Dead Sea Mud:
Benefits and Uses
Improves skin conditions
Reduces skin impurities
Provides relief for arthritis
Soothes back discomfort
The Dead Sea is a salt water lake in the Middle East, located between Israel and Jordan. The geographical features of the Dead Sea — including the fact that the lake is at the lowest sea level of any body of water on earth and surrounded by mountains — makes the surrounding silt and mud rich with a unique combination of minerals like magnesium, sodium, and potassium.
People use Dead Sea mud to treat health conditions ranging from psoriasis to back pain. A great deal of research backs up claims that Dead Sea mud can relieve discomfort, reduce redness, soreness and more.
1. Helps improve skin conditions such as psoriasis:
Researchers have established that the high concentrations of salt and other chemical compounds in the mud can be used to treat psoriasis effectively. Dead Sea mud can be applied as a compress to psoriasis flares.
Using Dead Sea mud as a mud compress in areas where your psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis is, can decrease symptoms and relieve discomfort caused by flare ups.
2. Reduces skin impurities:
If you have dry skin, try a Dead Sea mud mask. Mud masks can work to remove impurities and dead skin on your body.
An added benefit of Dead Sea mud is that the salt and magnesium in it can improve your skin’s functionality by making it a better barrier and more elastic. Dead Sea salt has also been shown as a treatment to make skin healthier.
3. Provides back relief:
In one older experiment, heated mud packs were applied to the extremities of people with arthritis for 20 minutes, once per day, over a span of 2 weeks. This study used Dead Sea mud and people saw a marked decrease in their arthritis symptoms that lasted up to three months.
4. Helps soothe chronic discomfort:
Data from a 2014 study indicated that a Dead Sea mud compress applied five times a week for three consecutive weeks, led to a significant improvement in symptoms for people with chronic lower back pain. Further research is still needed with a greater sample size to confirm these findings.
5. Helps treat blemishes:
Dead Sea mud has been tested and proven to have an antimicrobial effect on strains of bacteria that live on human skin. Since overgrowth or presence of certain bacteria can lead to acne, it’s possible that this is why Dead Sea mud has been used to treat breakouts since biblical times.
Using Dead Sea mud in a mud mask, or getting face creams and lotions that contain Dead Sea mud, might help you to have fewer breakouts.
There are some people who have skin sensitivities to metals, such as nickel and chrome. Since trace elements of some metals can sometimes be found in Dead Sea mud, people with these sensitivities might want to avoid using Dead Sea mud as a topical treatment or home remedy. But research indicates that most people with healthy skin don’t need to be concerned about using Dead Sea mud on their skin.
Dead Sea mud isn’t a replacement for prescription medication for diagnosed conditions. But it is a very low-risk way to treat some conditions, boost skin health, and is safe for most people.
Dead Sea mud has been proven to have antimicrobial and other properties that make it useful in mud packs and cosmetics. If you’re worried about a sensitivity, talk to your doctor or a dermatologist before using a Dead Sea mud product. Always be sure to test a small area of your skin before applying any new product.
Examples of Studies pertaining to Dead Sea and skin conditions:
(1) Knudsen EA, Worm AM. Psoriasis treatment at the Dead Sea. Ugeskr Laeger 1996; 15, 6440-3
(2) Hodak E, et al Climatotherapy at the Dead Sea is a remittive therapy for psoriasis; combined effects on epidermal and immunologic activation. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2003; 49: 451-3
(3) Cohen AD, et al. Effectiveness of climatotherapy at the Dead Sea for psoriasis vulgaris; community orientated study. Journal of Dermatological Treatment 2005; 16: 308-13
(4) Halevy S, et al. The role of trace elements in psoriatic patients undergoing balneotherapy with Dead Sea bath salt. Israel Medical Association Journal; 2001: 3: 828-32
(5) Abels DJ, Harari M. Psoriasis remission time at the Dead Sea.
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2000; 43: 325-6
(6) Shani J, Harari M et al. Dead Sea climatotherapy versus other modalities of treatment for psoriasis: comparative cost effectiveness.
International Journal of Dermatology 1999; 38: 252-62