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There is limited scientific evidence to suggest Epsom salt may benefit eczema. According to anecdotal evidence, bathing in natural salts may help relieve symptoms, so a person may wish to try this home remedy alongside topical treatments.

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This article is about using Epsom salt to treat eczema symptoms. After detailing the possible benefits of this kind of salt, it will discuss how to use Epsom salt in a bath. It will also look at other ways to treat eczema symptoms.

Anecdotal evidence suggests people may reduce the severity of their eczema symptoms by soaking any affected skin in baths containing Epsom salt.

This may help with the following symptoms, which are common with eczema:

However, as a 2019 review explains, no convincing scientific studies have found Epsom salt to help with eczema symptoms.

Learn more about the possible benefits of an Epsom salt bath.

There are no official medical guidelines on how to use Epsom salt in a bath.

However, people who wish to try using Epsom salt in their bath can follow these steps:

  • use 2 cups of Epsom salt per gallon of water
  • pour the Epsom salt into lukewarm water
  • soak in the water for 10–15 minutes, the recommended bathing duration for people with eczema according to the National Eczema Foundation

People should be aware that scientists do not know the optimal bathing duration for people with eczema. They also do not know how frequently people with eczema should have Epsom salt baths.

Epsom salt is available in stores and online.

General bathing recommendations

Following the general guidelines of bathing once daily for up to 20 minutes may benefit the skin of people with eczema.

Bathing and showering allow people to wash away things that may worsen eczema symptoms, such as:

  • sweat
  • dust
  • pollen
  • microbes

The 2019 review also recommends people clean their skin thoroughly during a bath by carefully and gently removing any crusts that can form on the affected skin.

However, experts do not recommend strong rubbing or scrubbing during or after a bath, as this can cause skin damage.

Epsom salt is a salt that contains magnesium sulfate. It is very different from ordinary edible salt, which contains sodium chloride.

Research from 2022 suggests that magnesium is an essential element for good health.

No current scientific research suggests that soaking in Epsom salt baths could cause hypermagnesemia, a condition where a person has too much magnesium in their blood.

Other research from 2017 supports this, reporting that there is no evidence magnesium can enter the bloodstream via the skin.

A 2019 review recommends that people with eczema dry their skin with a soft towel after a bath and avoid using certain products on their skin, such as perfumes and other cosmetics.

The National Eczema Association recommends people with eczema moisturize their skin within 3 minutes of a bath.

It also suggests people with eczema moisturize twice daily. However, it may be useful to moisturize more frequently during acute eczema flare-ups.

One 2019 review states that some bath additivities can improve the efficacy of pharmacological eczema treatments. These bath additives include:

However, other research remains unconvinced about the efficacy of such bath additives.

Another 2019 review calls for more research on this topic as there is a lack of quality trials to support using these additives to treat eczema.

According to a 2021 review, topical pharmacological treatments for eczema include steroid creams and anti-inflammatory drugs. The purpose of these medications is to prevent and manage eczema flare-ups.

There is strong evidence that topical steroids can help with long-term and short-term eczema symptoms. Other treatments include topical calcineurin inhibitors, which are also very effective at treating eczema in children and adults.

No current scientific research suggests that Epsom salt can help with eczema symptoms. The same is true of other bathing additives, such as Dead Sea salt.

However, bathing in lukewarm water daily without additivities may improve symptoms of eczema and reduce the frequency of flares.

Experts recommend that people with eczema moisturize twice daily and avoid using chemicals, fragrances, or other products with irritants that may trigger a flare.