baby in bath

Mom branded ‘cruel’ for giving son bleach baths, but this couldn’t be further from the truth

A mother of a baby boy who suffers from eczema recently came under fire for her use of bleach baths to help treat her son’s skin condition. She shared a video to her social media to explain bleach baths and why they are beneficial for eczema rather than something scary and harmful. (1)

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Mom Explains Why She Gives Her Baby Bleach Baths For His Eczema

Intentionally putting your baby in bleach – a product that comes with numerous warning labels – sounds terrifying to any parent. This mom, however, on the advice of her son’s doctor, uses bleach baths to control her son’s outbreaks and protect him from infections. After other appalled moms spoke out against her decision, she took to social media to explain what bleach baths actually are and why they are helpful, not harmful. (1)

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“Done safely, the use of a measured amount of diluted bleach added to a lukewarm bath is common practice in our paeds wards across the country. This is because bleach helps kill the bacteria that causes eczema to become infected and reduces the severity of the condition,” she explained. “It’s helpful to note that the final bleach concentration is much lower than what you’ll find in your average swimming pool.” (1)

She made sure to recommend that other parents talk to their doctor before using a bleach bath for their children. She also made sure to outline clear instructions on what her doctor told her to do. (1)

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Read: If You See These Painful Red Bumps, You May Have Dyshidrotic Eczema

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How To Make A Bleach Bath For Eczema

Eczema, which is a condition characterized by red, itchy, dry skin, is often made worse by infections. Bleach baths kill the eczema-causing bacteria on the skin that cause redness, scaling, and itchiness. They can also prevent further infection from developing and stop the issue from getting worse. (2)

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Now, when we say bleach baths, we are not talking about dunking your baby in pure bleach. There is a proper method to follow that is safe, and as the mom said above, actually has less bleach than a standard swimming pool. (1)

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For a standard, 40 gallon bathtub (3):

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  • Fill the tub with lukewarm water
  • Add a half cup of standard, unconcentrated bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite)
    • For a half-bath, use one-quarter cup of bleach
    • For a baby or toddler, use one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water
  • Soak in the water for 10 minutes
  • Rinse off completely using warm water
  • Apply moisturizer directly afterward and continue with your regular skincare routine

Always ensure the water is lukewarm, not hot or cold. Do not add any other products to the tub, even natural products such as lemon or lavender. Do not put your head or face in the water and never apply bleach directly to the skin. Bleach baths should not be done daily. The National Eczema Association recommends them only two to three times each week. If you aren’t finding them effective, then stop doing them. (4)

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How Effective Are They?

Like with most things, they are very helpful for some while others don’t see any effect. The science on them isn’t conclusive in one direction or the other, either. It is all about following your doctor’s instructions and seeing what works for you.

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“We have been using bleach baths as a way to keep staph infections under control for my son.” writes one parent. “At first, I was upset about putting my five-month-old in all those chemicals, but it really is no different than going swimming in a chlorinated pool. This treatment has saved us from having him on more antibiotics.” (4)

Another person who has suffered from eczema their whole life still uses bleach baths to help keep infection and symptoms at bay.

“I am a junior in college and I have been dealing with severe eczema all my life,” they explained. “I have learned that the key is rinsing off afterward and coating down with a medicine/heavy non-fragrance cream to lock in the moisture. The temperature of the water also does make a huge difference. I found that if it’s too hot I am almost worse off after than when I started.” (4)

So, if you or your child is suffering from eczema, talk to your doctor about bleach baths. They may just be the solution you need. As always, monitor the skin afterward and if there is any irritation, stop using the baths immediately.

Keep Reading: Cop Busts Mom For Stealing Groceries But Sees Her 3 Adopted Kids Are Starving And Changes Mind

Sources

  1. Mum defends giving her son bleach baths.” News.com.au Katie Storey. June 22, 2021.
  2. Eczema bleach bath: Can it improve my symptoms?MayoClinic
  3. How to use bleach baths.” Medical News Today. Amanda Barrell. October 23, 2018
  4. 10 Tips for Bleach Baths From the NEA Community.” National Eczema. June 7, 2017
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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