Does bleach bath work to control eczema?

Eczema is a chronic condition that in some patients can be difficult to manage. Fortunately, there are several resources to try alternatives, such as bleach baths.

Last update: 23 February, 2022

Among the many therapeutic options for chronic eczema or atopic dermatitis are natural remedies, such as a bleach bath. Discover a practice full of myths and doubts that we will solve in the article.

Under specific conditions, it is a proven fact that bleach can kill microorganisms on the skin surface that are related to the symptoms of this disease. Especially the itching and redness.

What is the basis of this technique?

Eczema, known in some contexts as atopic dermatitis, is a fairly common chronic skin condition in the general population. According to information in the MSD Manuals, up to 10% of adults and 20% of children may have the disease.

From a pathological point of view, it is characterized by inflammatory skin reactions that occur in response to very diverse stimuli. Environmental changes and contact with certain microorganisms are some of the most important.

It is in this last aspect that sodium hypochlorite, better known as bleach. As it has a powerful bactericidal activity (that is, it kills bacteria), it is a substance that could eliminate some skin microorganisms capable of triggering dermatitis.

General advice before trying

While it is a safe and useful home remedy when bleach is properly diluted, traditional treatments should be tried first. For this, going to a dermatologist when the symptoms become persistent or intense is essential.

The professional will recommend moisturizing creams, oral antihistamines (such as loratadine or cetirizine), dietary changes (avoiding eggs in young children, for example), and lifestyle modifications. However, all of these measures can be maintained in conjunction with bleach baths.

In children, eczema is not uncommon. And it is difficult to know the origin of the outbreaks.


Procedure for making a bleach bath for eczema

Below we will explain the highlights of the procedure to make a bleach bath for eczema. It is recommended that it be done at night.before bedtime.

suitable concentration

The preparation of the solution for the bath is the most important point. There are some standardized concentrations that allow a good effect to be obtained.. Poor preparation can lead to therapeutic failures, discomfort and an increased risk of poisoning if something is accidentally swallowed.

Following the recommendations of the Mayo Clinic, the way to prepare the bleach bath is as follows:

  • For a bathtub that can fill about 150 liters, use 1/2 or 1/4 of a cup with bleach. You must make the corresponding calculations in case you want to use a bathtub with less capacity.
  • For these measurements, the recommended concentration of sodium hypochlorite is 6 to 8.25%. To be sure, check the commercial label of the product.

recommended temperature

Ideally, the water should be lukewarm. Extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) could promote skin irritation.

bleach bath time

This type of natural remedy should only be applied for a maximum of 15 continuous minutes. In fact, it was not necessary to exceed 3 baths a week.

If you are experiencing very intense symptoms that require further approaches, it is necessary to go to a trusted dermatologist.

After bleach bath for eczema

Be sure to wash a little with warm water without bleach after the bath. It is advisable to apply abundant moisturizing cream to the entire exposed surface and, after that, put on clean and loose clothing. Prefer cotton fabrics.



Evidence on its effectiveness

Despite being a natural remedy, there is some scientific support that has allowed its recommendation among health professionals. An article published in 2018 reveals that the antimicrobial activity of bleach is effective in controlling strains of Staphylococcus aureus present in the skin.

Although the relationship between its presence and eczema symptoms is not fully understood, it is known that bleach baths can provide clinical improvement through this mechanism.

According to the same study cited, regular exposure to these baths helps to minimize the use of creams based on steroids and antibiotics. It turns out to be a valuable resource for reduce the costs associated with the treatment of this chronic diseasewhich in some patients can be very high.

The symptoms of eczema can be intense, to the point of affecting the quality of daily life.

An effective natural remedy

Although there is usually a certain stigma about it, there are several diseases that can be partially controlled with natural remedies. The important thing is that these have evidence-based medical studies that support their effectiveness.

In no case should the bleach bath replace a visit to the health professional. We are, in fact, before a complement for therapeutics.

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