Bleach Baths for Eczema
As many as one in five school-aged children have eczema, known medically as atopic dermatitis. The skin condition is characterized by itchy, inflamed skin that often becomes scabby and raw from scratching.
Frequent scratching, which breaks the skin, often leads to skin infections, including difficult to treat ones like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ( MRSA).
Pediatric dermatologist Amy Paller, MD, tells WebMD that about 90% of people with eczema have staph on their skin, compared to about 25% of the population at large.
Staph infections have traditionally been treated with antibiotics, but bleach baths can also kill the microbes that cause infection.
Paller now recommends bleach baths to all her patients with moderate to severe eczema.
Along with Jennifer Huang, MD, and colleagues from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Paller conducted one of the first formal studies to examine the treatment.