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Health Benefits of Dead Sea Salt

Medically Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on May 28, 2021

If you haven’t tried using Dead Sea salt skin treatments, it may be time to give it a try. Dead Sea salt skin treatments can help you with a number of different skin conditions, such as psoriasis, inflammation, and dryness.

Read on to learn about what Dead Sea Salt is, its benefits, how you can use it, and more.

What Is Dead Sea Salt?

Dead Sea salt is salt from the Dead Sea in Israel, which is the saltiest and deepest lake in the world.

Known for its healing properties since Biblical times, Dead Sea salt has been used to treat various skin conditions, such as psoriasis, due to solar ultraviolet radiation found in the Dead Sea. 

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes itchy, red, scaly patches that appear on the body. They can appear all over the body, but most commonly appear on your elbows, knees, scalp, and trunk.

Benefits of Dead Sea Salt

Dead Sea Salt is great for your skin—it can boost skin health as well as treat various health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where your body's immune system attacks your own systems. It can cause inflamed joints and damage to other parts of your body, like your eyes, skin, and heart.

Boost skin health. Research has shown that the magnesium salts in Dead Sea water can boost skin health by treating inflammation.

In one study, participants with dry skin submerged one arm for 15 minutes in bathwater containing 5 percent Dead Sea salt. The second arm was then submerged in tap water to compare the two. 

One to six weeks later, the arms that were submerged in Dead Sea salt solution became smoother. Redness and dryness, which are signs of inflammation, also significantly decreased after the Dead Sea salt treatment.

Treating rheumatological diseases. Dead Sea mud and bathing in Dead Sea salt water can also be used to treat rheumatological diseases, which are inflammatory and autoimmune diseases that cause your immune system to attack your organs, bones, muscles, and joints. 

Rheumatological diseases include psoriatic arthritis, knee osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Treating psoriasis. Several studies have also shown that Dead Sea salt is particularly good at treating psoriasis.

Symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • Itching, soreness, and burning sensations
  • Stiff and swollen joints
  • Ridged and thick nails
  • Scaly spots, which often happen to children
  • Red patches of skin with silvery, thick scales

A long-term or chronic disease, psoriasis has no cure and usually goes through cycles. It can go away, only to come back a few months later.

Research has shown that Dead Sea salt can alleviate many symptoms of psoriasis. Due to the solar ultraviolet radiation in the Dead Sea, Dead Sea balneotherapy (or bathing) can treat psoriasis.

A 1997 study involving 25 participants with psoriasis vulgaris (chronic or long-term psoriasis) showed that Dead Sea bath salt was more beneficial than common salt. The participants were separated into two groups, with one using Dead Sea bath salt and the other using common salt. Both groups used their respective treatments during their daily 20-minute baths for three weeks.

After the three weeks were over, the participants who used Dead Sea bath salt had a much higher percentage of psoriasis reduction (43.6%) than those treated with common salt (24%).

Is Dead Sea Salt Safe?

Generally, Dead Sea salt is safe to use.

Using Dead Sea salt is safe for your skin — it doesn't appear to increase your risk for skin cancer.

Lab analysis of Dead Sea mud has also revealed that there aren’t any mineral concentrations that could affect your health.

However, using Dead Sea salt comes with some risks if too much of it is swallowed, including:

  • Disturbances in cardiac or heart rhythm due to abnormalities in electrolyte concentration
  • Too much of it can be toxic

These risks only occur if you’re drowning in the Dead Sea, though. They would not occur if you're just bathing in Dead Sea salt.

How To Use Dead Sea Salt

Dead Sea salt can be used in several different ways as bath salts or skincare products.

Bath Salts. Dead Sea salt can be used as bath salts, which you can add to your bath and soak in the tub.

You can use Dead Sea bath salts by putting them into bathwater that’s around 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 35 degrees Celsius. You can add one cup of salt to your bathwater, but feel free to adjust as needed.

Skincare products. Dead Sea salt can also be used in skincare products such as facial masks, creams, and soaps. 

In particular, Dead Sea mud, which is mud from the Dead Sea that has a high concentration of Dead Sea salt, is used to create these skincare products.

You can apply these to your face as well as other parts of your body to reduce inflammation, redness, and dryness. However, before deciding to buy or use a product, be sure to read the ingredients and talk to your doctor. Don’t buy or use a product if there’s anything in it that may cause an allergic reaction.

WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

International Journal of Dermatology: “Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin.”

Journal of Cosmetic Science: “A facial mask comprising Dead Sea mud.”

Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: “Dead sea bath salt for the treatment of psoriasis vulgaris: a double-blind controlled study.”

Mayo Clinic: “Psoriasis," "Rheumatoid arthritis."

Mayo Clinic Health System: “Rheumatic Diseases.”

National Eczema Association: “Eczema and Bathing.”

‌‌Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism: “Scientific evidence of the therapeutic effects of dead sea treatments: a systematic review.”

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