Dead Sea Salt for Psoriasis

Potential Health Benefits, What to Look for, and How to Use

Soaking in Dead Sea salts may help ease psoriasis symptoms like pain, redness, and itching.

Dead Sea salts contain minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium that can improve skin, hair, and nail health and appearance. Several studies support a connection between Dead Sea salt and benefits for psoriasis and other conditions like arthritis. However, more research is needed to support any treatment claims.

Here's what you need to know about Dead Sea salts for psoriasis, why they're so popular, and how to use Dead Sea salts effectively and safely.

bath salt
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What Are Dead Sea Salts?

The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordering Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank, and is the most saline lake in the world.

Being the saltiest lake in the world, Dead Sea salt contains up to 10 times more minerals than normal sea salt. These minerals may be helpful in cleaning, detoxifying, and restoring the body, especially the skin and muscles.

People who have soaked in the Dead Sea report smoother, more hydrated skin and less inflammation. This claimed healing power explains why Dead Sea salts are a popular and helpful treatment for psoriasis.

Minerals found in Dead Sea salts that may promote skin health include:

  • Magnesium: Magnesium is great for detoxifying and cleansing the skin. It can promote cell metabolism and heal damaged and inflamed skin.
  • Calcium: Calcium may help promote skin growth and regeneration, retain moisture, and stimulate the production of antioxidants. Antioxidants can protect the skin and slow down free radical production. Free radicals can damage healthy skin, while antioxidants help the skin protect itself. 
  • Zinc: Zinc can help heal and rejuvenate skin and protect the cells involved in creating collagen (the protein that adds structure to bones, tendons, ligaments, and skin).
  • Sulfur: Sulfur is known for its powerful healing powers and antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties.
  • Potassium: Potassium can keep the skin moist and reduce skin puffiness.
  • Bromide: Bromide can help soothe skin, relax the muscles, and calm nerves.

These minerals can penetrate deep into the skin offering prolonged benefits, including moisturizing effects. And because of this mineral-rich composition, Dead Sea salts have become famous for their healing properties, especially for the healing effect they have on skin conditions like psoriasis. 

Benefits for Psoriasis

Not everyone can visit the Dead Sea to soak in its waters and reap its psoriasis-relief benefits. However, it is still possible to get a similar effect using various products made from the salts of the Dead Sea.

Possible benefits of using Dead Sea salt in skin products for psoriasis include claims of exfoliation, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing effects.


Dead Sea salts are grainy, and they are loaded with calcium and sodium. That makes them perfect for removing thick dead skin and grime and bacteria that might be in the scales of dead skin.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The red, flakey plaques and joint pain associated with psoriasis are a result of ongoing inflammation. And an important health benefit of Dead Sea salts is that they are rich in anti-inflammatory agents, including zinc and bromide. This means they can help with reducing inflammation throughout the body.

The anti-inflammatory properties of these salts may also promote blood circulation to infuse fresh oxygen throughout skin cells to lower the inflammation responsible for skin pain, redness, itching, and other psoriasis skin symptoms.

Moisturizing Effect

Magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium in Dead Sea salt can promote moisture in the skin. This is important because dry skin is more susceptible to psoriasis breakouts.

Skin Permeability

The minerals present in Dead Sea salts make the skin more permeable, allowing skin creams and moisturizers to penetrate the deeper layers of skin more effectively.

Kills Bacteria and Fungi

Bacteria and fungi are responsible for many of the skin problems associated with psoriasis. But the minerals in Dead Sea salts can create an environment where it is harder for these harmful substances to live.

Talk to Your Healthcare Provider

Talk to your healthcare provider before using Dead Sea salts for psoriasis, especially if you take prescription medicines or have severe psoriasis symptoms.

Your healthcare provider can help you decide what skin products are best to manage your condition.

How Effective Are Dead Sea Salts?

A 2010 study looked at synchronous balneophototherapy (sBPT), a therapy that includes phototherapy and simulates treatment conditions at the Dead Sea (usually in a spa setting)­­. The study aimed to test how effective this treatment was for psoriasis compared to ultraviolet B phototherapy alone.

The researchers found that sBPT was more effective than phototherapy alone after 35 treatments. The results remained at a six-month follow-up. Both therapies were considered safe options to treat psoriasis.

A 2012 systemic review found that water from the Dead Sea was helpful for psoriasis and other rheumatic conditions, including psoriatic arthritis (a type of inflammatory arthritis affecting some people with psoriasis). They concluded that Dead Sea saltwater was a safe complementary treatment.

A 2017 report looked at using Dead Sea salts for psoriasis and other skin conditions. The report reviewed several studies on the use of balneotherapy (bathing in Dead Sea salts) to treat psoriasis and other dermatological disorders. It found balneotherapy to have high success rates.

Another 2017 systemic review of articles—this one reported in the Journal of Alternative Complementary & Integrative Medicine—looked at the effects of balneotherapy and Dead Sea climatotherapy (going to the Dead Sea to make use of its benefits).

The review found there were many benefits in both therapies, including anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory (immune system responses) effects for people with psoriasis who were using these therapies, with climatotherapy offering the most benefit.

Other Benefits and Uses

Since ancient times, people have used Dead Sea salts as a natural remedy for various conditions. In addition to psoriasis skin benefits, here are additional claimed health and beauty benefits.

Muscle and Joint Pain Relief

Soaking in Dead Sea salts may facilitate the body’s absorption of minerals have properties that will promote the repair of tired and damaged parts of the body. This includes the joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Much of the research on the effect of Dead Sea salts on rheumatic diseases goes back 10 or more years. Most studies have confirmed that joint and muscle pain, swelling, and stiffness can be improved soaking in warm water containing these salts.

These older studies note that this is due to minerals improving blood circulation, which can reduce inflammation. These salts also have strong detoxifying and general relaxant properties, and when used in warm water, minerals can penetrate and absorb into the skin so the body is able to receive even more health benefits.

A 2012 systemic review of studies confirmed bathing in Dead Sea salts was safe and that Dead Sea salts were helpful for managing inflammation and pain in numerous rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is an inflammatory autoimmune disease known for attacking joints and other body tissues.

Anti-Aging Effects

Most research on the anti-aging benefits of Dead Sea salts is older but may still be viable because it hasn't been discredited. The effects Dead Sea salts have on the skin include exfoliation, hydration, and detoxification, which can translate into youthful and radiant-looking skin.

Regular use of face care products containing authentic Dead Sea salts may help reduce existing wrinkles and prevent new wrinkles from forming.

Better Sleep

Soaking in Dead Sea salt close to bedtime might help you sleep better at night. It contains magnesium, which plays a role in sleep cycles. After a warm bath in Dead Sea salts, you can sleep better because of the absorption of magnesium through your skin.

Stress Relief

Most people believe that warm baths are relaxing, but soaking in a bath containing Dead Sea salts may also offer stress relief. These salts are considered a natural muscle relaxant, mostly due to magnesium.

Hair Health

There is very little research to back up theories that Dead Sea salts can improve hair health. However, many hair products contain these salts.

The claimed hair benefits of Dead Sea salts include:

  • Adding volume and bounce to hair
  • Providing nutrients to hair follicles to make them softer and reduce hair loss
  • Reducing hair loss when applied to the scalp to improve circulation and stimulate hair group
  • Detoxifying and cleansing to restore cell balance and reduce scalp oiliness and dandruff

If these claimed benefits to hair can be confirmed, the use of hair products containing Dead Sea salts may be helpful to people living with scalp psoriasis, a type of psoriasis that causes lesions from the hairline and scalp to the forehead, neck, and ears.

Nail Health

Soaking nails in warm water containing Dead Sea salts may strengthen the nails and soften the cuticles and the skin around nails. The rich mineral content in dead sea salts can also make your nails brighter.

Soak nails for no more than 10 minutes in Dead Sea salts and use a moisturizing hand cream afterward.

Nail psoriasis can damage fingernails and toenails. Nail health products containing Dead Sea salts may be helpful to people living with nail psoriasis. However, more research is needed to confirm these claims.

Reduces Cellulite And Water Retention

Dead Sea salts contain potassium, which can help manage water retention. Bathing in Dead Sea salts may help the body rid itself of toxins that have gotten trapped below the skin surface and caused cellulite. The result is that skin starts to look smoother.

Cellulite results from fatty deposits that have broken into the inner layers of skin, risen to the surface and created a dimpling effect on the buttocks, thighs, stomach, and back.

Some, but not all, of the touted health benefits of Dead Sea salts have been studied and confirmed for managing and treating a variety of conditions. You should always consult with your healthcare provider before using any new treatment for managing a health condition.

What To Look For

You can purchase authentic Dead Sea salts locally or online. You could also schedule a therapeutic Dead Sea treatment at a spa that offers this service. Many products containing Dead Sea salt are available for skin and hair.

For example, a shampoo containing Dead Sea salts can help manage inflammation, itching, scaling, and flakes associated with psoriasis. A foot scrub containing these salts could be helpful in removing scales and leaving feet feeling smooth and soft. Dead salts can also be found in facial scrubs, bath soaps and body washes, skin lotions and creams, and so much more.

Choose Dead Sea salts cleaned without chemicals for the most benefit. Read labels and buy products that aren't processed or refined to ensure this.

When buying bath salts, make sure they have a natural white color and are imported from locations near the Dead Sea, such as Israel or Jordan.

How to Use

There are plenty of ways to use skin products containing Dead Sea salts to enjoy the benefits of healing for psoriasis:

  • Soak in a bath: Add up to 2 cups of Dead Sea Salt to a warm bath and soak for 15 minutes to help loosen scales and reduce itching and inflammation caused by psoriasis.
  • As a foot scrub: Add a handful of Dead Sea salts to warm water for a relaxing foot scrub. The grains can scrub away dirt and dead skin, leaving feet smooth and fresh.
  • As a face scrub: Dissolve a handful of Dead Sea salts into a basin of lukewarm water and rub gently to clean the face for moving dirt, oils, and dead skin to leave your face feeling soft and revitalized.
  • In the shower: Keep a jar of Dead Sea salt to use as a body scrub. Gently massage the neck, shoulders, arms, and legs and rinse to scrub away dead, loosen scales, and reduce the inflammation and itching caused by psoriasis.

Safety and Precautions

Warm water and Dead Sea salt are generally safe for most people. However, taking some precautions is still a good idea before soaking in bath salts.

For example, if you soak in a Dead Sea Salt bath and end up with an allergic reaction, avoid using the salts in the future. Also, avoid using bath salts if you have an open wound.

A Word From Verywell

While there is no cure for psoriasis, an effective treatment plan including the right medications and complementary therapies can help control inflammation, remove scales, and manage pain and inflammation in skin plaques.

Talk to your healthcare provider about what may work well, considering your condition and medications.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should you rinse off after a Dead Sea salt bath?

    Yes, rinse off after your bath to get rid of the residue and prevent your skin from getting too dry. Then, apply moisturizer.

  • Which is better for psoriasis, Dead Sea salt or Epsom salt?

    Dead sea salt may be better for psoriasis because it contains greater amounts of magnesium and other beneficial minerals than Epsom salt.

  • Does sea salt dry out your skin?

    It can if you soak in it too long. That's why it's important to limit sea salt bath soaks to 15 minutes and moisturize after your bath.

10 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  3. National Psoriasis Foundation. For some people with psoriasis, spa therapy is a clear choice

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  5. American College of Dermatology. Psoriasis: Signs and Symptoms

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  7. Hamidizadeh N, Simaeetabar S, Handjani F, et al. Composition of minerals and trace elements at Mamasani thermal source: A possible preventive treatment for some skin diseases. J Educ Health Promot. 2017;6:110. doi:10.4103/jehp.jehp_100_17 

  8. Telles S, Sharma SK, Agnihotri S, et al. A critical evaluation of dead sea therapy in the management of psoriasis. J Altern Complement Integr Med. 2017;3:033. doi:10.24966/acim-7562/100033

  9. National Psoriasis Foundation. Integrative approaches to care.

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By Lana Barhum
Lana Barhum has been a freelance medical writer since 2009. She shares advice on living well with chronic disease.