Epsom salt balanitis is a condition where the salt in your foot causes inflammation. This can lead to painful, burning sores or blisters.
The skin around the sores will become warm and red. You may also notice thickened skin.
What causes Epsom salt balanitis?
Epsom salt balanitis is caused by a buildup of the mineral magnesium sulfate. This salt is used in the production of Epsom salt. It’s also found in many household products, including:
- Soaps and shampoos
- Cleaning products
- Laundry detergent
- Shingles medication
- Topical treatments for skin conditions
In general, Epsom salt is safe to use on the skin. However, it can irritate your skin, causing itching and pain.
Keep Epsom salt out of your eyes.
Epsom salt may also irritate your eyes. This is because the salt can combine with water in your eyes. This can cause irritation and swelling.
This may be why people who have a sensitivity to Epsom salt often develop symptoms of eye irritation.
Contacting your doctor
If you’re experiencing symptoms, contact your doctor.
They can run a series of tests to see if Epsom salt is the cause of your symptoms.
Your doctor can also use a skin biopsy to check for lupus. This is a type of autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the body.
The symptoms of lupus can include:
- Joint pain
- Skin rash
- Joint stiffness
- Low fever
- Weight loss
How is Epsom salt balanitis diagnosed?
If you have Epsom salt balanitis, you may be given an appointment with your doctor. They’ll examine your skin. They may also ask you about your symptoms and how long you’ve had them.
Your doctor may do a skin biopsy. This involves taking a small sample of the skin and comparing it with the sample from when you first had symptoms.
Your doctor may also check for autoimmune conditions, such as lupus, by doing a blood test.
Your doctor may recommend a topical cream or ointment to treat Epsom salt balanitis. They may also prescribe a steroid cream or ointment.
You may also need to use an ice pack or take pain medication.
If you have an underlying condition, such as lupus, your doctor may recommend:
- Steroid injections to reduce swelling
- Antibiotics to treat bacterial infections
Sores can sometimes disappear on their own. If the sores don’t go away after 3 to 6 weeks, or if they’re more than a centimeter wide, you should contact your doctor.
What is the outlook for Epsom salt balanitis?
Your outlook depends on the underlying cause of your symptoms.
If your symptoms are caused by a bacterial infection, you may be able to treat the infection.
However, if the infection is more widespread, it may become life threatening.
How can I prevent Epsom salt balanitis?
You can reduce the risk of developing Epsom salt balanitis by:
- Using a saline foot soak with Epsom salt instead of regular salt water.
- Washing your feet regularly with warm water and soap.
- Using an antifungal foot and bath soap.
- Using a topical cream or ointment with zinc oxide to reduce swelling.
- Using an antibiotic foot and bath soap.
- Using an antiseptic foot and bath soap.
When to see your doctor?
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you should contact your doctor.
If you have any of the symptoms of lupus, a blood test may be done. This will help your doctor determine whether you have the disease. Treatment can only be started if you have the disease.
It’s important to see your doctor if you notice any of the symptoms above for more than 1 week.
If you have a bacterial infection, this can be treated with antibiotics.
If you develop sores, blisters, or inflammation, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
Your doctor can determine if you have an underlying condition, such as lupus, and start treatment.
They can also recommend other treatment options and determine if you need to take additional steps.
What’s the long-term outlook?
Epsom salt balanitis is usually temporary. However, if it’s caused by an underlying condition, it can become chronic.
This can cause damage to your skin, which can make it more difficult to treat other symptoms.
Epsom salt balanitis can also cause:
- Sensitivity to the sun or wind
- Rash or hives
While you recover, your symptoms can come back. This is especially true if you’re allergic to Epsom salt.
It’s important to take care of your skin and to limit the amount of Epsom salt in your environment.
You should also reduce your risk of these conditions by:
- Washing your hands often
- Using soap and warm water instead of soap and hot water
- Using antifungal foot and bath soaps
- Using antiseptic foot and bath soaps
- Using an antiseptic towelette on your skin
What’s the link between Epsom salt and lupus?
Epsom salt may help relieve symptoms of lupus.
You should talk with your doctor before using Epsom salt if you’re allergic to it.
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder. It causes inflammation in the body.
Epsom salt can irritate your skin, which can make it more likely for lupus to develop.
People who have lupus are more likely to have allergic reactions to Epsom salt. This is because the salt can combine with water in your skin, causing symptoms of irritation and inflammation.
People who have lupus are also more likely to have allergies to:
- Nickel-containing antiperspirant
- Sulfa drugs
- Aluminum hydroxide
What other treatments are available?
Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids to reduce swelling.
They may also prescribe antimalarial drugs to treat the symptoms of malaria.
Antiseptic foot and bath soaps may also be used. These can reduce the chances of infections.
Epsom salt is a popular alternative treatment for skin conditions.
It’s possible that Epsom salt can help reduce swelling. However, it’s important to talk with your doctor before using Epsom salt if you’re allergic to it.
Epsom salt is not a cure for lupus. However, it’s a treatment for symptoms of lupus.
Epsom salt may help with:
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