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Can bleach baths make eczema worse?

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#1 i-candi

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:15 PM

So we are trying bleach baths with DS, he has only done it a few times and so far his eczema is getting worse, it's now on his back sad.gif He is scratching so much he is bleeding sad.gif

Today he put cream on and said it was stinging, this has never happened before so I tried the dermaide (he put moo goo eczema cream on it) and he said it was worse so he had a shower to wash it all off. I put more dermaide on which made him feel better.

I'm going through tubes of dermaide - I've always hated using this stuff but it is the only thing that is kind of working.

So did anyone find bleach baths made the eczema worse?

Also I let the bath evaporate the bleach overnight with the hope that it doesn't damage the bioseptic system but the smell is still there in the morning. Is it true the bleach evaporates?

Someone said there was something we could put down our drains to help the bioseptic system, does anyone know what it is? I can't remember who said it.

Edited by i-candi, 17 May 2012 - 12:12 AM.

#2 mal'occhio

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:22 PM

What are bleach baths?!?!? They sound horrendous, and yes any form of bleach makes my eczema worse.

#3 Baggy

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:24 PM

A friend of mine was told to do this to. She didn't do it because it sounded ridiculous plus her children are 4years old and 12months old  and the youngest tends to drink the bath water.

I was shocked when she first told me about what the doctor told her to do but since then I have heard a lot of parents being told to do this.

I would not being doing it at all .

#4 buttercup-bob

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:26 PM

sounds horrible for the poor kid!! I wouldnt be doing it!  When my DS's eczema flares up we just give him a quickish shower - soaking in water actually dries the skin out and makes it worse.

#5 ~chiquita~

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:26 PM

There was a thread about this not long ago.

Bleach Baths
Found it.

Edited by ~chiquita~, 06 May 2012 - 04:28 PM.

#6 jill1972

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:27 PM

OMG who told you to do this?  You mean normal household bleach?  It's a wonder he's got any skin left.  I don't know if I'm missing something here, but bleach is corrosive.  Why aren't you trying cortisone creams?  Or is that what the one you mentioned is.  Please tell me more as this post made my skin crawl!


#7 gigglemobile

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:30 PM

If you put too much bleach in than yes it could make it worse.  

Its common practice for children with eczema to have a bleach bath, the bleach is very very very diluted, like a swimming pool, not dangerous.

#8 ~chiquita~

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:31 PM

QUOTE (jill1972 @ 06/05/2012, 04:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OMG who told you to do this?  You mean normal household bleach?  It's a wonder he's got any skin left.  I don't know if I'm missing something here, but bleach is corrosive.  Why aren't you trying cortisone creams?  Or is that what the one you mentioned is.  Please tell me more as this post made my skin crawl!

It's one capful to a bath. It's often recommended by doctors.
No different to taking a swim in your backyard pool really.

#9 Baggy

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:32 PM

Jill1972 -

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.


#10 Also sprach

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:33 PM

OP clearly you read the thread a PP linked to, as did I.  I found that very informative and tried over the last week myself and found it has helped (though have only done it twice).  Maybe ask in the WDYT section as you may get a better and more informative response.  Good luck with it.

#11 jill1972

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:37 PM

Ok, thanks, I've calmed down now, it's only a tiny bit.  I've just never heard of it before & one of my boys eczema can get pretty horrible at times. How come an antiseptic like dettol wouldn't be just as effective?


#12 deejie

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:40 PM

QUOTE (jill1972 @ 06/05/2012, 04:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OMG who told you to do this?  You mean normal household bleach?  It's a wonder he's got any skin left.  I don't know if I'm missing something here, but bleach is corrosive.  Why aren't you trying cortisone creams?  Or is that what the one you mentioned is.  Please tell me more as this post made my skin crawl!_____________

It is often recommended by dermatologists as a measure to reduce the bacterial colonisation on the skin and therefore reduce the risk of the eczema becoming infected.

OP, how much bleach are you putting in the bath? The dilution recommended by the RCH in Melbourne is 60mL of bleach to 50L of water. If you are putting in too much, it could be irritating the skin and possibly making it worse.

#13 oliversmum

Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:52 PM

hi, we did a trial for a childrens hospital with bleach baths....
its not dangerous as long as you get the dose correct, no different than the pool.... its actually less than a pool
it works by cutting down the infection, we all carry staph on our skin, if you have eczema the staph infection can get quite bad, the bleach baths help cut the staph infections down.... this is used in many other countries
it worked well for us, but we are now finding that food was the cause, so we are looking at the cause, this makes more sense to me.....

good luck, eczema is the pits

#14 i-candi

Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:26 PM

Chiquinta thanks for posting the link, that was what I was looking for original.gif

I'll drop it from every second night to every third night and if that doesn't help get him to have a quick shower after. DS said after the baths his skin feels better.

We haven't seen an improvement yet...

I'll only do a cap full, I was doing a little more than that - about 3 capfuls.

Thanks everyone that helped.

To the other PP's that scoffs at using bleach you obviously haven't had to deal with this dreaded skin condition sad.gif DS is 12 and this year since he has started high school it's been horrible sad.gif

#15 *mylittleprince*

Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:30 PM

I would wash with a soap free/paraben/SLS free solution (soap, gel, etc) like Moo Goo and follow with Moo Goo cream. Good luck.

#16 livvie7586

Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:31 PM

it all depends on why your child has eczema.  a bleach bath would almost kill me, but i'm allergic to chlorine.

#17 Lagom

Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:39 PM

Chlorine makes mine worse.  It is one of the things I am sensitive to though.   sad.gif  Salt and oats works better for me.

#18 i-candi

Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:47 PM

I believe DS's allergies are all airborne. The usual pollens, moulds, dustmites.

Oh his neck is really itchy lately as well and he is getting hives more frequently as well.

We have an immunologist appointment but not until July so we just have to wait. Everyone keeps saying it will get better but it just gets worse sad.gif  

Over the years we've tried sooooo many different creams. Moo goo have been the best lately but even that DS's skin is struggling.

#19 jill1972

Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:57 PM

i-candi, that immunology appt will uncover a lot for you, July isn't too far off now.  We live by our immunologist - there's certainly not enough of them around.  Hope your little man can get a bit of relief from this dreadful skin disease.

My little man's eczema has gotten worse with this sudden cold & dry air.


#20 Guest_NinjahAlpaca_*

Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:01 PM

This might sound nuts, but have you tried that Milton's sterliising liquid instead of bleach?  Perhaps it may have the same result but with less irritation?

#21 i-candi

Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:45 PM

QUOTE (NinjahAlpaca @ 06/05/2012, 06:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This might sound nuts, but have you tried that Milton's sterliising liquid instead of bleach?  Perhaps it may have the same result but with less irritation?

Not a bad idea at all !

#22 i-candi

Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:47 PM

QUOTE (jill1972 @ 06/05/2012, 05:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
i-candi, that immunology appt will uncover a lot for you, July isn't too far off now.  We live by our immunologist - there's certainly not enough of them around.  Hope your little man can get a bit of relief from this dreadful skin disease.

My little man's eczema has gotten worse with this sudden cold & dry air.


The winds are the worse, seems to stir up more pollen.

I'm hoping with fingers crossed that DS can go on a desensitisation program!

#23 mamaknits

Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:59 PM

We have used bleach baths on my child for the past 2 years. Initially we used it about once or twice a week and now it's just once every month or two. We dilute a tiny bit of bleach (about one cap full) in a full tub of water (big bath tub, not a baby bath). Our problem was not eczema but bites that quickly became infected and painful. Ever since starting the bleach bath routine, his skin has been much better. Not sure whether it is the bleach bath, though,a s he is also getting fewer bites now. It';s been a long time since the last time we had an infected bite.

After the bath, we rinse him off in the shower, and we smother him in Alpha Kerri cream.

#24 Pop-to-the-shops

Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:23 PM

A relative of mine is allergic to dettol! Ana

As pp said some people can be allergic to bleach too.... So I guess like anything, you try a small bit first.

It did seem like bleach was making it worse for my dd the first time I tried it, and same with when she goes swimming,msometimes it stings. But in the end it helped a lot.

We just make sure we wash off with a shower, and continue to mosturise

Edited by akakabanna, 06 May 2012 - 07:23 PM.

#25 kazandt

Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:44 AM

Just as an aside to the bleach bath- you mention that you son's skin has got worse since he started high school this year. Is there any chance it could be psoriasis? My 6 year old suffers from both and the psoriasis is stress/ anxiety induced (he has had a flare up this week and I am in hospital). It is slightly different treatment for each. We see a Paediatric dermatologist every six months now for maintenance of his skin and she has also mentioned the bleach bath trend but advised never to do when skin is cracked or inflamed- it is good as part of a maintenance but not treatment program if that makes sense! We use all the steroid based treatments for his eczema but then have multiple strengths of tar creams for the psoriasis. It might be worth mentioning when you see a dermatologist.

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