Discover the benefits of Epsom salt foot baths.
Epsom salt is a popular remedy for muscle aches and stress. People use Epsom salt foot baths for several foot-related ailments.
Epsom salt is a natural compound that contains magnesium sulfate and has a crystallized structure. People have used Epsom salt for hundreds of years to treat a variety of ailments, including pain. However, the research supporting many of the medicinal claims is limited.
Theory suggests that soaking your feet in an Epsom salt bath allows your skin to absorb magnesium, which could help treat various foot problems. Some small studies support these claims, but scientists need to do more research to confirm the effectiveness of Epsom salt foot baths.
This article looks at the benefits and risks, and explains how to use an Epsom salt foot bath. He also talks about alternative foot soaks.
Do you want to have better health in your feet?
Epsom foot soaks can help relieve sore muscles.
Typically, people add Epsom salt to a bath or use an Epsom salt foot soak to relieve sore muscles.
Some small studies suggest that soaking in an Epsom salt bath may allow magnesium to penetrate the skin. One study found that magnesium penetrates the outer layer of the skin depending on the concentration of the salt and how long a person soaks in it.
Some people believe that soaking the feet can rid the body of toxins and heavy metals, although the evidence is conflicting.
Absorption of magnesium through the skin from an Epsom salt foot soak may provide the following benefits:
According to the Epsom Salt Council, Epsom salt does not kill the fungus that causes an athlete’s foot. However, it can help draw out moisture, which makes the environment less attractive to fungi.
Although some proponents claim that an Epsom salt foot soak removes toxins from the body, there is no strong evidence to support this. However, absorption of magnesium through the skin can increase levels of the mineral in the body and decrease inflammation. Reducing inflammation can relieve pain and stiffness associated with conditions such as arthritis and gout.
The crystallized composite structure of Epsom salt provides exfoliation of dead skin on the feet. Foot soaks can help reduce roughness and leave your feet softer.
Any type of foot soak can help reduce odor and clean feet. Keeping your feet clean and free of bacteria is beneficial to your overall foot health.
For best pain relief, a foot soak should be between 33°C and 37°C.
The footbath consists of immersing the feet in hot water. According to the Arthritis Foundation, water temperatures between 33°C and 37°C are best for pain relief.
To use Epsom salt in a foot soak, consider the following steps:
Add one-half to three-quarters of a cup of Epsom salt to the water.
3 . Soak your feet for about 20 or 30 minutes.
An Epsom salt foot soak can dry out your feet, so it’s best not to do it every night. Try soaking your feet once or twice a week to make sure it doesn’t cause dryness.
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Be sure to buy Epsom salts and foot baths intended for human use. All Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate, but manufacturers make a range of salts for different purposes. Chemically, all Epsom salts are the same, but they are available in different grades.
Look for Epsom salt that has the USP designation on the label. The USP indicates that scientists have tested the product for human use and that it has met the safety standards established by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or in the European case the European Medicines Agency ( EMA ).
The right Epsom salt for foot soaks can be purchased at pharmacies, health food stores, and online.
For most people, an Epsom foot bath is safe. But there are some cases in which it is better to talk to a health professional before using it. For example, people with very dry skin should avoid overusing foot baths because the salt can dry out the skin and make the feet more prone to cracks.
Foot soaks of any kind are not safe for people who have diabetes due to the increased risk of infection. Regular foot soaks can increase dryness, which can lead to cracks and increase the risk of infection. People who have open wounds or sores should also talk to their doctor before using a foot soak.
Read about the risks of Epsom foot baths with diabetes. Can people with diabetes use Epsom salts?
A foot bath may not provide enough relief for certain foot problems. Consider seeing a health professional if any of the following symptoms occur:
• prolonged tenderness after a foot injury
• foot pain that does not go away in a week
• swelling or redness of the foot
• open sores
When using essential oils, only a few drops are needed.
In addition to Epsom salt, other types of foot soak that contain different ingredients may help relieve pain and improve foot health. Little research has been done on their effectiveness, although some people find them helpful and most can use them safely. Alternative foot soaks include:
Adding baking soda to a foot bath can help exfoliate the skin, relieve itchiness, and cleanse feet. Try adding 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda to a basin full of hot water.
Use 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar to soak your feet. Vinegar helps kill bacteria and also reduces foot odor. It can also slow down the growth of fungus.
Add a few drops of olive oil to warm water for a moisturizing foot bath. Olive oil not only relieves dryness but also contains antioxidants that can soften skin.
Some people may find that various essential oils can help when added to a foot soak, including peppermint, rosemary, and wintergreen. Essential oils can reduce dryness, and soreness, and provide a cooling sensation to relieve pain. When it comes to essential oils, a little goes a long way. Simply add a few drops of the oil to a bowl of hot water.
Although research is limited, it indicates that the skin may absorb magnesium. Possible benefits of an Epsom salt foot soak include reduced itching, decreased inflammation, and reduced pain.
The risks of using an Epsom salt foot soak are minimal. For most people, it may be worth a try. But there are some cases when it’s best to avoid using a foot soak, including when a person has diabetes or has open sores on their feet.