An Easy Home Treatment for Bunions

Can hot foot baths cure your bunions?

By accident, I stumbled upon an interesting home treatment for bunions: hot foot baths with Epsom salt and Iodex. It was just a short message that aroused my curiosity – about a study that never even had been published. All it said was this:

Lambeth, B., ‘An Examination of the Bowen Bunion Treatment’ (1999). (unpublished study). 4 clients with bilateral bunions were treated with Epsom Salts/Iodex. No Bowen moves made. Bunions measured at 1,2 and 3 month intervals. Bunion size reduced for all clients from 5mm to 15mm. (Source)

The objective of this study was to find out if the Bowen technique could be used to cure bunions. The Bowen technique uses gentle moves to stimulate the body's own healing powers. But what struck me, was the remark that no Bowen moves were made here.

Apparently the four people were only treated with Epsom salts and Iodex. Would it be possible that only the combined use of these products can reduce the size of your bunions? I thought it was interesting enough to find out more about!

Epsom salts are the same as magnesium sulfate, it turns out. Magnesium sulfate is absorbed through the skin when taking a bath, and reduces inflammation. It also prevents temporary skin wrinkling, which is the reason it's often used in foot baths. Some sources claim Epsom salts can be used where there is calcification of the joint. But don't take my word for it – this is definitely not my area of expertise!

As for Iodex, this is an ointment with iodine as the active ingredient. It's a disinfectant and comes in two versions: one with methyl salicylate and one without. (I'd prefer the one with methyl salicylate, because this ingredient increases the blood circulation and warms your muscles.)

Anyway, it seems to me that this home treatment for bunions definitely is worth a try. Epsom salts are easy to get (I bought them from my local chemist). Iodex turned out to be a bit harder to get though (maybe because I'm living in Europe). That's why I chose Betadine instead, a povidone-iodine ointment (but without the methyl salicylate unfortunately).

So I now have a daily foot bath routine that looks like this: I add about 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts in a bowl of warm water, soak my feet for about 10 minutes, then dry them and finish by applying a little bit of Betadine to my bunions.

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What other visitors have said

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Epsom Salts for feet 
What a great blog!!! I had my foot surgery 6 weeks ago and overdoing so still in pain. I have used epsom salts for years for muscle pain, starting to …

Hi, Thanks for all this information. It is very helpful. I started to suffer from bunions as well and it's good to know your experience. I will definitely …

More on epsom salts and Iodex 
If you cannot get to the Bowen practitioner, dissolve 2 table spoons of Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) in warm water for 20min. If possible, do this …

Try a plain soak 
I read that the salt isn't really neccessary. It's just the heat that helps!

Bowen treatment after foot baths 
After 6 weeks of this - 20 minutes soaking would be better - get a Bowen treatment and you will find an even greater improvement.

foot bath 
My understanding is you need to rub the Iodine and methyl salacylate mixture in first to break down the bunion tissue. Follow this with the Epsom bath …

Iodine heals bunions 
I am also in my 2nd week of applying Iodine twice a day on my bunion. I go for reflexology weekly and my therapist recommended iodine. On the reflexology …

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