21/07/2021 / Health and Fitness

Wet Socks Treatment and Therapy: Methods and Side Effects

Wet sock treatment is a 100% natural and drug-free therapy to stimulate your immune system & inhibit the occurrence of cold or flu. Here's all you need to know about wet socks treatment.

Wet Socks Treatment and Therapy: Methods and Side Effects
Mazia AhmedMazia Ahmed

Mazia Ahmed

MSc Nutrition Science, Ph.D. Scholar

Table of Content


  • Ever thought that a pair of wet socks could heal your immune system? No? Well, here it goes. So, it's a therapy commonly known as the "wet socks treatment." It is a 100% natural and drug-free method to stimulate your immune system & inhibit the occurrence of cold or flu. It is a unique home remedy that has started gaining popularity and is often prescribed by physicians. 

  • Having said that, it is interesting to know that during this pandemic situation, when immunity has become quite an essential thing for all of us, a simple home therapy could help us gain immunity. However, it has its share of negative impacts too. So come, let's know more about it in detail.

What is Wet Socks Treatment?

Although the name might sound weird to most of you, it is an effective treatment as it activates the body's natural defense mechanism to combat infections. The process involves soaking a pair of cotton socks in ice-cold water, wringing them thoroughly, and then wearing them overnight on warm-washed feet. On performing it, the body reacts to the cold socks by increasing circulation, thereby stimulating the immune system. Thus, the Wet socks treatment boosts up the entire system to battle against stubborn viruses and minimizes the risks of long-suffering. 

5 Things to be kept Beforehand

If this article caught your eyes, you probably plan for a wet socks treatment or have made a mistake previously. So before knowing the procedure, you need to look at the things that should be kept handy to undergo a wet socks treatment. Check it out.

1. Light cotton or polypropylene socks up to the mid-calf length

2. A bowl of ice-cold water (or freezer)

3. Thick warm socks (preferably woolen) up to mid-calf length

4. A bucket filled with hot water ( as hot as your skin can tolerate)

5. Epsom salt and moor mud (optional)

11 Steps of Wet Socks Treatment Procedure

1. First, take a pair of light cotton or polypropylene socks and soak them in ice-cold water. You can alternatively place the pair of wet, wrung socks in the freezer and hang them on a freezer shelf.

2. Make sure that you wring the socks so that water doesn’t drip out of them. 

3. The next important thing is to warm your feet. If you don't warm your feet properly, the therapy won’t be as effective as it should be. For warming, place your lower legs into a bucket of hot water and soak in the water for about 3 to 5 minutes. You can also take a warm bath beforehand to accomplish warming. 

4. Next, take a soft towel and dry your feet properly.

5. Then, remove the socks from ice water or the freezer and wring them out well.

6. Now, put on the wet socks on your feet and cover them with a pair of thick woolen socks.

7. After wearing the socks, go directly to bed, lay down, and engage yourselves in reading, watching movies, or other activities so that you can avoid getting chills. 

8. Wear socks overnight while sleeping.

9. Keep a second set of nightdresses next to your bed, as your entire body might get wet out of excessive sweat. 

10. Make sure that you put on the wet socks the whole night. Then, the following day you will find that the cotton socks are dried up.

11. Follow this procedure regularly at night if your symptoms don't improve. Also, you should stop the wet socks treatment if your symptoms have either decreased or vanished altogether.

8 Utmost Health Benefits of the Wet Socks Treatment

1. The wet socks treatment is often recommended by doctors and is immensely effective in improving the following symptoms or conditions:

  • Migraine

  • Headache

  • Nasal congestion & Sinusitis 

  • Cold feet

  • Pain in ear & ear infections

  • Low-grade chronic fever

  • Sore throat, throat infection, or inflammation

  • Upper respiratory tract infections

  • Cough, cold & flu

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  • Bronchitis

  • Viral & Bacterial Infections

  • Stress or anxiety

  • Sleeplessness or insomnia

  • Weakness and low immunity 

2. The wet socks treatment helps in drawing blood and enables lymphatic flow from the head towards the feet.

3. It helps in stimulating the body's overall immunity.

4. The therapy also helps in calming your body and mind.

5. The treatment actively increases circulation and decreases congestion of the upper respiratory passage and head. Thus, it provides relief from most of the congestion-related symptoms and conditions.

6. The wet socks therapy acts as a mild sedating agent that promotes better sleep and relief from stress. 

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7. It is also beneficial for pain relief and enhanced healing response in case of acute or chronic infections.

8. The wet socks treatment is also helpful in getting your body tissues toned. 

When Should You Start The Treatment?

The right time to start the wet socks treatment is on the very first day of an illness or occurrence of symptoms. It gives the best results if the therapy is repeated for three nights at a stretch. However, people with chronic conditions or weakened immunity should talk to a doctor before starting the treatment. 

10 Major Side-Effects of Wet Socks Treatment

Although the wet socks treatment relieves you from multiple health conditions, some patients may have specific contraindications or side effects. 

1. Neuropathy - In patients with neuropathy, i.e., damage or dysfunction of nerves, the wet socks treatment might be severe as it can cause burning or freezing of feet. 

2. Asthma - For patients with asthma, the wet socks treatment may cause sudden asthmatic attacks because of cold exposure or sudden improvement in the immune system.

3. High fever - People with high fever or a temperature of 100F or above may experience more elevated temperatures due to the coldness from the wet socks treatment.

Side-Effects of Wet Socks

4. Pregnancy Complications - Pregnant women are likely to catch cold and fever if subjected to the wet socks treatment.

5. Cachexia - Extremely weak or wasting individuals are likely to get affected more than one way on sudden exposure to cold. 

6. Raynaud's, Diabetes, Arterial insufficiency & Advanced intermittent claudication - Patients with the above-mentioned history of diseases are prone to certain health complications if the warming phase of the wet socks treatment isn't correctly done. Thus, it is advised to consult a physician before taking the treatment if you have any medical disorders.

7. Low body temperature - If you are chilled or bear a low body temperature, the wet socks treatment can negatively impact your body.

8. Moist skin problems - The therapy can aggravate skin problems caused due to moist skin conditions. 

9. Fungal skin infections - The therapy can further deteriorate fungal skin infections on the feet. 

10. Wool Allergy - The wet socks treatment can also be harmful to persons having wool allergy or sensitivity. 

Wet Socks Treatment – Reality or Myth?

  • There exist a plethora of myths related to health and wellness. While some of them might sound bizarre, others are famous for their effectiveness. But whatever the fact may be, there's one thing common to all such myths that we tend to follow as gospel since we are concerned with our health. The wet socks treatment, too, is one such treatment that seems quite odd and weird. While the debate on whether it's a reality or myth continues to soar, detailed studies and investigations define it as a fascinating phenomenon that actually works wonders. Although there's no precise evidence except some anecdotal ones, the wet socks treatment is considered a placebo effect wherein a strong therapeutic intervention improves a person's health conditions.

  • The anecdotal evidence claims that when your feet begin to cool due to the wet socks treatment, the blood vessels in the feet start contracting. Moreover, these blood vessels supply enough nutrients to the organs and tissues. Furthermore, as your feet start to get warm, the blood vessels begin to dilate and eventually release toxins away from the body tissue. In this way, the wet socks treatment benefits several health issues through the underlying placebo effect, which ultimately becomes a boon for your health.

  • So, whether wet socks treatment is a reality or myth still remains a mystery. But all we can say is that it is truly beneficial for improving certain health conditions.

Word of Wisdom

The wet socks treatment is an effective way to avoid your health problems and gain a healthy life. Moreover, it's a boon for several patients who don't have sufficient resources or facilities to go for expensive treatments to get rid of their body's underlying diseases. It's indeed astonishing that in today's era of advanced medical science & technology, a simple home therapy could do so much. But as we all know, medical science is all about exploring new possibilities in which a body responds; wet socks therapy is also one such kind of exploration that has healed patients over the years.

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