The Benefits of Bleach Baths for Eczema
A small amount of bleach diluted in water can be very helpful to people who are suffering with eczema. A gentle bleach bath can lessen the symptoms because much of the itchy side effect of eczema is made worse by bacterial infection. The bleach bath kills the bacteria which reduces the redness, scaling, and itching.
Bleach baths can be completely safe for children when the bleach is properly diluted in water and the procedures are followed carefully. You or your child may experience some dry skin if you use too much bleach or take bleach baths too often. It’s recommended that you talk with a board-certified dermatologist before beginning bleach bath therapy.
Bleach Bath - Instructions
- 1. Use regular strength – 6% – bleach for the bath. *Do not use concentrated bleach.
- 2. Use a half-cup of bleach for a full bathtub, or a quarter cup for a half-full bath. For a babies or toddlers, add one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water.
- 3. Soak for 5 to 10 minutes, according to your dermatologist’s recommendations.
- 4. Pat your child’s skin dry after the bath. If your child uses eczema medication, apply it immediately after the bath. Then moisturize your child’s skin.
- 5. Following the bath, immediately apply an emollient such as Vaniply.
- Use a measuring cup or measuring spoon to add the bleach to the bath. Adding too much bleach to the bath can irritate the skin while using too little bleach may not be effective. Measure the specific amount of bleach before adding it to the bath water.
- Never apply bleach directly to your child’s eczema. Pour the bleach into the water while the bath is filling. Wait until the bath is fully drawn and the bleach has been added to the water before getting into the tub.
- Consult with your dermatologist about how long your child should soak in the tub. Most dermatologists recommend 5 to 10 minutes of soaking.
- Consider using a dry wrap over the emollient to lock in the moisture and help repair the skin barrier.
Bleach baths are most effective when combined with medication, moisturizer, and other eczema treatments.