Anytime you search for eczema treatments, a bleach bath for eczema always comes up.
Maybe your Doctor or Dermatologist has recommended bleach baths for eczema too.
Whether you are thinking about doing a bleach bath or have already started, here is some important information you should know.
I’ll also recommend some alternatives in case bleach baths sound a little too extreme for you.
What is bleach?
Bleach is the generic name for chemical products that are used to remove colour from a piece of fabric or to clean/remove stains.
Many bleaches have a wide range of bacteria-killing properties which makes them excellent for disinfecting and sterilizing.
It is commonly used in swimming pool sanitation to kill and control bacteria, viruses, and algae.
Chlorine, a powerful oxidizer but also an irritant, is the active ingredient in many household bleaches.
Chlorine in its purest form is a toxic corrosive gas.
Chlorine is often used with other ingredients for sanitation and disinfection purposes.
Our tap water is treated with chlorine and so are public/private swimming pools.
Why is a bleach bath for eczema recommended?
A bleach bath for eczema is commonly recommended to kill off bacteria on the skin.
Bacteria on the skin increase itching, redness, and flakiness.
The more your scratch the higher risk of developing a skin infection. The most common type of bacteria that contributes to eczema is staphylococcus aureus.
So it makes sense, logically, to take a bath in something that kills bacteria.
Dermatologists recommend adding 1/4 – 1/2 cup of common 5% household bleach to a bathtub full of water.
You are only supposed to soak the affected areas for 10 minutes. They also recommend limiting this practice to no more than twice a week.
It’s also important to not submerge your head and be very careful to avoid getting the diluted bleach bath water into your eyes.
Yeah, this doesn’t really sound safe to me…
I’m no Doctor, but recommending this to kids and children seems dangerous.
They are already in a lot of pain from eczema and don’t understand the risks of these chemicals.
So it’s easy for this practice to go wrong and cause more damage.
Recommending this to an adult is okay because they understand the risks associated with bleach coming into contact with areas that it should not.
As with everything, there are risks to using bleach bath for eczema.
Generally speaking, ingestion of bleach will cause damage to the esophagus and stomach. Even leading to death, depending on how much is consumed.
On contact, it causes irritation, drying and can potentially burn the eyes or skin. Inhaling bleach fumes can damage the lungs.
Just hearing these risks, personally, I’d stay away from bleach baths.
Eczema-prone skin is already irritated and you’d rather not further irritate it using household cleaners.
Most individuals with eczema also have asthma, so it’s not wise to be inhaling bleach fumes. Even in its diluted forms.
On a holistic level, coming into contact with chemicals and toxins will slow down your body.
It needs to process and filter these out. Your skin absorbs everything it comes into contact with.
So what ends up happening is, you’ll absorb them into your skin during these baths.
It then goes into your bloodstream and then needs to be processed and filtered by your kidneys and liver.
You may be killing the bacteria but as you can see, it is going to cause a lot of other issues.
But how can I deal with the bacteria on my skin?
Alternatives to bleach bath for eczema
I’m glad you asked!
My favourite way to deal with bacteria on the skin is with salt baths! Dead Sea Salt or Himalayan bath salts are excellent at killing bacteria because it is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-septic.
The salt mineral composition of dead sea salt or Himalayan salt makes it a safe and alternative way to kill bacteria.
Not only that, but salt baths replenish your skin with minerals that help heal itself while soothing red and irritated areas. It’s definitely not as strong as bleach (of course!), but there is way more upside to taking salt baths.
The next thing you can try is, Tea Tree oil! Tea Tree oil is famous for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties which makes it excellent for eczema and topical steroid withdrawal symptoms.
Tea Tree oil can be very irritating when applied directly to your skin. So make sure to dilute it with coconut oil, jojoba oil, or castor oil. There are many products out there.
One of my favourite brands, Kalaya, has generously offered a discount code to EverythingEczema readers on your first-time order.
Kalaya makes excellent natural products for your skin, one of which uses Tea tree oil in their products, the Wonder Salve.
Discount Code: EE10
Products: Wonder Salve, Omega Lotion, Luxury Bar Soap, Nourishing Bar Soap, Emu Oil
*Please note that the link above is an affiliate link. You do get 10% off your first purchase though, automatically applied ?!
Bleach bath and beyond
So now that you have some alternatives to bleach bath for eczema, such as dead sea salt, and tea tree oil (diluted with a carrier oil!), what can you do next for your eczema?
The one constant in everybody’s life is the things we consume.
From the day we are born, to the day we die, we are eating. We are drinking water. We are nourishing our bodies.
So the best place to start helping your body heal from eczema is the foods we eat.
This may not cure your eczema 100% but it sure will go a long way.
Unfortunately, our food has been changing over the last 20 years. Every year it becomes more and more processed with fewer and fewer nutrients.
So how is the body supposed to heal without sufficient vitamins and minerals?
This is why it’s important to eat healthy wholesome foods while moving away from a packaged, processed, fast-food lifestyle.
Another thing to remember, there are a lot of toxins and chemicals in our processed and packaged foods to cause eczema.
Our bodies are unable to tolerate these chemicals and toxins. So what ends up happening is, when the body can no longer process and filter them out, it comes out in the form of eczema.
Changing your lifestyle can feel like an enormous and scary task, but it doesn’t have to be.
Sometimes it even helps to work with a Certified Nutritional Practitioner like me. I’ve been living with eczema for the last 20 years and went through topical steroid withdrawal. I understand what you are going through on a physical, mental and emotional level.
This may all sound very overwhelming.
There are so many things to consider. So many lifestyle adjustments. What to eat. What not to eat.
I’ve been in your shoes.
Lost in this holistic lifestyle world.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Check out the XZMA Healing Program, which I created, just for you.
A 1:1 program for me to coach, guide and support you, every step of the way.
This is not a group program or a self-guided course.
Sometimes, on the healing journey, you need dedicated one on one time. No fuss. No gimmicks. No modules. No videos.
Just working with someone who knows what you are going through.
So, what are you waiting for? Click and book your FREE 30min consultation.
5 Best Essential Oils for Eczema
Everything Eczema was created by Kishok (Certified Nutritional Practitioner, 2023) to help the millions of people around the world who are suffering from atopic dermatitis (eczema) and topical steroid withdrawal (TSW). Our goal is to educate and empower you on how to manage your eczema so you can live your greatest life!Learn more