Epsom salts are distilled from naturally occurring minerals in water. You can find Epsom salts at most grocery stores and drug stores. They are most commonly used for bath salts and they have been shown to have positive health benefits for the body, especially the feet. In this blog post we are going to quickly introduce the benefits of using Epsom salts for your feet.
Epsom Salt Foot Soak
Your feet carry a heavy load every day and are the most neglected part of the body. They support the weight of the body and often suffer from dry skin and muscle tenderness caused by shoes. You can soothe your tired, achy feet by soaking them in an Epsom salt footbath. To do this you will need to add a half-cup of salts to a small tub that holds enough warm water to cover the feet up to the ankles. You may soak feet for up to an hour. This will relieve muscle pain and stiffness, softens the skin and also neutralizes any foot odors. Doctors recommend Epsom salt footbath treatments for foot muscle pain due to arthritis, diabetes and athletic injuries.
Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Fungal Epsom Salts
Epsom salts also have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and can help to treat foot and toe fungal conditions such as athlete’s foot. Cleansing the feet is very important for individuals who have diabetes and other disorders that cause slow healing and decreased immunity to infections. You can make a cleansing and exfoliating paste by mixing a few tablespoons of Epsom salts with water or baby oil. It will help to remove dead skin cells and bacteria on the feet. Be sure to exfoliate gently as the salts can scratch your skin if you rub too harshly.
Although there are many health benefits for using Epsom salts, if you use them in excess, it can result in dried, cracked skin on the feet. Only use footbaths two to three times a week for durations of 30 minutes to one hour. If you have very dry skin, you should try using less Epsom salts and massaging feet with olive oil or moisturizer after drying them.
If you feel that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of a foot or ankle ailment, come see Dr. Woolley, DPM at the Utah Foot and Ankle Institute. Please call to make an appointment (801) 409-2100.