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
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