Mum gives her baby bleach baths for eczema treatment

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A mum has revealed how she relies on giving her baby boy bleach baths to help ease his eczema.

She explained that her son suffers from mild eczema and the condition can cause flare-ups that leave his skin dry and itchy, as well as red and sore, The Sun reports.

In order to treat it, she swears by bleach baths and explained to fellow mums on Instagram how they work after the method was criticised by fellow parents.

While it sounds like it could be considered harmful, bleach baths are actually a common practice and used to kill any bacteria that could cause eczema flare-ups to become infected.

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Alongside a video of her baby in the bath, the mum shared advice she received from a paediatric nurse.

It read: “As a mama I know your little one and ‘bleach bath’ in the same sentence probably sounds real counterintuitive! Believe it or not though bleach baths are a common and very effective treatment for eczema. Hear me out guys …

“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.

“It’s helpful to note that the final bleach concentration is much lower than what you’ll find in your average swimming pool.”

Sharing some important factors when it comes to using a bleach bath, the post continued: “It’s important bleach baths are only carried out after discussion with your GP about your child’s eczema.

“Always use only straight bleach [4.2 per cent sodium hypochlorite] – no lemon or lavender OK! Make sure you measure as per hospital guidelines. You’ll need a measuring cup and a standard household bucket [usually 10L].

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“The Royal Children’s Hospital guidelines advise 12ml of liquid bleach for every 10L of bath water. Don’t rinse off your little one after the bath – unless unlikely stinging or irritation occurs.

“Repeat the baths as often as your little one’s doc or nurse recommends. You can add your usual bath oil to the same bath. Use an old white towel for the dry off!”

According to the Eczema Association of Australia, an eczema bleach bath can kill bacteria on the skin, reducing itching, redness and scaling.

“This is most effective when combined with other eczema treatments, such as medication and moisturiser,” the site explains.

It recommended using White King household bleach (4.2 per cent sodium hypochlorite), adding that lemon or lavender bleach should not be used.

“Household bleach can sometimes cause a stinging or a burning sensation on the skin. The instructions outlined in this fact sheet are for a very diluted bleach bath, which means there is less risk of stinging happening.

“The final bleach concentration is lower than a swimming pool, which most people can safely swim in without damage to their skin or hair.”

The controversial method seems to divide parents, with some mums revealing they had been “slammed” online when seeking more advice about bleach baths.

“I asked about bleach baths on a parenting forum and got slammed. Thanks for the breakdown,” one mum wrote in response to the Instagram post.

Another mum seemed completely against the idea and posted: “I just have to say this. Bleach classed as poison no matter what kind it is, to be kept out of reach of children, yet Drs recommending children be bathed in it for treatment of eczema (I was one of those parents getting told that and never in a million years would I do that to a poor defenceless baby/child. There are OTHER options to help our babes, holistically.)”

Others were curious to try, with one woman tagging another and commenting: “Well this is interesting … have you ever heard of this?”

Plenty of other mums had tried bleach baths with their own children who suffer from eczema and seemed to have successful experiences.

“Game changer for both my kids. Wish we trialled them earlier in our attempts to manage eczema in my eldest,” said one mum.

One more added: “We also have a wonderful dermatology nurse at the RCH who prescribed bleach baths as part of our eczema regimen. It seemed such a strange thing to do, but has made a world of difference! Six months in and still doing them a couple of times a week.”

If considering using bleach baths, it is important to discuss with a doctor or nurse beforehand.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission


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