Epsom salt has been around for a long time. These salts have many incredible medical uses. They also appear to be in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of essential medicines. And more importantly, they are great for taking care of skin troubles. Now, the big question; is Epsom salt good for eczema? The fact is, the salt is active for tackling skin issues, and eczema is one of those issues. In this post, we will discuss Epsom salt, and how it works for eczema and other things you need to know before you start using it. Read on!
What is Epsom salt?
Epsom salt is just a fancy name for magnesium sulfate. The only reason it is called salt is due to its chemical structure. It is different from your ordinary table salt, based on the way it functions and its various health benefits. This mineral compound has a lot of uses in beauty and fitness.
Epsom salt contains oxygen, sulfur, and magnesium. Although it tends to have the same name as the usual table salt, Epsom salt is safe and simple to use. Epsom got its unique name from the elegant town of Epsom in Surrey, England. It was also at this location that this beneficial compound was first found.
So, don’t let the name “salt” scare you. Epsom only has the chemical structure, not the corrosive effect table salt can cause when consumed in an excess amount. They both have a similar appearance. Taste between both is entirely different.
About taste, the Epsom salt is bitterer compared to the usual table salt. It is unpalatable and is usually not used to improve the taste of foods. But the benefit of this salt is part of the reason many go after it. Many people consume this salt by drinking after dissolving it in water.
Where to find Epsom salt
Epsom salt is common and quite affordable. You can get it in many grocery and drug stores. Besides having the ability to tackle skin issues like eczema, this salt has long been used to treat conditions like insomnia, constipation, and fibromyalgia. But unfortunately, there isn’t enough research to substantiate claims of the salt’s health benefits. The ones available are mostly anecdotal.
Does Epsom salt work for Eczema?
You can see from the definition that Epsom salt is magnesium salt. And being that it supplies magnesium sulfate, a compound we don’t get enough of, to the body, the salt can have a beneficial effect regarding the treatment of eczema.
Magnesium is popularly recognized for its wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties. So, there is an excellent possibility that Epsom salt can heal the skin and get rid of eczema. If you have had these embarrassing patches on your skin in the past, you will understand that finding such a cheap cure can be relieving.
Epsom salt: Magnesium sulfate passes through your skin
Before revealing more on how Epsom salt helps in managing eczema, you need to understand the role and importance of magnesium sulfate. Magnesium sulfate is one of the compounds that Epsom releases when one bathes with the salt.
However, the point here is, the skin can absorb it, and there is a possibility that your blood-magnesium and sulfate levels could increase. Studies conducted at the University of Birmingham UK, on how the skin absorbs magnesium and sulfate turned out to be useful.
The studies involving adults between the ages of 24 – 64 years old, who had several Epsom salt baths for over seven days, showed that there was an increase in blood magnesium levels after a series of blood samples were collected.
In cases where an increase wasn’t spotted, a high level of excretion involving magnesium was noted. It showed that magnesium still passed through the skin and entered the bloodstream. But since there is already enough magnesium in the blood, the extra must be excreted.
The study reveals that it’s possible to have enough magnesium in the bloodstream after taking an Epsom salt bath. And most of the magnesium also finds its way into the tissues which can be beneficial for individuals having a skin disease like eczema.
Is there a chance of toxicity with using Epsom salt?
You can take an Epsom salt bath as many times as you want without any harm. Reaching magnesium toxicity levels from this salt is unlikely. The reason for this is that a more significant amount of this mineral is removed from the body through urine. So, even if you have an optimal amount of magnesium in your blood, there is no way you will experience toxicity.
Reasons Epsom salt is highly effective for treatment of eczema
Epsom salt has several health benefits and can tackle eczema in several ways. Let’s take a look at the various ways you can use Epsom to get rid of your inflammation.
Epsom salt releases magnesium, a mineral with high anti-inflammatory properties. And the reason magnesium has this ability is that it can influence specific inflammatory factors as well as immunological responses to antigen issues.
Why are the anti-inflammatory properties of Epsom salt relevant?
The anti-inflammatory property that Epsom salt has due to the magnesium it contains is helpful. The reason is that some of the symptoms of the skin disease, eczema, is due to hypersensitivity reaction which an individual might experience.
The allergic reaction also triggers the immune system to release and produce several pro-inflammatory factors that cause inflammation. But the magnesium in the Epsom salt stands as a blockage to prevent the release of these factors.
The anti-inflammatory effect of Epsom also helps it to lower already inflamed eczema lesions and relief individuals of itching.
Epsom salt possesses incredible antimicrobial properties that make it useful for eczema treatment. It is regarded as a hydrated salt that can absorb moisture quickly. Also, in the primary state, magnesium sulfate is hygroscopic. That is, it is always looking for water molecules from the surrounding to transform into hydrated salt.
To cut the long explanation short, know that Epsom salt has the potential to fight against pathogens that appear on the skin. These properties or actions of the salt are due to its ability to reduce eczema and edema swelling on the skin surface.
Can Epsom salt prevent the spread of eczema causing pathogens?
Epsom salt can prevent eczema-causing pathogens from spreading. The hydrated salt is known to draw moisture from the fungi and bacteria that cause the skin disease, thereby reducing the symptom in the process. It doesn’t only have the capacity to prevent the spread but possess antimicrobial power that can completely heal eczema.
As mentioned earlier, Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfate, two useful minerals that promote detoxification of the body. Magnesium can lower blood toxicity because it can function as an alkalinizing agent.
Having an immune system that can counter the actions of toxins is vital. That is what Epsom salt can provide you. The salt helps to restore the balance between acid and base in the body, which indirectly prepares the immune system to tackle any attack.
Can Epsom salt tackle heavy metals?
The magnesium and sulfate in Epsom salt can help to tackle one of the causes of eczema, heavy metals. As you know, heavy metal poisoning is common with elements like cadmium, mercury, and lead. And some of the sources of this lead poisoning include old pipes, dental amalgam fillings and even asbestos.
When your immune system notices the presence of heavy metals in your body, it automatically sends your antibodies to go after them. But the shocking thing is that your antibodies can cause itching, rashes as well as skin reaction in the process of performing their duties.
That said, sulfate can help to flush out heavy metals from your system in a unique way. The molecule is usually negatively charged, hence can attract metal ions that have positive charges. It can combine with the free metals and remove them from the body.
Removal of dead skin cells
It is easy to see why a good number of beauty products contain Epsom salt. It is one of their principal ingredients given its effectiveness in taking care of the skin. As earlier stated, Epsom salt possesses incredible antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help to protect the skin surface in many ways.
Epsom salt can help to rid the skin of dead cells and make it look whole again. It is an excellent cleanser and exfoliant you can use without spending a fortune. By removing dead skin cells, this salt helps to prevent the pores of the skin from clogging. The cleansing also helps to ensure the skin surface is well aerated and any form of a toxin is removed from the skin.
The cleansing effect is the reason why the skin tends to improve after the Epsom salt bath. But the Epsom salt offers more benefits than this. The magnesium in the salt can speed up the rate at which the skin barrier recovery is quick, after being breached.
Epsom salt baths: Is it that effective?
You can take an Epsom salt bath as often as you want. There’s no report of magnesium toxicity or adverse effect of any sort. However, using the proper skin care routine which includes taking a regular bath on a daily basis and moisturizing is excellent for managing conditions like eczema and symptoms of the disease. It can also help to prevent flare-ups too.
Epsom bath effectiveness in more detail
Sometimes the skin becomes dry even when it contains enough oil. So, having enough oil is not a guarantee that your skin will not dry out. The reason for the dryness is because the skin itself is not doing enough to retain its water that is providing moisture.
Factors like low humidity, wind, and cold temperatures can make the skin dry. Others are harsh soaps, and excess washing without using the right moisturizer can cause skin dryness. This condition usually causes eczema to irritate and even worsen the disease.
However, one of the effective ways to tackle dry skin is by causing it to have enough moisture. It is something you can achieve with a proper bath. If you have eczema on your body, then making sure that your skin does have plenty of moisture is very important. And that is what an Epsom salt bath can do.
The Epsom salt bath can also help to speed up the recovery of the skin barrier and get rid of pathogens. You will find that the upper of skins with eczema becomes porous following damage caused by microbes or toxins responsible for the condition. However, this damage usually causes a change in the microbial flora and pH of the skin, and this can cause more toxins to have access to the skin surface which leads to inflammation, and irritation.
How to take a nice Epsom salt bath
- The first step is to run a warm bath
- Add 1 – 3 cups of the salt in your water. Use half a cup for children
- Then enter your body into the water or apply it on the affected part only. However, you need to soak for at least 10 to 40 minutes.
- After taking your bath, rinse your body then pat your body gently with a dry and clean towel. Then follow with your favorite moisturizer or oil to lock the entire benefits of this treatment.
Is Epsom salt suitable for infants/children
Generally, sodium is dangerous for infants or children. But Epsom salt is not like the common table salt. It is magnesium sulfate and does not contain chloride or sodium that can be harmful to children. Many can attest to Epsom salt actually helping their child outgrow eczema in the long term.
There is no problem bathing your infant or children with Epsom salt. Washing them twice every week can help to calm and soothe your baby. The salt contains magnesium which isn’t present in most of the food we eat. So it is okay to get it from another source.
Is Epsom Salt good for Eczema? That is the question a lot of people are asking. And this post seeks to provide a concrete answer to that question. Epsom salt is useful for treating eczema. It is not only comfortable but safe to use. There is no report of toxicity of magnesium, a mineral that the salt contains. This salt is found in a good number of beauty products too.