Is Salt Water Good For Eczema?

While extended time submerged in salt water may be drying for some skin types, short, controlled dips do provide benefits for those with eczema. Here are a few reasons why.

For those wishing to reap the benefits of a salt water soak without the trip to the beach, try a DIY salt water spray. Simply mix a teaspoon of sea or Himalayan salt with a cup of distilled water in a spray bottle and spritz the solution onto your skin.

Reduces Inflammation

If you’re suffering from eczema, itching can be so intense that it causes pain and even leads to ulcers. But what many people don’t know is that salt water can actually help relieve itching by reducing inflammation and soothing the skin.

The reason why is simple: the salt in a pool acts as a natural exfoliant, which helps to remove dead skin cells that can contribute to itching. Additionally, the minerals in salt water like magnesium and calcium are known to reduce inflammation and promote healing of the skin.

This is why it’s important to know how your body reacts before jumping into the ocean or a salt water pool. Although chlorine can aggravate eczema, it’s not the cause of the condition, which is believed to be caused by bacterial imbalances in your skin microbiome and an overactive immune response.

To get the benefits of a salt water soak without having to be in the ocean or a pool, try adding a cup of mineral-rich dead sea or Epsom salt to your bath. And don’t forget to moisturize afterwards!

Eczema can be triggered by a variety of things, from sudden temperature changes to hard physical activity. But it’s also been found that your diet can play a role in whether you develop the condition or not. If you have a history of eating foods high in sodium or food dyes, you may want to consider cutting them out to see if your symptoms improve.

Promotes Healing

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) can be very difficult to treat. Many people with eczema find that regular salt water baths help their skin to feel better. This is because salt water helps to moisturize the skin, and also it has antiseptic properties that prevent infections in areas of broken, oozing eczema. This is why dermatologists recommend regular salt water baths to their eczema patients.

A salt water pool is becoming more popular than traditional swimming pools for a number of reasons, including the fact that they use less chemicals and are easier to maintain. They also tend to be more soothing on the skin than traditional pools, especially in those with sensitive skin, such as eczema.

It is important to note that, just like chlorine, extended periods of time submerged in salt water can be drying on the skin and should not be done often, if at all. However, short, controlled ‘dips’ in salt water can have a beneficial effect on eczema, so long as the correct levels of salt are used.

If you want to try the benefits of salt water without a trip to the beach, simply add Dead Sea or Epsom salts to your bath. You can also make your own DIY salt water spray to spritz on wet oozing eczema patches when needed. This will moisturise the skin, ease itching and provide relief from inflammation.

Reduces Acne

Salt water has been reported to be an effective acne treatment, reducing excess oil and unblocking pores. Although, many dermatologists don’t recommend washing face with salt water as a daily routine because it can be drying for the skin. You can find salt water in a wide range of skincare products such as facial toners, bath salts, and body scrubs, which will probably get the approval of your dermatologist and be more gentle for your skin.

You can use a DIY solution of salt and water to wash your face or you can choose a cleanser that has been specially designed for people with sensitive skin, which will be more gentle. Make sure you moisturize after using salt water to prevent dryness.

Abrupt temperature and humidity changes can irritate the skin, so it is best to avoid going in and out of air-conditioned spaces. Dress in a few layers that you can remove as needed, and try to avoid sweating too much. Avoid perfumed bubble baths or bath products labelled as ‘medicated’, and don’t wear scratchy materials next to your skin (such as wool).

Relieves Itching

When people with eczema dip in salt water it can relieve itching. This is because of the natural antiseptic properties that help cleanse and prevent infection. It can also be a mild exfoliant, removing dead skin cells. However, salt can also be drying, removing moisture from the skin. Using a lotion after a dip in salt water can help counteract this effect.

Some people with eczema find that salt water bathing or a salt water spray can help reduce itching. If you have sensitive, damaged skin, be careful with salt water though. You don’t want to accidentally sting yourself. If you’re concerned about stinging, try using a lower concentration of salt or adding other ingredients to the bath to soften it. Make sure to rinse your skin and moisturize after bathing, as well.

Itching in eczema can often be triggered by stress, so finding ways to calm the mind can help alleviate itching. Meditation has been shown to help with this, as it can improve stress levels and reduce anxiety. Try a few minutes of guided meditation first thing in the morning or before bed, or practice your own technique.

Eating a healthy diet full of nourishing foods can help with itchiness in eczema, too. Try to eat plenty of fiber, fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables high in vitamin A. Avoid processed foods and additives, which can cause irritation.

Gregor Smith

Creator of EczemaFeed. Longtime sufferer who wants to make a change. The purpose is to provide trusted and useful information to those suffering from the dry red patches and itching of eczema, as well as those who care for those suffering from it. It includes the latest treatments, anecdotal user experience, and guidance on how to find products that may help relieve eczema symptoms.

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