Epsom salt is a commonly used home remedy. These salts, named after the town of Epsom, England, consist of the minerals magnesium and sulfate. Soaking feet or joints in warm water mixed with Epsom salt is touted to soothe joint pain, and also to treat swollen feet and ankles, sore muscles, arthritis and skin disorders. While there is limited research on the benefits or mechanism of action of this home remedy, soaking your feet in Epsom salt may improve your symptoms. However, not all swelling is improved by heat or foot soaks, so persistent swelling needs to be evaluated by a doctor.
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Epsom Salt Foot Soaks
Add Epsom salt to warm water. Use one-half cup of this salt in a plastic basin large enough to hold your feet, or use 1 to 2 cups Epsom salt if using your bathtub. Wait 2 to 3 minutes for the Epsom salt to dissolve. If the salts are not dissolving, stir the water with your hands or add warmer water.
Place your affected foot, or both feet if preferred, into the plastic basin or bathtub. Make sure your swollen ankle is completely covered by the water and salt.
Soak for at least 20 minutes, then pat your feet dry. Soak once a day until your ankle is no longer swollen. Add lotion to your feet afterwards, if preferred, if you notice your skin dries out from the salt soaks.