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Atopic dermatitis: Bleach bath therapy

Bleach baths

How to use bleach baths to help manage eczema flares.

If your child’s dermatologist recommends bleach baths, follow these important steps for giving a bleach bath:

  1. Use regular strength – 6 percent – bleach for the bath. Do not use concentrated bleach.

  2. Use a measuring cup or measuring spoon to add the bleach to the bath. Adding too much bleach to the bath can irritate your children’s skin. Adding too little bleach may not help.

  3. Measure the amount of bleach before adding it to the bath water. For a full bathtub of water, use a half cup of bleach. For a half-full tub of water, add a quarter cup of bleach. For a baby or toddler bathtub, add one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water.

  4. Never apply bleach directly to your child’s eczema. While the tub is filling, pour the bleach into the water. Be sure to wait until the bath is fully drawn and bleach is poured before your child enters the tub.

  5. Talk with your dermatologist about how long your child should soak in the tub. Most dermatologists recommend a five- to 10-minute soak.

  6. Pat your child’s skin dry after the bath. If your child uses eczema medication, apply it immediately after the bath. Then moisturize your child’s skin.

Talk with a board-certified dermatologist before beginning bleach bath therapy with your child. If you have questions or concerns about caring for your child’s eczema, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist.