Hello, My name is Dr. Day with Innovation Dermatology. Today I want to talk to you a bit about a simple drug-free way to minimize infection in eczema or irritated skin.
A lot of the times when patients have eczema or other skin conditions there’s irritation, inflammation, and mild skin breakdown. This skin breakdown leaves them prone to infections from a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus aureus is colonized on most people’s body and skin and if contracted, they would need to go on an antibiotic to clear that infection.
One simple step that you can take that have been shown in studies to reduce infection is a bleach bath routine. Although it sounds awful a bleach bath routine is very easy to do and safe for your skin.
Generally speaking what you do is a few simple steps:
1. Fill a tub full of water, about 40 gallons, of lukewarm water.
2. Take about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of household bleach Javex or Clorox. It needs to be about 6% Sodium Hypochlorite. That’s then mixed into the tub to create a concentration of about .005%. For you science geeks out there, that’s a little bit more than a swimming pool.
3. Soak in the tub for approximately 10 minutes. After 10 minutes you drain the tub and rinse your skin off with normal water.
4. After you’ve rinsed the skin off, your dermatologist probably has given you a prescription cream for the areas that are itchy or inflamed. Take that prescription cream and apply it to those areas.
An important part of the bleach bath routine is to lock in the moisture that you’ve gotten into your skin after that bath routine. You then take the moisturizer (one with Ceramide) and apply it from the neck down to lock in the benefits of that bleach bath routine.
This can be repeated up to two times a week and can be used safely on an ongoing basis.
A great video that I really like that depicts the steps of a bleach bath routine well can be found on the American Academy of Dermatology website. All you have to do is put into a search engine “AAD eczema bleach bath routine” and that video would pop up for you outlining all the steps we’ve talked about.
A word of caution. A bleach bath shouldn’t be used on people who have an allergy to chlorine. Another important thing to realize is bleach should never be directly applied to the skin. Although it’s at a higher concentration this going to be quite an irritant.
So, hopefully, this is a dispelled some of the concern that people may have a bleach bath routine and will help you get better control of your skin, thanks.