Step 5: Bleach bath

Picture of Bleach bath
This seems to fly in the face of everything dermatologists always say about eczema: avoid all contact with water, nothing harsh on the skin... but with further consideration it does make sense. Bleach is very harsh at full concentration but here (about 0.08%) all it does is kill the staphylococcus aureus bacteria which 90% of eczema sufferers have on their skin. And although evaporation after a bath does tend to dry out the skin, if the water is lukewarm, rather than hot, that effect is minimized. This water not only controls the bacteria it hydrates the skin so long as the moisture gets locked in by applying cream immediately after the bath. As an added bonus any medicated cream applied will be absorbed much more efficiently.

40 gallons of lukewarm water (full bathtub)
1/2 cup bleach

Pour bleach into tub as it is running to ensure that it is well dispersed. Fill the tub to the brim with warm (not hot) water.

For a severe eczema outbreak take 20 minute lukewarm baths, twice a day for a week, trying to be as fully immersed as possible. Moisturize skin immediately after soaking.

This treatment is also safe for children.

See also New York Times article and a 2009 article in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

This instructable was adapted from a book I'm working on, Make Anything, a Handbook for Saving Money, Living Green and Having Fun with Trash. If you liked it, sign up to be on my mailing list. You won't be getting spam (I set this up a few months ago and have yet to send out a single newsletter....) but you will get a chance to win a free pop-up card template....

abath3 years ago
For those suffering from MRSA or eczema, there are very effective and natural alternatives to bleach bathing available. A garlic extract, called Allicin, is a natural antimicrobial and it kills methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and all forms of staph, 100%. Staphylococcus aureus bacterium is found in 95 per cent of simple eczema cases. Protect yourself. http://www.garlicbath.com
belsey (author)  abath3 years ago
I checked out your website: I'm sorry to say that I have to disagree with the "toxic regardless of concentration" claim -- because in fact the dose or concentration of ANY given chemical is how toxicity is defined. "Toxic at any dose" cannot be true, it's an oxymoron. A chemical (like table salt, for example) is toxic at a certain dose, but still a necessity of life at a lower dose. I love garlic, but I'm sure if I ate two pounds of it in one sitting I'd get really sick (in addition to being really smelly...). At a high enough dose the chemical you use, allicin, is toxic too.
Your website claim that a bleach bath such as this one would destroy all skin bacteria, though I'm not sure if it is true, has a little more merit -- but the thing is if you want to destroy the staph then you probably can't avoid a little collateral damage. If the expensive garlic bath product you're selling is in fact destroying staph then chances are it's also killing beneficial bacteria too. I'm not saying your product doesn't work! Maybe it does, and for some people, maybe it's worth the high cost... I'm just saying that the bleach bath has been proven to be effective and it is dirt cheap.