A hot water Epsom salt soak for cuts is one of my favorite ways to help my cuts heal up faster with less soreness.
A hot water Epsom salt soak for cuts is perfect for fingers, hands and feet. It can also be used on elbows. For less dip-able body parts, a shallow bath can do the trick.
I discovered this awesome little hack of using a hot water Epsom salt soak for cuts from one of my awesome friends.
It all started with a crafting accident. And, no, I wasn’t running with scissors.
You see, there are these things called weddings. People get invited to them and I, being a people, ended up with an invitation.
Normal people go shopping, but I wanted to make a personalized gift with paint and power tools. I decided to make a giant wood sign for the newlywed couple. Finding some beautiful weathered old wood, I set to work sanding to get ready for painting.
Being careless, I was quickly whipping the sand paper back and forth across the wood and ended up snagging the flesh of my finger on a jagged sliver of wood that was poking out.
It was disgusting. I tore a deep, rough edged cut on the pad of my right middle finger.
Looking down at the blood gushing, I did what every reasonable tough girl would do.
I panicked, did some theatrical whining, and tried not to throw up and pass out.
Sometimes ER visits are more trauma and pain than the initial injury.
After I finally got it to stop bleeding and cleaned it up, I was able to wash it and assess the damage. It looked like it could possibly need stitches, but it was one of those times where it was a close call. For this cut, I opted to try and take care of it myself.
After sharing my sob story with my friend, she suggested soaking my cut in a hot water Epsom salt bath. It’s supposed to help draw out any slivers, dry it out and speed up the cut-healing process.
It also just so happens that Epsom salt may help inhibit pathogens, making it a great support tool for wound care. One important ingredient to that is the sulfur it contains.
Of course the magnesium is good for you, too.
At first, a hot water Epsom salt soak for cuts sounds really painful.
Seriously, we’ve all heard that rubbing salt in a wound is
a great thing to do to annoying relatives pretty mean.
Salt really does sound like something to avoid. Especially if you happen to be a slug. No doubt, hot water can also feel pretty painful when you have a cut.
The good news it this: Soaking a cut in hot Epsom salt water is only uncomfortable for the short time you spend soaking it. It’s from the hot water, not from the salt.
For me, soaking my cut in hot Epsom salt water made it less painful.
In fact, there was noticeably less pain. You know what it’s like when you get a cut on your hand, and it’s hard to keep dry because you always have your hands in water?
It’ especially true if you’re a mom with little kids! Dirty diapers, dishes, bottles, and “Oh, no you didn’t just actually touch that – let’s wash your hands!” Your cut turns red, gets inflamed and super-tender. It throbs like heck for days! It feels like it takes foreeeeever to heal!
That never happened while using the hot water Epsom salt bath for my cut. My skin stayed normal colored. No redness, no soreness and it healed lightning fast.
I’ve had smaller cuts than this one before and they have taken a lot longer to heal and hurt quite a bit more.
Here’s how I use a hot water Epsom salt soak for cuts:
# 1 Wash cut with warm soapy water and dry with a clean towel.
If there is debris or slivers, I try and completely remove that stuff with sterilized tweezers.
#2 Boil about 1 cup of water in a sauce pan
No need to be exact here. It won’t make a big difference.
#3 Add in 1/4 to 1/2 cup Epsom salts and stir until dissolved
I like to get it pretty salty. It fits my personality.
#4 Let the water cool down some
This can be done naturally or to speed things up, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup cool, clean water to cool it down a bit. (I add a little at a time to get to the temperature I want.)
The objective I’m aiming for here is to get the water as hot as I can stand it without burning or injuring myself.
#5 Pour Epsom salt water into a clean bowl or small basin.
Then, sit down with it at the kitchen table since the cut will be soaked for a while.
Pro Tip: Go potty before you start. 😉 Now is a good time to have some funny YouTube vids to watch.
#6 Test the water and slowly submerge cut area, making sure the water isn’t too hot.
Like I said, I try to get it as hot as I can stand it. It’s uncomfortable at first, but not extremely painful or hot enough to burn me.
It’s like I’m giving my cut a “fever” that will help destroy any pathogens.
#7 Soak for at least 20 minutes. I try and do 30 minutes.
Any longer, and I feel it’s too long.
#8 After soaking time is up, dry the cut.
Dab the area dry with a clean towel and let it air dry before covering loosely with fresh gauze.
I actually prefer not to cover if I can keep my cut out of the way and clean. It keeps it dry and the dryer the better.
I prefer to soak 3 times a day until the cut is healed up.
It feels like this routine gives my cut a good chance to regularly soak up the benefits of the Epsom salt.
Since my cut was on my finger, I did my best to load the dishwasher one handed, or with my middle finger sticking up. (Which is how every woman really feels while doing dishes anyway. )
I even did most of my hand-washing with my middle finger sticking up. That kept me from getting my cut wet too often.
This deep gnarly gash healed up in record time, not that I actually keep records of how long it takes my cuts to heal. I’m pretty nerdy, but not that nerdy.
Have you heard about or tried this home remedy? I’d love to hear about your experience below.
Disclaimer: Jaimie is not the great and powerful Wizard of Oz, a lawyer, a doctor, a veterinarian, or a CPA. Nothing your read in my blog is a substitute for professional advice and doing your own good research. Remember that just because someone has credentials doesn’t guarantee their advice is golden or perfect. Put your smart hat on and do your due diligence. Good luck!
Additionally, the information shared on this website/blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor are they intended to replace proper medical help.
James Ibey says
Strange to come across this. Thought I’d read what someone that used yhe soak thought the benefits of epsom salts. I stupidly tried to trim a couple fingernails with the table saw instead of the nail clippers. After reattaching the one, the orthopedic surgeon recommended an epsom salt soak daily during dressing changes. Really feels better, now to see if it shortens the healing time. Nice to see more people using things that have proven beneficial for decades.
Hi, James! I’m so sorry to hear about your fingernails! I’m glad the Epsom salt soak is helping. It seems like the fingers and hands always take longer to heal, since they are always getting wet and bumped into things. The Epsom salt soak really does a good job drying things out and take the pain down a notch. The fingernail may take longer than a normal cut, so it might be hard to judge healing time on that one, but hopefully it does go quickly. I agree, sometimes the old-school remedies can’t be beat. Take care and heal well!