing splinters
While there are many claims that Epsom salt is an effective stress reliever, more research needs to be done to prove it’s an effective antibacterial and antifungal agent. Discuss your treatment options with your doctor before using this remedy.
1. Treating fungal infection
Epsom salt has been used to treat wounds and infections. While it doesn’t cure the infection, Epsom salt can be used to draw out the infection and soften the skin to help boost medication effects.
Epsom soaks can be used to support the work of medications your doctor has prescribed. Before using this treatment, discuss your options with a doctor. Some infections, such as staph infection, worsen from hot water or salt mixes.
For foot or toenail fungal infections, soak your feet twice a day for about 20 minutes. Consider adding tea tree oil or other essential diluted oils known to promote healing.
Epsom salt can be used as an exfoliant to soften rough, cracked feet. Along with soaking your feet, massage a handful of Epsom salt into your skin for an added boost.
3. Pain relief
Epsom salt removes toxins from the body that can cause irritation, inflammation, and body pain. If you have sore feet or corns, soak your feet regularly to reduce pain.
4. Removing splinters
An Epsom salt foot soak can also help to remove splinters. The mineral compounds in the salt help to reduce inflammation around the affected region. It will then soften your skin to allow for easy removal of the debris or hangnail.
For minor aches and pains, Epsom salt soaks can be a safe complementary home alternative to medication. However, discuss your options with a doctor before using this remedy to treat infections and other health conditions. People with diabetes or who are pregnant should talk to their doctor before using Epsom salt.
While there have been some success stories involving the use of Epsom salt as a healing agent, more research is needed to understand how and where it’s effective. Schedule a visit with your doctor to discuss the best course of treatment for your condition if it doesn’t improve. Epsom salt soaks are usually a safe home treatment to help manage foot ailments.