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Eczema bleach bath: Can it improve my symptoms?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/eczema-bleach-bath/AN02003
- With Mayo Clinic dermatologist
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.read biographyclose window
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Dr. Lawrence Gibson likens bad health information on the Internet to food poisoning.
Consumers, he says, need to be aware and will find reliable information at MayoClinic.com.
Dr. Gibson, a Covington, Ky., native, has been with Mayo Clinic since 1986 and is board certified in dermatology, dermatopathology and immunodermatology. He is a professor of dermatology at Mayo Medical School and a consultant in the Department of Dermatology.
Dr. Gibson has served as the fellowship director for dermatopathology and as chair of the Laboratory Division in the Department of Dermatology. He is especially interested in inflammatory disorders of the skin, including vasculitis, and in lymphoma affecting the skin.
"Electronic information has become a staple in the diet of a health conscious society," he says. "It's important to avoid misinformation and provide a credible source for health information. Using this analogy, it's critical to avoid 'indigestion' or, worse yet, 'food poisoning' by the ingestion of tainted information."
- White patch on skin: A cause for concern?
Lifestyle and home remedies (1)
- Eczema bleach bath: Can it improve my symptoms?
Eczema bleach bath: Can it improve my symptoms?
What is a bleach bath? Can it treat chronic eczema symptoms?
from Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
An eczema bleach bath — a bath with a small amount of bleach added to the water — may help lessen symptoms of chronic eczema (atopic dermatitis), an itchy skin condition.
A bacterial infection often accompanies eczema, worsening symptoms. An eczema bleach bath is thought to kill the bacteria on the skin, reducing itching, redness and scaling. This is most effective when combined with other eczema treatments, such as medication and moisturizers.
If properly diluted and used as directed, a bleach bath is safe for both children and adults. For best results:
- Add 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) of bleach to a 40-gallon (151-liter) bathtub filled with warm water (measures are for a U.S.-standard-sized tub filled to the overflow drainage holes).
- Soak the limbs and torso or just the affected areas of skin for five to 10 minutes. Do not submerge the head.
- Dry skin thoroughly, and generously apply moisturizer.
- Take a bleach bath no more than twice a week.
A bleach bath can cause skin dryness if too much bleach is used or if the bath is done too often. If your skin is cracked or extremely dry, any bath — including a bleach bath — may be painful. Talk to your doctor before trying an eczema bleach bath.Next question
White patch on skin: A cause for concern?
- Huang JT, et al. Treatment of Staphylococcus aureus colonization in atopic dermatitis decreases disease severity. Pediatrics. 2009;123:e808.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 17, 2011.
- Boguniewicz M, et al. Atopic dermatitis. In: Adkinson NF Jr, et al. Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/140855980-3/0/1806/66.html?tocnode=56310489&fromURL=66.html. Accessed May 21, 2009.