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 is only minimally absorbed through the skin, and there’s no scientific evidence to date that shows that it actually increases magnesium levels in the body. But Epsom salt can ease pain related to inflammation, which 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 ease pain from gout, eliminate odor, and help treat infection. More research is needed to support these claims.
To use Epsom salt in a foot soak, consider the following steps:
Fill a basin or foot spa with enough warm water to cover the feet up to the ankles.
Add half or three-quarters of a cup of Epsom salt to the water.
Place the feet in the soak for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Dry thoroughly after the soak and then moisturize the feet.
An Epsom salt foot soak can dry out the feet, so it is best not to do it every night. Try soaking the feet once or twice a week to make sure it does not cause dryness.
BENEFITS OF SOAKING FEET IN SALT WATER
1 Reducing odor
Any type of foot soak might help reduce odor and clean the feet. Keeping the feet clean and free from bacteria is beneficial for overall foot health.
2 Easing inflammation
While some advocates claim that an Epsom salt foot soak removes toxins from the body, there is no strong evidence to confirm this. However, the absorption of the magnesium through the skin may boost the levels of the mineral in the body and decrease inflammation. Reducing inflammation may ease pain and stiffness associated with conditions, such as arthritis and gout.
3 Exfoliating the skin
The crystallized compound structure of Epsom salt provides exfoliation of the dead skin on the feet. The foot soak may help decrease roughness and leave the feet softer
4 Decreasing symptoms of athlete’s foot
According to the Epsom Salt Council, Epsom salt does not kill the fungus that causes athlete’s foot. However, it may help draw the moisture out, which makes the environment less inviting for fungus.