Does Dead Sea salt help with eczema?

For ages, people have bathed in the Dead Sea for medicinal purposes. People may now buy Dead Sea salt and utilize it at home. According to a few studies, this may help with eczema.

A prior study from 2011 revealed that a topical lotion mixed with Dead Sea minerals enhanced the skin barrier function in 86 children with eczema. However, there is currently no larger-scale research available.

People who want to try Dead Sea salt for eczema can buy the salts to dissolve in baths or use topical treatments containing the minerals.

Continue reading to find more about how and why Dead Sea salt could help with eczema, whether there are any hazards, and how to use it.

What is dead sea salt, and how does it work?

Dead Sea salt
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The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the planet and the world’s saltiest body of water. It has a long history of being thought to have medicinal powers.

Scientists are still attempting to figure out if and how it helps with certain ailments.

The Dead Sea water contains a variety of minerals, including:

Salt may be made by evaporating water from the Dead Sea, which includes these minerals. These salts are subsequently used in goods like bath salts, body lotions, and soaps by some corporations. Dead Sea mud is used in other goods.

Is Dead Sea salt good for eczema?

There hasn’t been much research on whether Dead Sea salt can help with eczema. Two studies, however, suggest that it may be advantageous.

Dead Sea salt bathing

A 2005 scientific experiment looked at the effects of swimming in Dead Sea water containing magnesium chloride on people with atopic dermatitis, a kind of eczema.

For 15 minutes, research participants dipped one forearm in a water solution containing 5% Dead Sea salts. They dipped the second arm in the sink.

The researchers evaluated their skin quality at the start of the trial and once a week for the next six weeks. They found that individuals who soaked their skin in Dead Sea salts had greater skin hydration and less symptoms of roughness and irritation at the conclusion of the trial.

Dead Sea salt cream

An prior clinical experiment from 2011 looked at the benefits of a Dead Sea mineral-enriched lotion on children with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis.

The participants were divided into three groups for the study. For 12 weeks, all groups applied a cream to their entire bodies twice daily, in the morning and evening. Each group, however, utilized a cream that included different ingredients:

  • One cream was a simple emollient moisturizer with no ingredients from the Dead Sea.
  • One cream contained Dead Sea water.
  • One cream contained Dead Sea mud.

The group that used the Dead Sea water cream had the greatest outcomes of all the groups. Over the course of the 12 weeks, this cream had the most favorable impact on the skin barrier. Improvements were seen in the other groups as well, but they were not as significant.

How might Dead Sea salt help with eczema?

The possible advantages of Dead Sea salt for eczema are thought to be owing to its mineral content, according to researchers.

The authors of the 2005 research hypothesize that the therapeutic impact of Dead Sea salt was due to magnesium, which may assist bind water to the skin and aid in skin restoration.

According to a 2020 research, the high magnesium content of Dead Sea salt contributes to its therapeutic characteristics. Magnesium, according to the authors, can:

  • promote skin barrier integrity
  • reduce inflammation
  • boost water retention in the skin

Zinc, which is used in numerous skin healing treatments due to its propensity to aid wound healing, is also found in Dead Sea salt.

Is there a danger in utilizing Dead Sea salt?

The subjects in the 2005 and 2011 investigations tolerated the Dead Sea minerals well. This component by itself is unlikely to cause negative effects in otherwise healthy people. There are, nevertheless, certain possible dangers.

Balneotherapy is the practice of bathing in mineral water. In general, this is a safe procedure with little adverse effects. These can include the following:

  • exfoliative dermatitis, which refers to the shedding of the top skin layer
  • infections
  • low blood pressure and fainting with prolonged immersion
  • skin irritation
  • itching

If a person uses Dead Sea salts at home, however, negative effects are less likely to occur since they may control how concentrated and hot the water is. Water that is extremely salty or extremely hot can be drying.

The Dead Sea has a high concentration of salt, around 34 percent. The 2005 research, on the other hand, only utilized a 5% concentration and still found a favorable impact.

Balneotherapy should not be used by some people. This comprises people with the following conditions:

  • severe anemia
  • an impaired sense of balance
  • drug or alcohol intoxication
  • a recent stroke or heart attack
  • open wounds
  • skin infections
  • acute arthritis or other acute inflammatory conditions
  • a current atopic dermatitis flare-up
  • weeping lesions
  • blisters or ulcers
  • pustular or erythrodermic psoriasis
  • epilepsy
  • cardiovascular disease
  • severe high or low blood pressure

Before adopting any home remedies for eczema, people should always see a doctor, since they are not good for everyone.

Best way to use Dead Sea salt for eczema

If your doctor thinks it’s okay, there are numerous methods to sample Dead Sea salt. People can take a bath with the salt or use topical items containing Dead Sea salt, water, or mud.

To use the salt in a bath, follow these instructions:

  1. Run a bath of warm, but not hot, water. For balneotherapy, the water temperature is usually in the range of 86–104°F (30–40°C).
  2. Add 1 cup of Dead Sea salts to the water and allow them to dissolve.
  3. Get into the bath and stay in the water for a short time. The National Eczema Association recommends that people with eczema limit baths to 5–10 minutes.
  4. After leaving the bath, pat the skin dry with a clean towel. Try not to rub or scratch the eczema.
  5. Gently apply an emollient to the skin immediately afterward.

If a person just has eczema on one part of their body, such as their feet or hands, Dead Sea salts can be used in a mini bath that specifically treats those regions. However, the salt should not be used as a scrub since it might irritate eczema-affected skin.

Another alternative is to use fragrance-free Dead Sea mineral creams or lotions on the skin. This should be done after washing to ensure that the cream remains on the skin as long as feasible.

Other natural solutions

There are several additional natural therapies that may assist with eczema in addition to Dead Sea salts. These are some of them:

  • Colloidal oatmeal: Colloidal oatmeal can be added to bathwater to help reduce itching. Alternatively, you may form a paste and use it as a therapy on your skin before washing it off.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar straight from the bottle is far too abrasive for skin application. Vinegar, when diluted in a safe amount of water, can assist in the killing of germs. To a full bath, people can add 1 cup to 1 pint (236–568 milliliters).
  • Coconut oil: According to research, coconut oil decreases the number of Staphylococcus germs on the skin, lowering the risk of eczema infection. Apply virgin or cold-pressed coconut oil to wet skin once or twice a day to attempt this cure.

Conclusion

According to a few studies, Dead Sea salt may help enhance the skin barrier’s function and minimize the obvious indications of eczema. Minerals like magnesium and zinc may have a role in the benefits. More current and large-scale research, however, are required to prove this.

There is now no proof that it performs better than medical therapies, although it may be a valuable complement to people’s eczema treatment regimens.

Despite the fact that Dead Sea salt is typically safe, it may not be suitable for everyone. Before using, a person should consult with a doctor.

Sources:

  • https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/305/1/012003/pdf
  • https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/treatment/
  • https://www.scirp.org/html/5-1050021_7247.htm
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/dead-sea-salt-for-eczema
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15689218/
  • https://dermnetnz.org/topics/balneotherapy
  • https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/84955/saltiest-pond-on-earth

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