Jump to content

Can bleach baths make eczema worse?

  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#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.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


What not to say to a new mum

Some phrases just pop out before you really think about them, but there are some things you should try to not say to a new mum.

Why I'm glad to be an indulgent granny

The phone calls started a couple of weeks ago. At about 5.30 each evening - if I am lucky - I will be greeted by a sweet, excited voice declaring: "'Allo Annie".

Is this the worst relationship advice ever published?

You sometimes have to wonder whether relationship/sex advice from magazines is designed to help or humiliate.

How you talk to your baby now can impact social skills later

People used to think that social skills were something kids were born with, not taught.

Three truths about C-section mums

Lately I've been thinking about the caesarean stories and the brave women who birth their children with strength and beauty.

Scientists predict when you should start a family

Scientists have calculated at exactly what age you need to start trying to get pregnant to have the best chance of realising your dream. 

Differently abled child

When 'protecting' a child is really a cover for judgement

Why are people so concerned for this happy child and his mother?

When toddlers have strange obsessions

When it comes to two-year-olds and birthday cakes there are a few requests that are usually at the top of the list. But a cake featuring a local personal injury lawyer?

When Mama Bear strikes

When we become mums, our instinct to protect our children and keep them safe from harm is so strong we're often likened to a Mama Bear protecting her cubs.  

Immunity boosters for kids

There are no guaranteed ways to avoid the dreaded winter illnesses completely, but there are ways we can boost our children's immunity.

Mum shares portrait of her proudly breastfeeding three-year-old

Jade Beall usually chooses to breastfeed her son, now 3, in private. This week, however, she shared portraits of her breastfeeding her preschooler.

Dealing with a toddler's morning tantrums

Your schedule is not important to your two-year-old, and you cannot convince her otherwise. So what can you do?

Child in suitcase 'could have died eight years ago'

A child whose remains were dumped in a suitcase in the South Australian bush is believed to have been a girl aged between two-and-a-half to four.

MP breastfeeds baby during parliamentary session

An Argentinian mum and politician has caused a stir on social media after being filmed breastfeeding her baby.

My baby's first seizure

It was 1am on a cold winter's night when I woke suddenly to the screams of my 12-month-old son. Our lives were about to change forever.

Portable pools 'more dangerous than permanent ones'

Inflatable and portable children's pools may be required to be sold with compulsory fencing to prevent backyard drownings, with some experts even floating the idea of a ban.

Heartbreaking moment mum kisses her one-week-old goodbye

At 11.07am on April 2 this year, Sarah Marriott welcomed baby Sebastian into the world.

The amazing Tee Pee bed and kid-friendly Frankie Bunk bed

These kids' beds definitely fit the brief of providing personality and personal space for little people who are moving up in the world.

The funny things kids say when you're pregnant

Since becoming noticeably pregnant, my son has taken more of an interest in the sibling he'll soon have.

The real problem with having one child

In this age of political correctness, it seems the one subject still subject to discrimination is that of the Only Child.

Six-week-old baby found dead, believed stabbed

A neighbour heard a child screaming before a baby was found dead, believed to have been stabbed, in a house in Newcastle.

The fire hazard in more than 70,000 Australian homes

So far, 206 Samsung washing machines have caught fire and some have exploded. But many remain in people's homes.

How having a baby can bring on OCD

We all know that having a baby can turn your life upside down - and it can also bring a raft of new anxieties and worries.

IVF gender selection being considered for Australian parents

Couples using IVF may be able to choose the gender of their babies and women could be financially compensated for donating their eggs.

The best age to get married (according to the latest study)

Not too young, and not too old. That's reportedly the best age to get married. Not everyone agrees.

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.


What's hot on EB

Yes, you can get pregnant before your period returns post-baby

After giving birth, the last thing you want to think about is contraception. But you can get pregnant before your period comes back.

Fellow diner rewards mum after toddler's tantrum

Parents of toddlers everywhere know the feeling. After working up the courage to take your child out for lunch or dinner in public you are rewarded with a mid-meal meltdown. 

IKEA begins massive safety campaign after two toddler deaths

Two children were killed when pieces from their Malm furniture line tipped over.

Which beauty treatments are safe in pregnancy?

Is it safe to use fake tan, hair dye and nail varnish during pregnancy?

A dad's guide to hyperemesis

I am in no way qualified to advise women on how to cope with hyperemesis, but I've learnt some lessons that might be worth sharing with other partners.

The five ways I know my 'baby' is no longer a baby

The truth is, I can no longer deny that my walking, babbling, somewhat-independent little miss is no longer a bona fide 'baby'.

Woman adopts best friend's four daughters after cancer tragedy

Best friends share everything - and for these two life-long friends, that includes family.

Beaneasy: sweet nursery furniture with a twist

If you're looking to introduce an organic element into your baby's nursery but want to step away from natural timber, we have the perfect alternative.

Confirmed: men gain weight when they become dads

Men who become fathers experience weight gain and an increase in body mass index, a measurement of body fat based on height and weight, according to a new, large-scale study

Carer investigated over washing machine photo posted 'for a laugh'

She said the photo of a boy with Down syndrome in a washing machine was taken just for fun, but no one else was laughing.

The day my son started a fire

Would you know what to do in a fire emergency? How safe is your home and family?

Mum's premature labour nightmare after high tea salmonella outbreak

An opulent high tea at a luxury Melbourne hotel has left 44 people with salmonella poisoning - including a pregnant woman, who went into early labour.

The science of 'hangry': why some people get grumpy when hungry

Where does hanger come from? And why is it that only some people seem to get hangry?

What a baby with whooping cough sounds like

It's a heartbreaking video that anyone who has ever considered not vaccinating against whooping cough must see.

Couple's million dollar bill for premmie baby born on holiday

An Australian couple could face a medical expenses of more than $1 million after their baby boy was born three months prematurely while they were holidaying in Hawaii.

Coffee a day to keep disease at bay

Don't be surprised if your morning brew does more than wake you up. There's more to this magical elixir than you might think.

Why Prince George has 'two different looks'

Days out from Prince George's second birthday, his parents' tendency to dress him in classical style clothing has been revealed as a cunning ploy.

Husband films mum giving birth in moving car on freeway

An incredible birth video shows a mother delivering her own baby as her husband drives along a freeway in a vain attempt to reach hospital.

Breastfeeding while pregnant: is it safe?

Many women happily breastfeed well into pregnancy while others wean sooner; yet others continue to breastfeed both infants together. This is a personal choice.

Womb to world: transitioning your new baby

One minute they're contentedly snuggled in the sanctuary of their mum's tummy, and the next they arrive into an overwhelming reality of lights, cameras and action.


iSperm: the iPad home fertility test for men

A new gadget uses a tiny microscope and the camera on an iPad to calculate sperm count and motility.

The tiny twins who were strong from the start

I cried when a specialist told me at exactly 28 weeks that our twin boys would have to be born within 48 hours.

One day when I didn't know

Julia Watson, a mum of four young girls, was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in December 2013. She shares her latest blog piece with Essential Baby. 



See Pinky McKay live in Sydney

Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.