You’re likely to have heard of the many magical remedies for eczema. You can heal yourself with healing crystals.
You may have also Googled your way through many other remedies for relief. Epsom salt baths are a common topic.
What’s the deal? Is Epsom salt effective in relieving itching and reducing symptoms? Here’s some information before you run some warm water.
Wait, what is Epsom salt exactly?
It won’t go on pasta. It’s technically not a salt. People often wonder why there are trust issues.
Epsom salt is a compound made up of sulfate and magnesium that is extracted from mineral water. This is the salt you will find in the personal care section next to soaps and bath products.
It is also the most commonly used ingredient in commercial bath scrubs and salts.
It is often used by athletes to dissolve in warm water to relieve sore muscles and joints. It can also be used to treat:
- Poison ivy
- Bug bites
Ok, cool, but is it able to help with eczema?
Let’s be honest: Although there is some evidence that Epsom salt can relieve eczema symptoms, there isn’t any scientific proof.
Many people suffering from eczema still swear by Epsom salt baths. The Epsom salt baths could have a placebo effect or simply the soothing effects of warm water.
It could also be possible that there is something else. Science is still not there.
We need more science
A 2017 Review found that further research is needed to draw a conclusion about the topical use of Epsom salt. There’s also little-to-no research on the use of Epsom salt to treat eczema specifically.
According to the National Eczema Association, soaking in a warm bath and then moisturizing immediately afterward is the best way for your skin to stay hydrated (no Epsom Salt required).
If in doubt, take a hot bath
Whether you are salty or not, a bath according to the NEA’s instructions may be helpful in relieving pain. Here are some suggestions:
- Allow the water to cool down for five to fifteen minutes. Do not use hot water as it can dry your skin and make symptoms worse
- You can use a mild cleanser without any fragrances or colors. For an eczema flare up, soap or antibacterial cleanser is too harsh.
- Avoid using a washcloth or loofah to scrub your skin. This can lead to sensitivity.
Bath round 2: Epsom salt edition
Even though there isn’t enough science to support it, Epsom salt baths are a good idea. So, YOLO. Here’s how to try it:
- Warm water should be added to the tub. Add 1 to 2 cups Epsom salts.
- For approximately 15 minutes, soak in the tub.
- Repeat the process 2 to 3 times per week.
You can purchase pure Epsom Salt, but there are many bath products that contain Epsom salt as the key ingredient. You should avoid any scents or dyes, as they can worsen your eczema symptoms.
Instead, choose a product that contains soothing ingredients such as oatmeal or natural oil.
How to relax after a bath (and relieve symptoms).
Your work is not finished when you get out of the tub. Here are some ways to increase the soothing effects of your bath.
- You can lightly pat your skin with a towel. This helps retain moisture.
- Do you have a prescription for eczema medication This is the right time to use it.
- After drying off, moisturize your entire body for 3 minutes.
- Do not put on clothes until the moisturizer has fully absorbed.
Are you addicted to eczema treatments?
It is possible to try other common remedies for eczema. These are the ones that the NEA recommends.
- Bath oils that are gentle and fragrance-free can increase moisture and help with relaxation. Be careful, they can make your tub slippery.
- Baking soda (a quarter of a cup) can be used in the bath to relieve itching.
- A colloidal oatmeal bath may fight that pesky eczema itch.
- A half-cup of table salt may be enough to soothe severe flare-ups.
- One cup vinegar could kill bacteria that causes outbreaks.
Bath oils can be mixed with essential oils. But, the research is limited on how effective essential oils are for .eczema . They can sometimes even be irritating. Before you use any essential oil new to your body, always do a “patch test”.
Pruning up? Potential side effects
Eczema symptoms can be relieved by taking a short, 2-3 times per week bath. However, too much or too frequently soaking in the tub could make things worse. Although it might seem tempting to soak in a book, this will not be good for your skin.
You should stop using Epsom salt and other soaps if you have any allergic reactions. Talk to your dermatologist to determine what might be wrong.
You’ve gone too far if your fingers and toes look like raisins. To be safe, set a timer.
Epsom salts are not proven to be effective in treating eczema symptoms. Yet it’s still worth giving them a shot.
A bath with baking soda or oatmeal might be a good idea. You should not bathe for more than 20 minutes a day, as this can worsen your symptoms.
Talk to your dermatologist if you have an allergic reaction or if your eczema worsens.