Epsom salts or Milk of Magnesia actually works ?

Written by on August 21, 2009 in Home Remedies, in the news, Natural Treatments with 45 Comments

Could a folksy treatment found in your cupboard help your rosacea? Is life that simple?

A few newspapers have picked up the following Question & Answer article where rosacea sufferers are encouraged to try Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) or Milk of Magnesia on their skin.

Surely there isn’t such a simple, cheap and easily available topical treatment that will offer some kind of relief is there? Read on to see for yourself.

Epsom Salts and Milk of Magnesia

One can imagine that a bath with Epsom salts would be relaxing, but I’m not sure that it is a reliable rosacea treatment per se. One possible reason for any benefits might be the presence of sulfur in the form of the sulfate.

Milk of magnesia is a mildly alkaline suspension of magnesium hydroxide and has been known to be used topically for canker sores. Other `folk’ usage of topical milk of magnesia is for acne, seborrheic dermatitis, and oily skin.

Might there be something real in using these kind of easily available products topically ? That would be a great result for those looking for cheap treatments !

Let us know below if you have found Milk of Magnesia or Epsom Salts helps your skin.

People’s Pharmacy

By Joe and Teresa Graedon


Q. I read about using milk of magnesia for treating acne. My skin condition is called rosacea. It is a painfully embarrassing problem, and no one seems to know what causes it or how to cure it. (W.C. Fields was the most famous rosacea victim, and people sometimes assume a red nose is a result of drinking too much.)

The pharmaceutical products my dermatologist prescribed failed to clear up my red bumps. So I tried magnesium sulfate in the form of a warm compress soaked in an Epsom-salts solution. This worked beautifully, but nobody is making the rounds telling dermatologists about it.

A. Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) is an old-fashioned multipurpose remedy that is sold as a laxative and muscle soak. Why it might work for rosacea is a mystery, but some readers have gotten relief from their redness and breakouts with topical milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide).

Here is one testimonial: “I’m 52, and my acne (actually rosacea) is related to menopausal hormone changes. Since my mid-40s, I’ve tried many different prescription and OTC treatments. I like milk of magnesia the best, and it’s by far the least expensive. I put MoM on my face at bedtime, and by morning my skin looks better.”

Milk of Magnesia Reviews

From LoisAnne on Sun May 10, 2009, Anyone ever had this experience? My derm’s wife has rosacea and he laughs and says that she claims milk of magnesia works best for her! I told him he should check out this forum and see what people are doing for rosacea. (and I am also going to try Milk of Magnesia) Oh….on the face, not internally!

From Strive, 4th May 2008, Milk of Magnesia or magnesium hydroxide. Several years ago I read that this is a good mask for folks with acne, etc. I think the information might have been in the Paula Begoun book. Recently, I came across a bottle in my closet and have been experimenting with it overnight with some pretty good results. Maybe it’s just the absorption of oil that is helping, since I also have seb derm. Some people apparently keep it on briefly before washing it off. Has anyone else tried it?

Article Update

Another update to this potential treatment, from the same columnists but this time in the People’s Pharmacy in the LA Times

“I have been using Epsom salts for the past two weeks to treat my rosacea, and the results are amazing! Since the first day, the redness went away, the pores got smaller and the oiliness disappeared.

I put about 1/4 cup Epsom salts in some warm water. I use a sponge to put it on my face and chest in the shower. After a couple of minutes, I’m done.”

Thanks for this interesting suggestion. Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate. We could find no research to support this approach, but it seems inexpensive and low-risk.

Related Articles

About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

Follow Rosacea Support

Subscribe via RSS Feed

45 Reader Comments

  1. I saw the M.O.M. treatment on a lot of sites. I tried it and yes, saw instant relief. I put it on a cool, damp washcloth and pat it all over my face, wait for it to dry, then gently wipe it off with cool water. My pores look normal and redness is diminished. Metrogel and all the other treatments havenʻt done a thing for me. I truly hope this works for other sufferers out there!

Leave your comment here




Discover more from Rosacea Support Group

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Subscribe to Rosacea News

Enter your email address to receive the latest news about rosacea in your inbox.