Treat Summer Ailments with Epsom Salt

Reduce Itching from Mosquito Bites, Poison Ivy, Bee Stings, Mild Sunburn

For kids, summer means playing outside, climbing trees and hanging out with friends. To parents, this can mean tending to kids' mosquito bites, bee stings, sunburn and poison ivy. There's an inexpensive product to help make life a little easier for parents: Epsom salt.

Doctors say it's an age-old remedy that helps soothe itching, burning skin. Epsom salt draws the moisture out of lesions caused by rashes, such as poison ivy. With bites or stings, Epsom salt reduces the swelling, which eases the itching sensation because the body's nerves fire less frequently.

Here are three ways doctors say it can help reduce itching from bee stings, mosquito bites or poison ivy:

  • Make a compress: Soak a cotton washcloth in cold water that has been mixed with Epsom salt (two tablespoons per cup), then apply to the skin.
  • Create a paste: Add a teaspoon of Epsom salt to about a cup of hot water until it dissolves, chill the solution in the fridge for 20 minutes and apply to the skin. Note: Clean the skin and pat dry before applying the paste.
  • Take an Epsom salt bath: Add two cups of Epsom salt to the water in a standard-sized bathtub and soaking for at least 12 minutes. The Epsom salt will dissolve quicker if you put it under the running water.

About Epsom salt

Epsom salt – actually magnesium sulfate – is one of the most versatile household products, with uses ranging from creating at-home spa treatments to soothing achy muscles to helping start or improve gardens. It’s been used therapeutically for hundreds of years, and it’s gaining a new generation of fans looking for a safe, economical alternative in a sea of expensive, over-the-counter remedies. Epsom salt is easy to use, easy to find in your local pharmacy or grocery store and it costs about the same per use as a cup of coffee. For more information, please visit either,, or contact Peter Smolowitz, (704) 916-6163, Back to News