In the field of healthcare, salt-pan mud, also called fango or black gold, is used mainly for two reasons. The first is its thermal effect – due to its physical properties, it has a large heat capacity, and therefore cools down very slowly. Here, the thickness of mud wrap plays an essential role – when only a thin layer is applied, the heat potential of the peloid will soon disappear and thermal activity will stop. Therefore, thinner mud wraps are primarily used for relaxation and cosmetic purposes. Under the thicker fango wrap, accelerated local circulation is triggered, oxygenation of the tissues improves and degradation products are washed away more rapidly; when acting on the pain receptors, it also provides an analgesic effect. Moreover, heat has a sedative or calming effect, which is the result of the reduction in pain, general comfort and well-being when the surface of the body is warm. Another important effect of fango is its chemical effect. Substances which are important for the activity of wraps are iron sulphate and sulphuric acid, which contribute to an increased circulation of the skin, and alkaline sulphides, which promote the exfoliation of the horny layers of the skin. However, the most important are humic acids which have an anti-rheumatic effect, and positive effect on women's diseases and disorders through their influence on the hypophysis.
Otherwise, wraps also have a mechanical effect since the weight of the mud acts as a compression, but this effect on healing is not of primary importance.
For effective use, the mud must be heated to a specific temperature, i.e. 42-45°C. It should be applied directly to the skin with a layer of 3 to 5cm as a partial or complete body wrap. It should be left on the skin for 20 to 30 minutes, followed by rest for at least 30 minutes.
The main indications for use of salt-pan mud are: chronic pain of the locomotor system, arthrosis of the large and small joints of the hands and feet, conditions after injuries and operations, certain rheumatic diseases in the phase of rest, skin diseases (especially psoriasis with its complications, chronic skin diseases with keratotic changes), chronic non-malignant gynaecological diseases, where other treatments were not successful.
Before using the salt-pan mud for medical purposes, a medical examination is required on the condition of the cardiovascular system, skin changes and the psychophysical condition.