One of my very favorite quotes is “The cure for anything is saltwater: sweats, tears, or the sea”. As a child, whenever I was at the beach, my grandma reminded me to take off my bandaids before I went into the ocean because saltwater would help the cuts. I never knew if it was just an age old myth, but my cuts did seem to get better after a dip in the Atlantic. Does the ocean really heal, though?
Well, no. It’s well known that saline, a very pure form of salt water, can heal many cuts and aid in helping clear open wounds of foreign materials. While the water in the ocean contains saline, since it’s not pure like the saline solutions sold in stores and used in hospitals, it could actually end up making the wound worse rather than better. According to Professor Bart Currie, an infectious disease and tropical infection expert, there are many variables that you must take into account, including the state of the ocean and the state of the wound. As well, people with weak immune systems are more susceptible to contracting diseases and should definitely avoid going into the ocean with an open wound.
But, saltwater does have it’s perks. The Dead Sea is flocked to every year by millions for it’s healing powers- just floating in the water is known to help ease skin diseases like eczema. That same Daily Mail article also talks about all different treatments involving saltwater, like algae wraps and salt water baths, help exfoliate and purify your skin.
So while saltwater should not be your go-to method to heal your open wounds, taking a dip in the ocean once in a while without a bandaid off your paper cut definitely won’t hurt.