Magnesium For Eczema


Do you usually experience dryness of the skin? Is it unimaginably itchy? Are you unsure of its causes? Then you could be suffering from eczema.

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a lifelong inflammatory skin disease affecting 10% of adults and 20% of children. It is associated with itching, skin dryness, skin redness, and sleep loss. There are several treatments people undergo to help manage the discomfort of eczema. Magnesium is known to be on the list of possible treatment options for this condition.

Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for over 600 enzymatic processes in the human body. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body but it can't be produced or stored by our bodies. It is known to be anti-inflammatory and is paramount in treating inflammatory skin conditions like eczema. Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common micronutrient deficiencies, especially in the western world. Some symptoms of low magnesium levels are abnormal heartbeat, sleeping difficulties, muscle cramps, poor appetite, low mood, seizures, eye twitching, tiredness, and numbness of the skin.

How does magnesium affect eczema

Magnesium plays a vital role in the treatment of eczema through the following mechanisms:

  • Protects the skin
  • Reduces inflammation which is responsible for dryness and itching. It helps armour the skin against free radicals and external damage. 
  • Enhances good sleep and mood


Difficulty sleeping is a symptom of eczema. To counteract this, magnesium causes smooth muscle relaxation and activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).  This is a system responsible for relaxing and calming the body.  During sleep, regeneration and repair of the skin occur. Magnesium stabilises mood and reduces anxiety.

Reduces stress

Magnesium counters cortisol which is a stress hormone. This is effective in treating eczema, as stress is known to trigger eczema breakouts.

Supports the immune system

Eczema is an autoimmune condition. Magnesium aids in stabilising the immune system, reducing symptoms. Increased magnesium intake has been associated with a reduction in inflammatory biomarkers. Magnesium intake also regulates histamine levels which are responsible for the swelling, itching, and redness in eczema.

Fat metabolism

Magnesium enhances fat metabolism which enforces the fatty protective layer of the skin, making it less prone to breakouts.

Vitamins D and B12 metabolism

Lower levels of vitamin D and vitamin B12 are associated with increased severity of eczema. Magnesium helps in regulating the levels of both. 

How much magnesium should I take

The recommended dietary allowance of Magnesium is 400-420 mg daily for men and 310-360 mg for women.

Nutritional sources of Magnesium:

  • Leafy greens 
  • Nuts 
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole grains 
  • Dairy products 
  • Meat 
  • Fish 
  • Beans
  • Potato
  • Peanut butter
  • Banana
  • Pumpkin seeds

Magnesium supplements

These are taken orally and are a great source of magnesium. They exist in various forms and combinations. 

Transdermal sources of Magnesium

The transdermal routes of magnesium administration are more effective as the absorption rate is higher when compared to oral intake of supplements. They bypass the digestive system and get to the bloodstream directly. These include:

  • Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate- Regularly soaking in baths with 2 cups of Epsom salt diluted in water for around 15 minutes can relieve symptoms
  • Magnesium chloride- Magnesium chloride can come in flakes and is useful in eczema. Bath salts should not be applied directly to the skin to prevent skin irritation
  • Moisturisers- Moisturising the skin with magnesium-containing essential oils and lotions immediately after soaking in a bath can increase the magnesium’s efficacy
  • Dead sea water- The dead sea is known to be highly concentrated with magnesium ions, hence the evidence of improving symptoms in people who visit the sea

Side effects and other concerns

Apart from inadequate nutritional intake of magnesium, magnesium deficiency can occur from the following causes:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Older ages
  • Malabsorption issues, or Crohn's disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes mellitus
  • Eczema

The body is able to excrete excess magnesium from food sources, as only about 50% of magnesium from food eaten is absorbed, but that's not the case with magnesium from supplements. Magnesium intake, from supplements, that goes above 350 mg/day can cause magnesium poisoning or toxicity. Symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Low mood
  • Muscle weakness
  • Low blood pressure or abnormal heartbeat
  • Heart attack


There is strong evidence that magnesium can help to alleviate people’s eczema flare-ups. However, too high of an intake can cause magnesium toxicity, so you should be cautious when taking supplements. If you have a magnesium deficiency, a health practitioner should be consulted for proper administration and advice to avoid overdosing and avoid using the wrong magnesium supplement.


  1. Can eczema be cured permanently?

No. There's no permanent cure for eczema. However, certain medical treatments and lifestyle changes could reduce the frequency of breakouts in the future.

  1. What other skin benefits does magnesium have on the skin?

Magnesium can make the skin glow and improves elasticity and hydration. It also reduces acne and wrinkles.

  1.  Does magnesium reverse ageing?

Studies have shown that magnesium can reverse some markers of ageing.

  1. What are the forms of magnesium?

Magnesium comes in the following forms; sulfate, citrate, lactate, chloride, malate, taurate, and oxide. 


  1. Boston, 677 Huntington Avenue and Ma 02115 +1495‑1000. “Magnesium.” The Nutrition Source, 21 Oct. 2019,
  2. “Eczema Stats.” National Eczema Association, . Accessed 10 Jan. 2023. 
  3. Greiner, J., and W. Diezel. “[Inflammation-inhibiting effect of magnesium ions in contact eczema reactions].” Der Hautarzt; Zeitschrift Fur Dermatologie, Venerologie, Und Verwandte Gebiete, vol. 41, no. 11, Nov. 1990, pp. 602–05. 
  4. Palmer, Debra J. “Vitamin D and the Development of Atopic Eczema.” Journal of Clinical Medicine, vol. 4, no. 5, May 2015, pp. 1036–50. PubMed Central,
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Mary Mbam Chiamaka

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery - MBBS, Medicine, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki

My name is Mbam Chiamaka Mary. I am a Medical Doctor and health writer. Writing health articles have become a satisfying hobby for me as it excites me to see people enjoy the benefits of being properly informed about health and wellness. I hope reading this article helps your make better health choices.

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