Saunas, Salt Baths & Skin Detox Could Support Kidney Function According To Study

People looking to stall renal decline and the possibility of dialysis often turn to detoxing. Many of the detox products available are diuretics or function by way of helping to excrete waste through the urine, thereby issuing a temporary boost to the kidneys. One of the more overlooked strategies for detoxification, however, is pushing toxins through the skin. 

The kidneys are in a constant state of work and oftentimes, kidney damage isn’t even noticeable until renal disease has advanced. The kidneys contain about 1 million nephrons each, meaning they can often find a way to compensate when some of these nephrons are not working, the remaining simply pick up the slack and work harder in turn. This creates a state of hyperfiltration, which can go on undetected for years. When the kidneys finally do reach their breaking point, creatinine levels rise and uremia sets in.

Uremic toxins like BUN, creatinine and urea also manifest as lesions on the skin. The skin, the largest organ of the human body, is often overlooked as a toxin filtration system but it is invariably linked in this task to the kidneys and the two share a reciprocative relationship. With burn victims who have severe lesions all over their bodies, often the waste products that would be filtered out by way of skin will instead need to be filtered out by the kidneys causing them to become overwhelmed. In many people who are homeless, or lack access to bathing facilities, an unpleasant urine odor may sometimes be noticed. This is usually because they lack access to the daily showers that would remove the uremic toxins which normally come through the skin.

Traditional Chinese Medicine further highlights this relationship, referring to the skin as a third kidney. A recent German study wanted to put the legend of skin detox to the test in kidney patients and researched patients in stage 4 as they sweat into towels. The towels were later analyzed for chemical content of uremic toxins. Researchers did in fact find that uremic waste was found and that the level of uremic waste was higher when these sweating sessions were more frequent.

Some of the most common ways to replicate such potent detoxification efforts are:

  • Infrared (IR) Sauna.
    IR Saunas use a lower temperature than most traditional saunas which mean they penetrate more deeply into the skin. If you have a home unit, 15-minute daily sessions can be a great way to detoxify.


  • Detox Baths.
    One cup of Epsom salt & 2 cups of apple cider vinegar in a standard bathtub may help draw out toxins. Scrubbing the skin while immersed is also helpful. As little as 20 minutes a few times a week can work wonders. Any residual vinegar odor can be rinsed off in shower afterwards.


  • Salt Baths.
    Alternatively, you could use two 1 lb. boxes of table salt, this helps to create an osmotic gradient  that is also deeply warming.


These detox and salt baths are useful for people in all stages of kidney disease, however, diabetics should be sure not to raise the water temperature above 104 degrees and posttransplant recipients should avoid hot baths and saunas, as these can stimulate the immune response.  

In conclusion, the more frequently one detoxes, the more tangible the benefits. Although there is still much research to be done on the subject, it could prove a very therapeutic way of helping support the kidneys through detoxing the waste it can no longer handle. For more of the latest kidney studies and stories, be sure to check out our YouTube, updated daily.

SOURCE: Kidney Skin Detox by Dr. Jenna C. Henderson from The Townsend Letter, May 2016.