Epsom salt is an age old remedy for muscle aches and stress. It is a natural compound in crystallized form which is loaded with magnesium sulfate. Soaking feet in an Epsom salt bath allows your skin to absorb magnesium. In particular, people who work on their feet all day find relief from Epsom salt foot soaks for foot related complaints, pain and aches and muscle soreness.
Benefits of Epsom Foot Baths
Magnesium is an important micro-nutrient essential for various biological processes. Magnesium deficiency is linked to several inflammatory disorders in humans.
Topical magnesium delivery is one of the oldest forms of therapy for skin diseases, for example Dead Sea therapy and Epsom salt baths. This clinical study has been conducted to estimate the extent of magnesium ion permeation through human skin depending on the concentration and time of exposure. 30 minutes soaking produces favorable result.
Epsom salt foot soak may provide the following benefits:
Decreasing symptoms of athlete’s foot While Epsom salt does not kill the fungus that causes athlete’s foot, it may help draw the moisture out, making the environment less inviting for fungus.
Easing inflammation The absorption of the magnesium through the skin may
boost the levels of the mineral in the body
ease pain and stiffness associated with arthritis and gout.
Exfoliating the skin The crystallized compound structure of Epsom salt supports easy exfoliation of the dead skin on the feet. The foot soak may help decrease roughness and leave the feet softer.
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.
For most people, the Epsom salt foot soak is safe. An Epsom salt foot soak can dry out the feet, so it is best not to do it more than once or twice weekly.
Individuals who have diabetes, those who suffer from very dry skin and have open wounds or sores should avoid foot soaks, as bath salts can dry out the skin, leaving the feet more prone to cracks and raise the risk of infection. Read more about the risks of Epsom foot soaks with diabetes.
A foot soak may not always provide the desired relief from certain foot problems. Consider seeing a healthcare provider if you are experiencing following symptoms:
prolonged tenderness after a foot injury
foot pain that does not go away in a week
swelling or redness of the foot
How To Prepare and Take Epsom Foot Baths
According to the Arthritis Foundation, for best results, the water temperature should be between 92°F and 100°F.
Fill an adequately sized plastic container or a foot spa with enough amount of warm water to cover your feet up to the ankles.
Chemically, all Epsom salt is the same, but it is available in different grades. You may want to prefer using USP designated product which indicates that the product meets the FDA specs.
Add half to 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.
Make sure to moisturize your feet thoroughly after the foot bath.
One last good information for everyone, especially for those who work on their feet... Foot reflexology massage spots.