Detox foot pads are pads that people apply to their feet. Manufacturers claim that they can draw out toxins, waste products, and heavy metals through the feet while a person sleeps, but scientific evidence has not confirmed this.

In this article, we discuss whether foot pads work. We also cover their possible benefits and side effects and list the best detox foot pads on the market.

A woman uses a foot detox pad as she believes they really do work.Share on Pinterest
There is no evidence that foot detox pads remove toxins from the body, but they may contribute to better sleep quality and help reduce pain.

Detox food pads are a product that companies claim will draw out impurities and toxins through the soles of the feet. A person places them on the feet before going to sleep so that they can take effect overnight.

There is currently no scientific evidence that detox foot pads work. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banned the marketers behind the detox foot pad brand Kinoki from selling several products after they ran adverts with false scientific evidence that the pads worked.

Kinoki claimed that their foot pads removed harmful substances from the body, including:

  • toxins
  • metabolic waste
  • heavy metals
  • chemicals

The body already has ways of getting rid of these harmful substances. For instance, the kidneys and liver eliminate waste and toxins from the body, and sweat glands also clear these substances when the body sweats.

The FTC found no evidence to support the claim that detox foot pads help the body clear out toxins and waste more effectively.

Similarly, they labeled as “false or unsupported” the claims that foot pads helped with the following:

Although there is no scientific evidence that detox foot pads work in the way that some companies claim they do, certain ingredients in the pads may be beneficial in other ways.

Some companies sell detox foot pads that contain ginger. Ginger may be useful for easing the symptoms of osteoarthritis, as it has anti-inflammatory properties.

A small 2014 study found that the topical application of ginger can relax and warm the skin. This study also found that it reduced the pain of chronic osteoarthritis.

Some detox foot pads also contain lavender essential oil. A 2015 study found that when people with self-reported sleep difficulties also practiced good sleep hygiene, lavender patches reduced fatigue during the day and also improved sleep quality.

Tourmaline is another ingredient that some companies use in detox foot pads. This mineral can emit far infrared radiation (FIR) when it is in the form of a fine powder.

A 2012 review of the scientific literature on FIR found some evidence that tourmaline powder may reduce pain for people with rheumatoid arthritis and painful menstrual periods. However, research on the health benefits of FIR is still in its early stages.

People who experience some benefits when using detox foot pads may find that these ingredients help them sleep and possibly reduce inflammatory conditions or pain.

Many detox foot pads contain wood or bamboo vinegar. Wood vinegar’s active ingredient is pyroligneous acid. When it comes into contact with the skin, pyroligneous acid can cause irritation and burns. The vapors can also lead to dizziness.

Some people may also have an allergic reaction in response to detox foot pads. Anyone who experiences side effects from using detox foot pads should stop using them immediately. If they experience difficulty breathing, they should call for emergency help.

There is no scientific evidence that detox foot pads work. The body naturally gets rid of waste products, toxins, chemicals, and heavy metals through the kidneys and liver and, to a lesser extent, through the sweat glands in the skin.

There is no evidence that foot pads draw anything out from the body. The FTC have already banned one company from advertising due to the false claims that they made about their product. The FTC found no proof that foot pads help with health conditions or weight loss.

Some ingredients in foot pads may provide other benefits, though. Ginger, tourmaline, and lavender may help with pain and sleep quality. However, other ingredients, such as wood or bamboo vinegar, may irritate the skin.