A Closer Look at Bleach Baths, a common treatment for eczema
What are bleach baths?
A bleach bath is unique because it kills bacteria, reduces inflammation, and moisturizes your skin all in the same treatment. A study showed that children with eczema who took regular bleach baths were less likely to develop a secondary bacterial infection as a side effect. The baths also decreased the severity of symptoms for children in the same study.
Here are steps to prep a bleach bath:
A standard bathtub, which contains 40 gallons of water, will only need a 1/2 cup of bleach to be an effective bleach bath.
Make sure to adjust the amount for the amount of water in your bathtub. Use household bleach, not a concentrated formula.
A bleach bath should only last 10 minutes. Rinse your skin completely with warm water. Hot water can dry out your skin and aggravate eczema.
Pat your skin dry gently with a towel. Use a hypoallergenic lotion to soothe skin and lock in moisture after a bleach bath.
Take a bleach bath up to three times per week to treat your eczema.
Avoid bleach baths if you have asthma. Exposure to the smell of bleach can trigger an asthma symptom flare-up. Make sure that your bleach bath happens in a bathroom where there is a window or proper ventilation.
If you’re using medications or cosmetics that make your skin thin and susceptible to tearing, such as anti-aging retinol treatments, topical corticosteroids, or prescription blood thinners, you should proceed with caution before taking a bleach bath.