Bleach Baths for Eczema: The 2016 Edition
As the hunt for eczema relief continues, some old remedies still hold true. In fact, some of the most effective and soothing eczema treatments, like bleach baths, are quite simple. A very small amount of bleach diluted in bath water is certainly one of the most tried, tested, and true methods to relieve the symptoms of atopic dermatitis, aka. chronic eczema. Bleach baths are safe for baby, toddler, child and adult eczema.
Properly diluted bleach baths are completely safe for children and adults. Adding bleach to your bath water helps to control skin bacteria and decrease infections. It’s an effective way for adults and children alike to get control of their eczema flares. This concentration of bleach is actually very low and is similar to a swimming pool at about 0.005%. However, it’s important to consult with a physician before trying a bleach bath.
Choosing the Right Bleach:
Regular strength household bleach (4-6% sodium hypochlorite) is all that you need for your bleach bath. Do not use concentrated bleach or bleach that contains fragrances.
Bleach Bath Recipe:
¼ cup of bleach for a half bath – approximately 75 liters of water
½ cup of bleach for a full bath – approximately 150 liters of water
1 teaspoon for a gallon
What Size is My Bathtub?
These bleach bath recipe sizes are based on a standard-sized American bathtub; a tub filled to the overflow line marked by the drainage holes is 150 liters. If you have a smaller bathtub, try 1 tsp. of bleach for every gallon of water.
Note: Be cautious when handling the bleach. Avoid direct contact with the undiluted bleach. Also, be careful to protect your clothing and towels.
Bleach Bath Directions:
- Mix the bleach and the water well before entering the bath.
- Soak in the bath for 5-10 minutes. Do not submerge your head. Soak from the neck down or specifically soak the affected areas. Rinse the skin with clean, warm water.
- Gently pat the skin dry with a soft, cotton towel. Do not rub skin, lightly pat. Leave the skin slightly moist.
- Moisturize immediately while the skin is still damp. Follow any prescribed moisturizing and prescription directions from your physician or child's physician. We recommend Vaniply eczema emollient as it is recommended by most allergists and dermatologists.
- Repeat 2–3 times a week.
- Consider applying eczema clothing over the eczema emollient. This stops itching and keeps the emollients in place.
- If you suffer from moderate to severe eczema also consider wet wrap therapy for eczema. Wet wrap therapy for eczema is an extremely effective treatment for eczema and is followed immediately after the emollient is applied. Below is a diagram for wet wrap therapy. Done correctly, studies report a 75% reduction in eczema symptoms.
Bleach baths can help to reduce redness, itchiness, and skin scaling. The baths are most effective when you also follow a disciplined moisturizing routine.
If your skin becomes dry, you may not be rinsing your skin thoroughly, you might be using too much bleach, or you may be taking bleach baths too often. Try trouble shooting your bleach baths by rinsing more carefully, adjusting the amount of bleach, and reducing your frequency. You can also increase your moisturizer, which can always be used in generous amounts.
Bleach baths are a simple, safe, and effective way to control bacterial infections and reduce eczema symptoms. Consult with your physician first and start adding bleach baths to your skin care regimen for eczema relief.