Whether your feet are continuously stuffed in dress shoes or you’re an avid runner, you’ve probably noticed your feet hurting after a long day. Fortunately, there’s an inexpensive solution that will have your feet feeling fabulous after the first treatment. You may even have all the essential ingredients at home already.
What is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt isn’t actually salt at all. It’s a compound of magnesium, oxygen, and sulfur that looks like salt. The compound was initially discovered in England and entered local medicine as a purported cure-all for everything from arthritis to fibromyalgia. Unfortunately for you, many of these beliefs have not been substantiated in modern medical research. However, the benefits for your feet are undeniable.
Why is Epsom Salt Excellent for Feet?
Epsom salt must dissolve in water for mineral availability. In the case of footbaths, your purpose becomes two-fold. The warm water causes blood vessels to expand, delivering relief for your swelling and inflammation. The salt, meanwhile, releases both sulfur and magnesium. These two elements soften up your callused skin and have some antibacterial properties. Your new skin softness increases the effectiveness of other treatments for everything from athlete’s foot to ingrown toenails as well.
How Do You Make an Epsom Salt Footbath?
Creating your own Epsom salt footbath is an easy task. All you need to gather are some salts, a container big enough for your feet, and warm water. It’s crucial you use warm, but not scalding water since you’ll be submerging your feet in it. Place the water in your bucket and then add ½ to 1 cup Epsom salts depending on how much water you used. Give it a gentle stir, and you’re ready to submerge your aching feet. You can go as short as five minutes or as long as half an hour for maximum benefits. After your footbath, make sure to dry your feet thoroughly.
How Frequent Can You Run the Footbath?
You can run an Epsom salt footbath up to three times a week. It’s essential to examine the skin on your feet regularly. If it becomes cracked or extremely dry, cut back on your footbath frequency. One way you can avoid skin cracking involves adding moisturizer immediately following each bath.
If you have certain medical conditions that cause poor circulation or nerve damage, please consult with your doctor before beginning an Epsom salt footbath routine.
Are There Any Other Benefits?
There are many different claims about the holistic benefits of Epsom salt out there. However, there is little peer-reviewed science backing up these claims. One of the more common claims you’ll see on the web is that an Epsom salt footbath draws toxins out of your body. While the skin permeability of magnesium is currently under study, there’s simply nothing to back up detoxes.
While the holistic claims may sound fantastic, the truth is your Epsom salt footbath is proven to soften up your skin and supplies some minor inflammation relief. Whether you’re running a marathon or rocking high heels every day, there are more than enough benefits to call for a relaxing soak.