The Truth About Detox Foot Pads


Detoxification is how your body rids itself of harmful toxins. Detox foot pads are a new type of product that claims to draw out everyday toxins our bodies come in contact with, such as air and water pollutants caused by manufacturing. While the idea sounds plausible, do detox foot pads really work? Here’s the full story on using food pads to detox your body.

What are detox foot pads?

Detox foot pads claim to work the opposite way from something like a nicotine patch: instead of your body absorbing a treatment compound, detox foot pads are supposed to pull compounds out of your body.

You are supposed to put them on the soles of your feet at night and let them work while you sleep. The following morning, you unstick the plaster and the pads are covered with a dark residue, providing “proof” that the pads have done their job absorbing toxins. But did they?

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Do detox foot pads really work?

Detox foot pads simply do not do the job they claim to do. In fact, the FTC found no evidence they remove toxins from the body, aid weight loss, or treat medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, or headaches.

Detox foot pads turn dark overnight because of a simple chemical reaction, not because they are absorbing toxins from your body. The pads come pre-treated with vinegar and other chemicals and react with your body’s perspiration and body heat, turning dark over time. The same discoloration on the pad that comes from wearing one can be caused by steaming the pad over a pot of boiling water or putting a few drops of water on it.

Even though some foot pad manufacturers claim that their products can pull out any number of toxins from your body, your skin just does not work that way. You can use creams or pads to introduce compounds into your body, but there is no way foot pads can draw out “bad” compounds. They can absorb sweat, but so can your socks. 

Benefits of detox foot pads

Detox foot pads claim to be able to treat a number of conditions, such as headaches, fatigue and insomnia. But they also make some startling claims about treating things such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Some even tout themselves as a weight loss aid, somehow removing cellulite from your body overnight. These claims have no scientific basis whatsoever. 

However, there are some ingredients in detox foot pads that may actually be beneficial, though not in the way the makers may claim. For example, some pads contain ginger, which is an anti-inflammatory. Others contain lavender oil, which is known to have calming properties and can help with sleep. But keep in mind, these are ingredients you draw into your body through the pad. Nothing is getting drawn out.

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Risks and side effects of detox foot pads

The most basic risk of detox foot pads is, of course, wasting money on a product that doesn’t work as it says it will. But more importantly, there is a risk of side effects if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the foot pads.

There’s one ingredient in particular you need to watch out for: wood or bamboo vinegar. Yes, that’s the same chemical that makes the pad turn dark. Unlike vinegar you would use in cooking, wood vinegar is made of pyroligneous acid. Skin contact with wood vinegar can cause redness, irritation, and burns. The vapors given off by wood vinegar can also cause dizziness. 

If you have any sort of allergic reaction to detox foot pads, stop using them at once. And if you suffer severe side effects such as difficulty breathing, seek emergency help immediately.

How to detox your body the right way

Okay, so detox foot pads don’t work. But the truth is, your body comes pre-installed with a massively powerful cleansing system, and it’s your called your kidneys, liver, and gastrointestinal tract. Your organs flush out everyday toxins and waste, so it’s important to keep them functioning properly. Alcohol abuse can cause serious and permanent damage to your liver. Staying hydrated will help keep your kidneys healthy. And by feeding your body healthy foods like vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, you can help your body do its job.

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