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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bleach Baths....

Along our eczema journey we saw three dermatologists, THREE!!! One of the suggestions that we received from the doctor was to give our little princess a bleach bath. Yes, you read that correctly. I was told to put my child in a bath tub and add chlorine bleach to the already chlorinated water. The theory is that the bleach kills bacterial on the skin and prevents infection in the eczema sores. I was at the point in our journey that I was trying anything and EVERYTHING! I went ahead and followed the doctor's instructions and put my then 2 year old in a bath with a dose of toxic/hazardous chemicals. Something that we use to strip color out of things, sterilize and kill mold. We tried this about three time and then gave up after her big toes started to open up and had two wounds on them from soaking in this bath. Reflecting on this strategy I am completely amazed at what some doctors are willing to have their patience do to their still developing children. I am just now recently looking into the details about chlorine. Everything that I pulled up on chlorine bleach starts with the word toxic or hazardous. I even found an article (below) regarding the increase of asthma in swimmers. In recent research swimmers teeth enamel was worn down by the acidity level of swimmers due to the inhalation and absorption of chlorine. The article describing increase risk of cancers and other health risk due to exposure is linked below. So parents I urge you to look into the risks of bleach baths. There are other options. A couple drops of tea tree oil or vinegar to name a few.....


  1. its sad to hear that bleach baths havent been beneficial for your daughter as i have heard that they have helped several others keep their outbreaks in check...

    i have a dermal condition called hidradenitis suppurativa and its basically acne gone wild... i just went on vacation with a pretty bad outbreak because i was so stressed out and basically had my shirt off the entire time, getting sun and going swimming in the ocean and chlorinated swimming pools... by day 2 my breakout was under control and it just started coming back, 1.5 weeks after returning from vacation... im going to start a control session for the next few weeks/months where i'll be tanning (no more than 10 minutes a week) and swimming at my gym's pool...

    i'll let you know how my results are...

    also, i've read several articles regarding chlorine bleach and swimmers/bathers/etc at home and at work... you have to remember that swimmers often spend hours and hours submerged in water, so the effects of chlorine bleach will undoubtedly be greater than a 10-15 minute bath...

    you have to remember that the dosage accumulated over a long amount of time will not have the same effects as the same dose given all at once...

    if you really want to be scared, research radium and uranium in tap water... if that doesnt give you nightmares, i dont know what will


  2. I am glad to hear you have had relief from your Acne even if for a short while :( I too suffer from adult acne. It is due to a hormone imbalance and if I am not stressed and emotion eating ;) which I tend to do. I am relatively clear. I think mine is from insulin resistance and a whole other host of issues.
    I am not saying bleach baths haven't been beneficial for others, just like some of the drugs they prescribe for eczema that are helpful for others we chose to stay away from them as well. They work, but their risks out way the benefit for us. I believe that every toxic exposure accumulates in our systems over time and leads to chronic illness. In my mind bleach baths are alleviating symptoms and not getting to the root and doing it in a potentially dangerous matter that the affects may not show themselves until it is too late.
    I look at my job in this eczema/auto immune battle as a temporary leader. Right now I am fighting in the lead position to solve the problem for my very young still growing daughter with a very vulnerable system. When she takes over as lead command it will be up to her what path she chooses. Right now I need to focus my attention to what is going to get the job done, make her most comfortable, make her the least vulnerable for her future and keep her healthy.
    It is the fault of the culture that we live in that we believe that a trace amount of toxic is okay. But what about the trace here, the trace there...the trace in everything that may have synergistic reactions with other traces over there that we can't begin to understand?
    We have to try to reduce exposure as much as we can. I just hate the idea that we are recommended to do all of these toxic acts together and told that individually they are safe, when in reality the research/lack of research does not match up.
    I will definitely look into the radium and uranium :-/ Thanks for sharing your story and I hope you find success in your plan to control your acne. It is awful to have to deal with daily!
    Good Luck!

  3. Hi - We too were desperate to releive our son's eczema and tried EVERYTHING. Bleach baths helped, but it wasn't a long term solution. Like you I cringe at anything that isn't natural.

    I found you through Selena's blog - Amazing and Atopic. I've started a blog hop for anyone dealing with eczema, allergies, or asthma. Would you like to join?


  4. The logic behind using bleach baths seems fundamentally flawed to me. Healthy skin has millions of bacteria on it that keep skin, well...HEALTHY. It's basically an ecosystem and different types of bacteria live in different areas of the body. Blanketedly killing bacteria is flawed just as ingesting broad-spectrum antibiotics is flawed (in most cases). Sure you can knock off some of the numbers of some "bad" bacteria (though staph lives peacefully on healthy skin too), but the "bad" bacteria will just grow back if there is no balance to the ecosystem. My current regimen is organic and, non-processed food...soap (no detergent)...minimal hand washing (which science shows to be quite ineffective anyways)...and lots of coconut oil. Many people can tolerate all the toxins they put in and on their bodies, but for those like me with eczema I rationalize that the first step should be to reduce exposure to as many toxins as possible.

  5. There are many substances referred to as bleach. Are Chlorine and Bleach the Same Thing? No
    There are several chemical compounds that are referred to as bleach, but the most common is sodium hypochlorite. Its chemical formula is NaOCl, sometimes written as NaClO. Bleach molecules have chlorine locked inside them, which means that bleach can be transported without some of the extra regulatory requirements governing the transport of chlorine.

    Sodium hypochlorite disinfects in a way similar to chlorine. When bleach is introduced to water, hypochlorus acid is formed. This acid is divided into hydrochloric acid and oxygen. (The oxygen atom is a strong oxidizer.) These substances are what makes sodium hypochlorite effective against bacteria, viruses and fungi.