Can Epsom Salts Help Treat Eczema?

If you live with eczema, you're well aware of how uncomfortable it can be. The skin of someone who has eczema can become itchy, dry, swollen, and cracked. Scratching can make the skin even more irritated (per Mayo Clinic).

People with a family history of eczema may be more likely to develop the condition themselves, which often appears during childhood and may continue into adulthood. Eczema can flare up in response to triggers like soap, food allergies, dry and cold conditions, or hair from animals, according to the National Health Service (NHS). During periods of high stress, the symptoms of eczema may also worsen. 

There are a number of treatment options for eczema, ranging from medications to self-care practices. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are creams, gels, and ointments available for relieving itchy skin.

A person with moderate to severe eczema could try the monoclonal antibodies Dupixent and Adbry, which have shown promising results in some studies. These monoclonal antibodies have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in treating eczema (per WebMD). 

Bathing the skin and keeping it moisturized is also key to managing eczema. Because people with eczema tend to have dry skin, it's recommended to bathe or shower in lukewarm water at least once a day using a gentle cleanser instead of soap (per National Eczema Association). You may be wondering if you can use Epsom salts in your bath, and whether they could help to relieve your eczema. 

Do Epsom salts help relieve eczema symptoms?

Can Epsom salts help to soothe your itchy skin or will they only irritate it further? According to Medical News Today, there have been mixed results on whether Epsom salts are beneficial for treating individuals with eczema. There's anecdotal evidence to suggest that baths with Epsom salt may have some success in relieving eczema symptoms, but a 2019 review published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology found a lack of evidence to support this claim. 

Taking an epsom salt bath might help reduce stress and anxiety, which may be comforting for someone with eczema (per MyEczemaTeam). Because stress has been linked to the worsening of eczema symptoms, the stress relief provided by Epsom salt baths could potentially reduce the risk of a flare-up.

If you have eczema, it's wise to consult with your healthcare provider before taking Epsom salt baths. In addition, you should refrain from taking an Epsom salt bath if your skin is inflamed or infected to avoid further irritation.

The National Eczema Association recommends applying high-oil content moisturizer on your skin twice per day, and not scrubbing the skin with a washcloth or loofah while bathing.

If you're interested in bathing with Epsom salts, you can add 2 cups of Epsom salt per one gallon of lukewarm water, and sit in the water for 10 to 15 minutes, according to Medical News Today. Keep in mind that there's no consensus among scientists about how often someone with eczema should bathe with Epsom salts.