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Pros and Cons of Bleach Bath for Eczema

Many know bleach as a cleaning product, a whitening product, or a product for hair dyeing, however bleach is also used in baths for people battling with eczema.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition characterized by itching, redness, and scaling. Managing eczema can be challenging, and people often seek alternative treatments to alleviate their symptoms. One such method gaining attention is the use of bleach baths. According to a Mayo Clinic article on bleach bath, here are some pros and cons to consider before using a bleach bath.

Pros of Eczema Bleach Baths:

  • Bacterial Reduction: Eczema-prone skin is susceptible to bacterial infections, which can worsen symptoms. The use of bleach in a bath can help kill bacteria on the skin's surface, reducing itching and redness. This antibacterial effect can complement other eczema treatments, including medication and moisturizers.

  • Symptom Relief: Many individuals with eczema find relief from their symptoms, such as itching and scaling, after taking a bleach bath. The bath's soothing properties can provide temporary comfort and may improve the overall skin condition.

  • Safe for Properly Diluted Use: When used as directed and properly diluted, bleach baths are generally safe for both children and adults. It is essential to follow the recommended guidelines to ensure that the concentration of bleach is not too high.

Cons of Eczema Bleach Baths:

  • Potential for Dryness: Bleach is a potent disinfectant, and using it in baths can lead to dry skin. Excessive use or improper dilution may exacerbate dryness, leading to discomfort and irritation. It is crucial to moisturize immediately after a bleach bath to restore the skin's moisture barrier.

  • Sensitivity and Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may have skin sensitivity or allergies to bleach. If your skin is not tolerating the bleach bath well or if you experience any adverse reactions, such as itching or redness, it is essential to stop the treatment and consult a healthcare professional.

  • Painful for Cracked or Very Dry Skin: If your skin is severely dry or cracked, any bath, including a bleach bath, can cause pain and further irritation. Individuals with such skin conditions should consult their doctor before attempting a bleach bath.

If you still desire to take a bleach bath after consulting medical advice and considering all the potential negative side effects, here are some general guidelines:

  1. If properly diluted and used as directed, a bleach bath is safe for children and adults. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, bleach products made in the U.S. may contain 6 percent to 8.25 percent sodium hypochlorite.

  2. If the concentration of sodium hypochlorite is at the higher end of that range, use less than a 1/2 cup of bleach.

  3. Make sure to have yourself or your baby soak from the neck down or just the affected areas of skin for about 10 minutes.

  4. Rinse off your skin immediately if it is not tolerating the bleach bath well.

  5. Remember to always immediately moisturize after a bath, especially a bleach bath which is extremely drying. Try our LEMYKA Hydrating Cream for the ultimate moisturizer that provides a strong moisture barrier.

Remember, bleach baths are certainly NOT a cure. While bleach baths can provide relief from certain symptoms, they do not cure eczema. It is essential to remember that eczema management requires a comprehensive approach, including proper skincare, medication, lifestyle adjustments, and potentially other treatments prescribed by a healthcare professional.


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