The Dangers of bleach baths for Eczema

I saw an article on Instagram where an eczema sufferer recommended bleach baths.

I felt shocked and disgusted that this would be recommended as a form of treatment as bleach in its own right is toxic and it not only damages your skin but also your overall health. 

Have you ever heard of a bleach bath?

I remember a relative had spoken to myself about a bleach bath for my child. He told me that he watched a doctor on Youtube who said that bleach baths were a good idea to treat eczema. 

The doctor showed Domestos Bleach and gave the instructions of how much to use and the length of time that the child should be in the bath.

As much as I was desperate and also at my wit’s end with the constant sleep deprivation, moisturising and seeing my child scratching his skin I would never use this as a form of treatment. 

Not only that I contacted the dermatologist from Kings College Hospital, who diagnosed me with Chronic Severe Eczema prior but was now my son’s dermatologist, and she was appalled at what I was told even though I wouldn’t use bleach myself.

She told me that they do use bleach for eczema but it’s controlled and it is not the one you can buy.  She also said that using bleach when you’re black can change the pigment of your skin and that I should never use bleach on the skin. 

It’s really important that you’re careful about what you listen to and watch on the internet.  People sometimes know that we’re vulnerable and are willing to try anything.  Now, I’m not saying that for those who used bleach baths that it didn’t bring relief to the skin but at what cost!

During my eczema journey, I was desperate to get better because it was a very painful and awful time not just for myself but also for my family. However, I would never dream of having a bleach bath nor recommend this to friends, loved ones or even people that I didn’t know.

The simple fact is that bleach, whether diluted or not, should never be used on the skin regardless of what doctors or consultants may say, or even positive feedback from eczema sufferers that have seen an improvement. 

We are told that we shouldn’t be using bleach for cleaning but on the other hand, we’re told by others that it’s fine for the skin. Just like using topical steroids, oral steroids there are risks and irreversible damage for some.

What I find also concerning is that there are Eczema organisations such as the National Eczema Association who recommend bleach baths.  

The more I looked online the more organisations I found that were recommending bleach baths along with directions and the frequency in using it.

If bleach comes in contact with furniture and materials it takes the pigment out of it and leaves it lighter or you may even see white marks where the bleach has come into contact with the material. 

Concentrated or not, bleach should never be suggested as a form of treatment for eczema.

I feel so passionate about this that even when I suffered from Chronic Severe Eczema, and still have occasional flare-ups I would never, ever consider this as treatment.

What are the dangers of bleach?

  • If you have too much chlorine in your body it is toxic
  • Some people have allergies to bleach and when it comes into contact with the skin it can cause burning and change the pigment of your skin.
  • It can also cause permanent damage to the nerves, tissue and your eyes
  • Some people with eczema also have asthma and the fumes from the bleach could trigger asthma attacks
  • Bleach baths can be drying to the skin which can affect the PH Balance and affect the genitals

If you want to find out more information on this topic or want to share your story you can DM me on Instagram, Facebook or leave a comment.

Written and posted by Amanda Roberts, the Founder of Icylda Skincare on 20th October 2020.

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