Epsom Salt for Eczema – helps with rashes and itching

Epsom salt for eczema rashes and itch

Epsom salt is nothing like your regular salt (which is sodium chloride). Epsom salt is actually magnesium sulphate, both components having deeply beneficial properties for skin healing as well as overall health. We have used Epsom salt for eczema in our two warriors, and found that it really helps to relieve their itch, sooth their inflamed rashes, and calm their emotions.

What is Epsom salt

A bit of history

Epsom salt was first discovered in a town called Epsom in Surrey, England. The salt was harvested from the mineral-rich well waters, which was commonly used as a laxative, to treat constipation. Later, it was discovered that wading in these waters healed wounds faster, so it became a spa town, to which people flocked for the numerous health benefits brought forth by magnesium sulphate.

Now, Epsom salt is manufactured using the naturally occurring minerals of magnesium and sulphate. When Epsom salt is dissolved in water, both magnesium and sulphur get absorbed through the skin, and we reap their immense benefits:

  • Magnesium is one of the essential minerals required by our body, as it aids in hundreds of enzymatic reactions. These include metabolism of food, including proteins and fatty acids, transmission of nerve pulses, regulation of heart functions, and genetic maintenance. It also relaxes muscles, and relieves aches and pains. Magnesium improves our mood by calming anxiety and helping with depression. It is also essential to our bone health. More information can be found at www.medicalnewstoday.com.
  • Sulphur is another essential mineral. Just like magnesium, sulphur supports many enzymatic processes, including many metabolic functions. It maintains connective tissue, hence is important in wound healing of skin. It also helps the body to get rid of toxins, on top of being an effective anti-fungal and anti-inflammation agent. More information about the benefits of sulphur can be found here: articles.mercola.com. One of my previous articles discusses sulphur for treating infected eczema.

Why is Epsom salt for eczema so beneficial

The healing properties of Epsom salt for eczema is extended to us through various ways:

Drawing out impurities

Remember, eczema is not a simple skin issue. It is related to the gut, and what goes through the intestinal lining that circulates all around the body in the blood. Impurities and toxins will try to purge out through the skin if the other main elimination organs are stretched. It is also a sign of weakened immune system.

The secret to magnesium sulphate’s healing properties on eczema is its immense ability to flush out toxins and other undesirable substances from the body, including heavy metals. But also because of this detoxification, you may want to start slow on your Epsom salt baths, otherwise detoxification symptoms like headaches, weakness and fatigue may get uncomfortable.

Soothing on itch and inflamed rashes

Both magnesium and sulphur have anti-inflammatory properties. Hence they are able to settle red and angry rashes, reducing the itch from all the inflammation. This helps put a stop to the itch-scratch cycle, and gives the skin a much-needed break from open wounds, so it gets a chance to heal.

This linked study found low magnesium levels to be correlated to higher inflammation markers.

Calming on the mind

The state of the mind is a big factor when it comes to eczema triggers. Stress and anxiety can summon an itch fest like no other. Hence it is so important to calm your soul and mind, especially at bedtime, since sleep deprivation is another huge obstacle to eczema healing. I have co-slept with my eczema kids for years, I know how little restful sleep they really get, especially before we embarked on this natural healing journey. When they were in the midst of a flare, which could last from days (if we were lucky), to weeks or even months, never letting up, sleep was a word outside the dictionary.

In this linked study, magnesium has shown to be effective for depression in adults, without the need for close monitoring for toxicity. Once again, nature does heal.

Epsom salt bath recipe

Epsom salt bath for eczema

It really can’t get any simpler than this: 1-2 cups of Epsom salt to 1 full bathtub of lukewarm water.

The lukewarm water opens up the skin pores to allow the magnesium and sulphur to be absorbed. Do not use water that’s too hot, as it can irritate eczema skin. Soak for about 20 minutes, do not go much longer than that as the toxins may get reabsorbed.

Start with 1 cup of Epsom salt if you have not tried an Epsom salt bath before, as the detoxification effects may get too strong for comfort (headache, weakness, fatigue, dizzy spells, etc.). If you do not experience these, then your body is probably taking it well, so you may want to increase it to 2 cups of Epsom salt per bath.

If you’re preparing the Epsom salt bath for your child, in a small tub, then scale things down accordingly. You may want to start off with a tablespoon of Epsom salt, and adjust accordingly, depending on the child’s symptoms and comfort level.

Where to buy Epsom salt

Epsom salt can be easily found in supermarkets and pharmacies. Sometimes it is in the first aid section, as it can be used as a laxative (so do not ingest Epsom salt, unless under your doctor’s advice), or for treating muscle and joint pains. At times it can also be found in the bath section, but do get one that is purely magnesium sulphate, with no additives.

Our experience with Epsom salt

Just like our experience with apple cider vinegar baths, we get a strong foul smell (like sewage) in the used Epsom salt bath water, after our eczema warriors soaked in it for about 15 minutes. This occurred only during the period that they were going through topical steroid withdrawal. So we encountered, first hand, and in strong concrete ways, the detoxing effects of Epsom salt baths.

We use Epsom salt baths regularly, eczema flare or not. It leaves the kids’ skin smooth and cool to the touch, even during eczema flares, so we know it really does help in calming their inflammation. It helps them sleep better too, as they do not scratch so much.

On days with eczema flares, and without flares (just for maintenance of the skin), we pick from our repertoire of natural healing baths for eczema: Epsom salt bath, apple cider vinegar bathginger bath, or saltwater bath. When the skin gets infected, we boost up the immunity and antimicrobial effects with garlic water, which is usually enough to ward off the germs as well as the antibiotics that we do not like to take.

Final thoughts

Epsom salt for eczema is a great addition to your bedtime routine, as it helps get rid of the toxins so that your body can continue its healing and repairing jobs as you get some restful and itch-free sleep. Magnesium and sulphur are easily absorbed through your skin in the bath, so you get to reap the many important benefits of these essential minerals.

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12 thoughts on “Epsom Salt for Eczema – helps with rashes and itching”

  1. I have so many love ones with eczema, starting with my father and including cousins and aunts. Its very hard to hear the pain and discomfort they feel. I remember my cousin not wanting to go out to the beach during the summer times because of the sun. I did hear about Epson salt and even coconut oil to help eczema.

    • Hi Andrea, 

      My son too, is sometimes not keen on going out in the sun, only because the sweating that accompanies it stings his eczema and makes it uncomfortable, worsening the itch. But actually, getting out in the sun is very good for eczema skin, because it promotes production of Vitamin D. So do encourage your Cousin to get out in the sun more, and have a quick shower to wash off the sweat after that.

      I hope your family is able to find some relief for their eczema. 

  2. I was going to ask you about whether or not this could be taken diluted with water and digested, until of course I read that whole “laxative” effect. I guess that answers that one!

    One of my kids used to get eczema pretty bad, and we tried everything under the sun to get rid of it. Everything except Epsom salt! Needless to say, as soon as I talk to him, I’ll ship him to your site here to read up on it. Thanks for the details!

    • Hi Brian,

      Yeah you got the answer there, I really wouldn’t try drinking the Epsom salt. I hope this helps your kid relief some of his/her eczema symptoms.

  3. It’s so funny when you read something about a product you thought you were familiar with to find out so much more about it.  For example, who knew there was a place called Epsom that Epsom salt is named from?  I just get amazing at all I don’t know lol!  I was originally researching for my daughter-in-law who suffers with eczema, but now I’m thinking I might try that Epsom salt bath myself to draw out the toxins.  Great article and site – love it!    -Babs

    • Hi Babs,

      Thank you for your encouraging words. We’re all learning something new Everyday, that’s what life is all about! 

      Yeah Epsom salt does benefit everyone in general, I love to soak in it too, even though I don’t have eczema. It totally relaxes me for a good night of restful sleep.

  4. This article provided so much value and information that I didn’t know. I’m aware there’s a lot to learn about it and this article definitely outlines the benefits that, in my opinion, are not common knowledge. I definitely am going to try to recommend epsom salt to my loved ones who have tried many solutions. How long did you try it before seeing results?

    • Hi Ryan,

      I’m thrilled that you found the article useful. Epsom salt baths calm the skin inflammation and itch right away, for my kids. But to heal from eczema, we still need to look into the root cause: for some people it’s food allergies or vaccination, for others it could be a leaky gut or some environmental trigger.

  5. I love Epsom salts, especially the perfumed ones. They are so relaxing when having a bath, after a long day of work. Both of my daughters have eczema. We have never used Epsom salt for this. I will mention this to them as we have tried everything to help with the dry skin and such. 

    I never had any smell come from Epsom salt bathes, hope to never experience them either. Thanks for a new perspective on how these little salts can help with skin issues.

    • Hi Jag,

      I love a good soak in them too, helps me sleep better. Yes, please do suggest to your daughters to try using Epsom salt bath to relief some of their eczema symptoms. It has helped my children lots.

  6. So much information, thank you!

    Book marked.

    I  haven’t suffered with eczema, yet!  But if I don’t look after my body who knows!?  Can we be predisposed to, illnesses, skin issues, etc?  Yes of course,  but also,  it can be because of the environment we live in and of course how we treat our bodies. Your website is full of  informative knowledge and links to medical websites, which I read as well.  I can use your website as a preventative source of information!

    I don’t have a bath! I am deprived!  I will make a bath a priority in my next house! I have heard that Epsom salts  is great to add to your bath water, when you are aching and tired, but so many more benefits! 

    Thank you


    • Hi Michele,

      Thank you for taking time to check out those links, yeah I always try to back up my articles with research papers and studies, glad you like them. 

      Actually, there are lightweight portable baths around these days. If you like to get one. They fit an adult nicely, with drainage tap at the bottom so you can empty it easily.


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