Effects of magnesium deficiency--more than skin deep

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2014 Oct;239(10):1280-91. doi: 10.1177/1535370214537745. Epub 2014 Jun 13.


Dead Sea and magnesium salt therapy are two of the oldest forms of treatment for skin disease and several other disorders, supported by a body of largely anecdotal evidence. In this paper we review possible pathways for penetration of magnesium ions through the epidermis to reach the circulation, in turn replenishing cellular magnesium levels. We also discuss mechanisms for intercellular movement of magnesium ions and possible mechanisms for the interaction between magnesium ions and inflammatory mediators. Upon addition of magnesium ions in vitro, the expression of inflammatory mediators such as tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) and nuclear factor κβ (NFκβ) is down regulated. Dysregulation of these and other inflammatory mediators has been linked to several inflammatory disorders, including asthma, arthritis, atherosclerosis and neuroinflammation.

Keywords: Magnesium; inflammation; skin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / metabolism
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Magnesium / metabolism
  • Magnesium / therapeutic use*
  • Magnesium Deficiency / pathology*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin Absorption


  • Immunologic Factors
  • Magnesium