Salt baths

Posted by: kristi3360

Salt baths - 01/30/04 06:10 AM

I would like to try out salt baths for Hayden and I am not sure exactly what I need to do. I would appreciate any advice. What kind of salt? How much? How long should I let him soak? Do I do anything extra to exfoliate his skin after soaking? Thanks! Kristi

Son,Hayden, born w/Ichthyosis Hystrix--born 1-9-99
Posted by: pauline5

Re: Salt baths - 01/30/04 12:29 PM

Hi Kristi...

it is very late here in OZ and I am struggling to keep my eyes open...

there are quite a few articles on the topic of the salt baths....

Just do a Search and type in "salt baths"....and read about type, measurements, and people's is truly amazing, and also read the item on the warnings....

Sorry I am just too tired....
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Salt baths - 01/30/04 02:41 PM

It's kind of hard to go wrong with a salt bath, a pound or two in a bath should be enough. Most people recommend Sea salts, you can buy them at any body and bath store if not in your local super market. There is nothing special you have to do as far as exfoliating goes, just do your normal thing. Let him stay in the bath as long as he likes, the longer the better. By the way, tell him happy 5th b-day from us, a little late.
Posted by: kristi3360

Re: Salt baths - 01/30/04 03:16 PM

Thanks guys!
Posted by: Annamarie

Re: Salt baths - 01/30/04 10:23 PM

I was able to get sea salt cheaply at my local health foot store (Henrys). It was in the big bins area for $1.39lb. Also my sons dermatologist said you can even use regular table salt. At Smart and Final you can buy a 20lb bag of table salt I think for under $10.00. So try bulk food stores for regular table salt or a natural food store.
Posted by: pauline5

Re: Salt baths - 01/31/04 12:23 PM

Hi Kristi....

I am awake enough tonight (it is currently 11PM here in OZ) to elaborate on the salt bath story...

I personally use PURE SEA SALT>..and not the DEAD SEA SALT variety, that is way too expensive...

I put about 1 full cup in the bath, and if I am very thick with scale I may even use 2 cups....

It is best to soak for about 1 hour, but at least 40 minutes for optimum results, and just watch the scale virtually fall of on the facewasher, as you rub it off...

If you have very thick palms and soles, the tops of them will go very white and powdery looking, and it just scrapes off ever so easily with a knife...then if you soak for even longer, you can wait for the next layer to go white and scrape at that too...


It only takes about 4 bathing sessions, (and I wouldn't do it more than once per day...) for most of the scale to totally leave the body, and leave very smooth pink skin...Once this occurs, either reduce the amount of salt you put in, or have showers on alternate days....BECAUSE: (particularly EHK skin) our scale really serves as a toughening agent to form a barrier and protection for the very sensitive/fragile layers we have underneath, and I personally found that when I continued the salt baths at the same strength and on a daily basis, my skin was shedding more layers (although invisibly) and left me with such tender skin, it felt like I was sunburnt, and it was very painful for me to sit on a chair, or even lie down in my bed...

I just advise you to experiment, we are all different so I can't say any of this categorically, just an observation I found...

Some people have been concerned that the salt is drying for our skin...but I have not found that at all, in fact it appears to stopping me from drying out too much at the end of the day...

The salt baths are also excellent at killing bacteria, so beneficial with blisters, and any odor Keith has mentioned himself a few times...

I also find that if I have showers for 1 week in a row, without a salt bath, then my scale grows back with a it is best to maintain the progress (especially if time is a problem) by having a long soak in a salt bath at least every 3rd day...

IMPORTANT: The quantities I have outlined for you, really apply to adult bodies, so reduce these by half for your son, his skin is probably more fragile and thinner than ours...

That's about all I can think of....I think I covered everything...

Regards Pauline,

P.S. I would be very interested if you could let me know how successful they are for your son, at some later stage....

[This message has been edited by pauline5 (edited January 31, 2004).]
Posted by: kristi3360

Re: Salt baths - 01/31/04 03:14 PM

Thank you Pauline---I plan to try it out on him this weekend---I will let you know how it works for him. The fun part is going to be getting him to stay in the tub for that length of time. I have a really small tv/vcr combo that I might plug in across the room and let him watch a video. Maybe that will be the trick. Hope so! Kristi
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Salt baths - 01/31/04 03:19 PM

Just wanted to add something, I don't think you can take too many salt baths. I used to go to the beach everyday during the summer when I was a kid and was in the water far longer the a couple hours a day but I wasn't scrubbing myself. I think you can take a salt bath everyday, just cut back on the scrubbing when your scale gets thin. I originally started taking salt baths over 30 years ago to get rid of the smell and kill the bacteria. At that time exfoliating wasn't a big thing for me, what ever came of came off when I towel dried myself. Keep in mind that differnt types of EHK are thinner and more sensitive then mine.
Posted by: Angel

Re: Salt baths - 01/31/04 11:49 PM

Hi Kristi,

My daughters are only 2 1/2 and 1 years old and I give them salt baths, once and sometimes twice a week. It does do wonders! I put about 1/2 a cup of sea salt in and sometimes add glycerin. It allows me to scrub the scales off like I was never able to with a regular bath. My oldest daughter has always had problems with the scales and thick skin on her feet and the salt bath actually makes them look worse. The only reason for this is that there are so many layers of skin and so much build up, but because she is so little, she can only handle and I can only comfortably do so much scrubbing. Eventually, when she is older and better able to scrub or endure the scrubbing, I am sure that this skin will come off on her feet. I let the girls soak in the tub for awhile and then I scrub them gently with my fingernails. Personally, I find this the most effective way to remove the scales. After this, I wash them with Fragrance-free Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash and an exfoliating mitt. Next, I drain the tub and rinse them off with fresh warm water. I don't dry them off, but just put their towels on them and then apply Uremol 10 lotion. This routine has been fine tuned over the course of the past year and seems to work the best for them...for now. I am constantly looking into better ways to care for their skin. Every once in awhile, I put 100% pure Shea Butter on them, and although this leaves their skin extremely smooth right after application, by the morning, their skin is dry. I am also looking into the Voda soaps that have been mentioned on this bulletin board and a salt scrub from a company called Origins. If any of these items work well, I will let you know.

Take care!

Posted by: pauline5

Re: Salt baths - 02/01/04 12:40 AM

Angel, thanks for reminding me....Yes, I can't afford to scrape too much off my feet, as I need the thickness there to help me to walk...

Also can I ask you more about the Shea Butter? A lady recently taught me to make my own cream, which has shea butter in it....I used it on insides of my arms, and like you just said...It moisturised beautifully, but later in the day, all my arms cracked open, like they would in the bitter winter cold winds...and it is summer here, although not much of it...

You have given me the idea that it might be the Shea butter ingredient doing this...
Posted by: Angel

Re: Salt baths - 02/02/04 02:28 AM

Hi Pauline!

I used 100% Shea Butter on my girls, and it does have wonderful moisturizing properties. It just lacks longevity. From what I have read, though, shea butter contains naturally derived vitamins A & E, is "an anti-inflammatory, increases the healing of wounds and improves scars and is used to heal eczema, burns, rashes, severly dry skin and to lessen the irritation of psoriasis". This wording I borrowed from the African Shea Butter Company's website. The shea butter I used on my girls was an "African" shea butter, but since I foolishly disposed of the container recently, I don't know if this company is the same one. This company does say, though, to ensure that you only buy shea butter that has been naturally extracted and cleaned.

I haven't used the shea butter more than once a week on the girls, but I have noticed some improvement on their feet when I do. It does seem to heal. My only problem right now is getting more. The store that sells it is about 45 minutes north of our house and even further into the snow belt. Once the nicer weather arrives, I will venture up there to purchase some more. I have also thought about ordering it online. It is a product that I believe works, but I never seem to use it more than once before returning to the lactic acid cream, fearful of allowing their skin to build up or dry out too quickly. Again, when winter is over, I might be more inclined to test it out for a longer period of time.

Take care!

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Salt baths - 02/02/04 02:43 PM

I don't know if this helps you all the way up in the great white north but I recently saw shea butter in a Target store. Don't know if you have them there or if it is any closer to you, just thought I'd mention it.
Posted by: Angel

Re: Salt baths - 02/02/04 06:30 PM

Hi Keith,

Thank for you letting me know. We don't have Target stores here, but it gives me the idea to look for it in other than specialty stores or online. Thank you.

Take care!