Sunday, May 19, 2024

Does Epsom Salt Help Arthritis

So What Does Get Across The Skin Because Obviously Some Things Do

epsom salts for psoriatic arthritis

The skin is not a perfect barrier to all substances in all ways, which is obvious because of medicinal patches and creams, allergic reactions, and contact poisons. Some things do indeed get past that fibrous, fatty outer layer to interact with the living cells beneath, or even into the interstitial fluids and blood stream. How do they do it?

Size might matter. If molecules are small enough, they can slip through the skin like a small fish through a loose net. In 2000, Bos and Meinardi argued that a teensy enough molecule, smaller than an atomic mass of 500 Daltons, can drift through the stratum corneum27 the 500-Dalton rule. And the magnesium ions in an Epsom salt bath are way smaller than 500 Daltons, at a barely-there molecular weight of just 24 Daltons.

Im sure we can just stop there. Theres probably no debate or uncertainty about this, probably no other obscure and technical chemistry considerations. The magnesium is small enough to get through, case closed.

Ha ha, just kidding! As in sex, so too in chemistry: size is not the only thing that matters . Water molecules are also extremely tiny just 18 Daltons but recall from above that the skin is specifically structured to keep those teensy molecules out. And there are other ways to ban molecules. For instance, cells in the living layer of the skin take an active role in managing the passage of some substances.

Almost No Epsom Salt Science

A search for scientific evidence concerning Epsom salt baths is disappointing. There are basically no studies of their effect on body pain. There werent when I first tackled this topic in the early 2000s, and there still arent any as of 2020. There may never be.

Folk remedies are often neglected by researchers, but not usually so completely. There are usually at least a few experiments testing popular remedies kicking around. Why wouldnt the use of Epsom salts for muscle soreness be similarly blessed?

A crystal of magnesium sulfate heptahydrate Epsom salt.

There is plenty of research relevant to other medical uses of Epsom salts.6For instance, on my package of Epsom salts, instructions are also given for internal usage as a laxative which does work78 and is actually FDA approved9 and probably the most common and generally known medical usage. Other uses of magnesium sulfate include the treatment of magnesium deficiency,10 which causes irregular heart rhythm and cramps. A couple conditions that cause severe cramping or seizures, like eclampsia11 and tetanus,12 can be partially treated with magnesium. There will be more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of magnesium deficiency below.

There are also some incredibly bogus and crazy uses of Epsom salts. For instance, naturopaths may use it to try to dissolve gallstones which doesnt work, and can cause serious poisoning.


Epsom Salt The Magnesium

By Annie Price, CHHC

Athletes commonly use it for sore muscles while gardeners sprinkle it on plants to increase their growth. Were talking Epsom salt, of course. Epsom salt has a long history of diversified use and benefits for health, beauty, household cleaning and outdoor gardening.

So if youre wondering: Do Epsom salts actually do anything? Yes, they do. Epsom salt is a natural exfoliant and anti-inflammatory remedy that can be used to treat muscle aches, dry skin and even fight various internal health issues. Simply add Epsom salt to your next detox bath recipe or foot soak to create a luxurious and therapeutic at-home spa experience. Unlike other salts, external contact with Epsom salt does not leave the skin feeling dry. In fact, it actually leaves it feeling soft and silky.

Another huge benefit of this incredible salt is its magnesium content. According to a scientific review published in 2018, you can have a magnesium deficiency even when your serum magnesium levels are normal. In addition, its been found that most people need an additional 300 milligrams of magnesium per day in order to lower their risk of developing numerous chronic diseases.

This is just one of many reasons to add this salt to your routine.

Read Also: Where Can I Buy Arthritis Gloves

Epsom Salt For Arthritis

Epsom salt has been named after the bitter salt spring found at Epsom, England, where it was produced in the springs.

The name of the compound can be misleading at times as it is not an actual salt.

Instead, it is a type of mineral compound which is made up of magnesium and sulfate.

Epsom salt has been used for a long time for various health benefits and other purposes like beauty, gardening, etc.

It has also been used for treating various types of diseases and ailments.

The main components of Epsom salt are the magnesium and sulfate which play an important role in its unique healing properties.

The most common form in which Epsom salt is used is the Epsom salt bath in which the salt is mixed with the bath water.

The person should take this bath for some duration and the magnesium sulfate compounds get absorbed into the skin.

Magnesium is one of the major compounds required by the human body for everyday regulation of numerous pathways.

It is known to regulate more than 325 enzymes and pathways.

It is also required for other vital function like the proper functioning of muscles and nerves, preventing the arteries from hardening and reducing the amount of inflammation caused due to numerous health conditions including arthritis.

The sulfate found in the Epsom salt also plays a vital role in imparting medicinal properties to the compound.

Magnesium sulfate comes under the category of inorganic compounds.

Epsom salt can also be consumed as a part of the treatment .

What Features To Look For In Epsom Salt

Do Epsom salts help arthritis


Substances Bath salts include a broad range of ingredients. Pure salts include only one component, whereas others may contain various nutrients, extracts, and colors.

If you have allergies or skin issues, stay away from products with a long list of ingredients since they are more likely to upset you. But if you prefer fragrant, moisturizing salts, there are specific alternatives available that are produced entirely of natural materials, contain no chemicals, and maybe good for your skin. Many individuals claim that soaks containing arnica, menthol, or eucalyptus are the most helpful for pain relief.


The ideal way to soak in bath salts is up to you, but you do have an option. Some soaks come as a powder that froths up when mixed with water. Others will offer you big crystals that will dissolve when you put them in warm water. You could also see that certain salts have been transformed into a bath bomb shape, which looks lovely but disintegrates when submerged in water.


Epsom salts are usually sold in bags ranging from one to six pounds in weight. Since Epsom salt can cluster when exposed to moisture, we recommend using bags with resealable seals.

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Skin Is Definitely Waterproof

If Epsom salts get into the body, its definitely not by osmosis. Osmosis doesnt work through the skin, because skin is almost perfectly waterproof. If it werent, you would dehydrate like an earthworm on a sunny sidewalk. .

The top layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, consists of dead, dry cells stuffed with a kind of embalming substance, keratin, a fibrous protein. Water cant go through or around the keratin, thanks to a microscopic uniquely structured fatty layer between them, which no one knew existed until 2012.22 The presence and arrangement of lipids betwixt the keratin molecules results in exceedingly low permeability.23

There are routes past the stratum corneum, shunt pathways such as hair follicles and sweat glands, and some water molecules end up there, in contact with relatively naked cells but these are waterproof in their own right.

Plus we have glands that coat the skin in waterproofing oils! So theres that too. When those oils wash off, the dead skin cells can soak up a little water and swell a bit, like soaked beans.

Remember the main myth about osmosis, explained in detail above: osmosis is the movement of solvents across membranes, not the stuff dissolved in them .

What is waterproof is osmosis-proof by definition. The skin is an effective barrier to diffusion of water molecules and therefore of osmosis. This is not to say that nothing gets past the skin, just not much, and definitely not water.

Skin: also a booze barrier

What Are The Symptoms Of Knee Arthritis

While we are going to focus on arthritis knee pain relief with Epson salt baths in this post, we should take a quick look at the symptoms that knee arthritis causes. This will help you determine if you might be developing this condition, which means the treatment could commence at an early stage thus leading to more effective treatment measures.

Consumer Health Digest explains that the most common symptoms include pain that gets worse gradually, as well as inflammation. In some cases, the symptoms are accompanied by tenderness.

Popping sounds in the knee during movement, as well as a knee that locks up is also two signs that arthritis may be developing in the knee .

Furthermore, deformities and a reduction in the knees range of motion also signals the development of this condition.

Recommended Reading: Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes

Selected Questions And Answers

Some questions too common to ignore some questions too funny not to try to answer and one or two that are just good questions.

Q. Why would the FDA allow studies to be published that show Epsom salts are more effective than their muscle relaxers and pain pills? For $1/lb of epsom salt this would kill their market and profits.

A. Industry protectionism for baths? Preposterous! The FDA has literally nothing to do magnesium sulfate research. Any Big Pharma/FDA conspiracy against Epsom salt is clearly failing, because the stuff is available literally everywhere, and the FDA actually approves it for use as a laxative and a variety of external uses. Approval seems like kind of a funny way of implementing an anti-salt agenda. In short, this question is just knee-jerk anti-mainstream medicine paranoia based on major misunderstandings of what the FDA is and how it works. Nevertheless, it is a concern Ive often see expressed, so I decided it was time to address it here.

Ironically, if there is any relevant commercial bias, it is one in favour of Epsom salts. For instance, the Epsom Salt Council exists to promote the industry and is eager to let everyone know the benefits of our product and spread the word about the wonder that is Epsom salt. They prominently publish uncritical and unequivocal claims of medical benefit on their website.

Do not try at home

Q. Why does the bag of epsom salts warn that diabetics should not take baths with epsom salts?


Some Tips To Get The Best Epsom Salt Detox Bath

Epsom Salt for Arthritis
  • Talk to a Professional: You can enjoy an Epsom Salt bath but, it is best to talk to your doctor about it. They can recommend the best techniques to detoxify your body, and can also determine whether your body is showing positive results after it or not.
  • Water Temperature: Epsom salt detox baths can work only if the bathwater is warm but not too hot. If the water is too hot, you might get a burn. But the water must be hot enough to make you sweat.
  • Hydration: The bath will make you sweat so you can drink plenty of water in advance so that you dont feel dizzy afterward. A great tip is to bring a bottle of water to keep you hydrated during the bath too so that you dont get too dehydrated. You can also keep a cool towel within an arms reach so that you can soak your face and your head if it gets too hot.
  • Duration: The standard for Epsom salt detox baths is around half an hour. You might feel lightheaded and have some nausea if you overdo it.
  • Put on a Bathrobe: If you put on a bathrobe or wrap around a thick and heavy towel right after your bath to keep you warm, the results will be better. It is best not to overdo the baths since drawing out all the toxins in one go can do you more harm than good.
  • Detox baths are great as a recreational activity. Not only can you destress, but you can also improve your metabolism, induce weight loss, remove toxins and let your body gain balance again. So it is a win-win situation in any case!

    Recommended Reading: How Did I Get Arthritis In My Knee

    Relating Epsom Salt And Fibromyalgia

    Fibromyalgia is a condition where patients are also allowed to do some home-based remedies to find relief from the chronic pain that they have.

    Based on a recent study, scientists have found that Epsom salt can help with the symptoms of fibromyalgia in healing the problems.

    Due to the high magnesium content in Epsom salt, when it is used for bathing or other purposes, the patients with fibromyalgia get great relief.

    Especially when they use it in the affected part, they are finding a good reduction in pain and use it as a remedy for their fibromyalgia conditions.

    In recent research made in Minnesota, it was found that people with fibromyalgia are found to have magnesium deficiencies causing severe chronic pain in their bodies.

    Related: Magnesium Deficiency a Possible Reason For Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

    In order to improve the quality of their life, scientists suggest the usage of Epsom salt in their day to day activity or even during their tough days.

    A research was carried out where people with fibromyalgia were given a spray bottle with contents rich in magnesium and they were asked to use it twice a day.

    Within a few days, their fibromyalgia condition was suppressed and they started to experience fewer symptoms.

    Doctors suggest the positive aspects of Epsom salt and advice the patients to use it on a regular basis.

    Welcome To Fight Fibromyalgia

    • Pin

    It has become quite common to explore more about the home remedies for fibromyalgia symptoms.

    There are many types of researches going on all over the world to find out the exact cause of fibromyalgia and also the remedies for the same.

    However, a recent study has provided surprising results in terms of the findings it has made.

    During the researches, scientists already found out that c deficiency can be one of the main reasons for fibromyalgia.

    Though it is not sure, there are some best effects seen in patients who are soaked in Epsom salt.

    Related: Home Remedies and Natural Herbs For Fibromyalgia

    Read Also: Can You Get Arthritis From Popping Your Fingers

    Maintain A Healthy Weight

    According to the Arthritis Foundation, each pound of body weight puts the equivalent of three to six pounds on joints. Weight loss can go a long way in alleviating joint pain and OA prevention. This may also be helpful for people with OA in their knees and hips, as these joints bear a lot of weight.

    For Better Sleep Quality

    14 Home Remedies for Arthritis &  Joint Pain

    Along with anxiety, Dr. Mattox recommends Epsom salt baths to her patients dealing with insomnia or other sleep-related complaints. Based on self-reporting by patients in her practice , she has found that those who take Epsom salt baths report feeling calmer, more relaxed, and find it easier to fall asleep. And again, even if this is because of the placebo effect and not actual magnesium absorption, she still considers it a win.

    “As a physician, I want my patients to sleep better and have less pain,” Dr. Mattox says. “If baths can help relax your muscles, reduce your stress and can be a great part of a nightly bedtime ritual that sets you up for a great night’s sleep with less pain, then count me in to recommend it with some Epsom salt.”

    Read Also: What Type Of Doctor Handles Arthritis

    For Foot Care And Pain Relief

    Bruce Pinker, DPM, a board-certified podiatrist and foot surgeon and the founder and owner of Progressive Foot Care in White Plains, N.Y., recommends Epsom salt soaks nearly every day to his patients. “Epsom salt has been available for consumer usage for decades, and Epsom salt soaks can be very beneficial to sore, injured feet,” he says.

    Again, at this point there’s no research-based evidence that magnesium can be absorbed through the skin, but because of results they’ve seen in their own practice, doctors routinely prescribe it to deal with a wide range of foot-related health issues.

    “As a general rule, I recommend two tablespoons be added to a quart of room temperature waterenough water to cover the top of the foot,” Dr. Pinker explains. “Mix the solution and soak the sore and injured foot/feet for 20 minutes.” He advises that people with arthritic feet do these soaks every six to eight hours as needed to provide relief from pain. The Epsom salt foot baths can also help reduce the pain and itching from Athlete’s foot, although he says that topical antifungals are usually necessary, as well.

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    Can You Wash Your Hair In A Bath With Epsom Salts

    Epsom salt may be a good addition to your hair care routine. It may add volume to oily hair types, and definition to dry hair types. Its magnesium might also nourish and strengthen your hair and scalp. Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is safe to use on your hair.

    Furthermore, What toxins does Epsom salt remove? Low levels of magnesium can ease the pain in people with arthritis. Epsom salt contains magnesium and may help the body get rid of toxins responsible for exacerbating inflammation while also reducing swelling, stiffness, and pain.

    Secondly, How long should you soak in a bath with Epsom salt?

    Soak for at least 15 minutes. If youre soaking in an Epsom salt bath for aches and pains, make sure not to use water thats too hot. This might worsen instead of reduce swelling.

    Do Epsom salt baths help you lose weight?

    Theres no evidence that Epsom salt baths are effective. At most, 1 hour in a hot bath may help you burn about 130 calories. This is the same as a 30-minute walk, but without the benefits of building physical strength or endurance. Reports of weight loss may also be due to sweating and loss of water weight.

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