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What Are The Benefits Of An Epsom Salt Foot Bath?

Health Digest logo: MainLogo Health Digest 11/24/2022 Erin Marie
Feet soaking in salt bath © Radoslav Cajkovic/Shutterstock Feet soaking in salt bath

Thought to have been discovered in the town of Epsom, England nearly four centuries ago, Epsom salt is a natural compound composed of magnesium and sulfate, explains the Cleveland Clinic. While no formal research has been conducted that definitively confirms the health benefits of Epsom salt, the absorption of Epsom salt's magnesium sulfate ions through our skin via a warm bath is thought to promote relaxation, ease sore muscles, as well as alleviate stress, migraine pain, depression, anxiety, and more.

Interestingly, Epsom salt may also offer some unique benefits as it pertains to the health of our feet. For example, Healthline states that soaking our feet in Epsom salt might aid in exfoliation by removing dead skin cells from dry, rough feet.

Additionally, an Epsom salt foot bath might help dislodge a pesky splinter from below the skin's surface. After lessening inflammation, the skin is able to soften, making it easier for a splinter to be removed from the body.

This reduction in swelling may also promote healing from foot injuries, such as fractures (via Epsom Salt Council). Not only that, but for those who experience foot odor, a soothing Epsom salt foot soak can leave our feet smelling fresh and clean.

An Epsom Salt Bath May Help Relieve These Health Conditions

Skeletal outline of inflamed foot © staras/Shutterstock Skeletal outline of inflamed foot

In some cases, an Epsom salt foot bath may also help reduce symptoms of certain health conditions, such as gout, reports Healthline. Gout can prompt sudden surges of pain, swelling, redness, heat sensations in the affected joint, joint tenderness, and more (via Mayo Clinic).

A thorough foot soak may also support the treatment of fungal infections of the feet or toenails, per Healthline. While it isn't a cure-all for these conditions, and more research is needed to confirm its benefits, it may help promote healing and increase the effectiveness of prescribed medications.

Dr. Jeffrey Bowman, award-winning foot doctor and committee member of the American Podiatric Medical Association, tells the Epsom Salt Council that an Epsom salt foot bath can work wonders on our joints. "There are days when I might do a 14-mile run, and my knees, ankles and feet are pretty sore," Dr. Bowman tells the organization. "I'll soak for a good 15 to 20 minutes, and when I come out, my joints are looser and they don't hurt as much."

However, Dr. Bowman warns that people with diabetes should consult with their doctors before using Epsom salts.

If you're interested in giving an Epsom salt foot bath a try, Healthline suggests combining ½ cup of Epsom salt into a warm bath in which you can fully submerge your feet. Enjoy for 30 minutes to an hour up to two times weekly. Just remember to moisturize thoroughly afterward to keep your feet healthy and hydrated.

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