Mum admits giving baby ‘bleach baths to help skin’ – but not everyone agrees

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A mum told how she runs a bleach bath for her son to help ease his eczema.

The woman explained how her boy suffers from mild symptoms as the condition can cause flare-ups that leave the skin itchy.

She swears by bleach baths and explained to other mums on Instagram how they work, with many criticising the method.

Bleach baths are a practice used to kill any bacteria that could cause eczema flare-ups.

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

NHS Oxford University Hospitals has shared a guide to using bleach baths to combat eczema as it's recommended twice a week.

Her post read: "As a mama I know your little one and 'bleach bath' in the same sentence probably sounds real counter-intuitive!

"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."

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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% 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].

"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!"

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Bleach baths are deemed safe to use and are considered similar to chlorine present in swimming pools.

The Royal Children's Hospital's guidelines state using 150ml of bleach in at least 10cm depth of water for adults, while babies require 2ml of bleach for every 1L of water used.

It recommends using a "pure bleach" and patients must soak in the water for 10-15 minutes.

Bleach baths should not be used if there are any open wounds present on the skin as it can cause stinging or burning.

And NHS Trust warns that bleach baths can cause mild discomfort in some patients.

But despite all the experts giving the method the green light, many parents seem to be divided by the baths.

One wrote: "I just have to say this. Bleach classed as poison no matter what kind it is, to be kept out of 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.)"

Meanwhile, another parent praised the method, adding: "Game changer for both my kids. Wish we trialled them earlier in our attempts to manage eczema in my eldest."

A second wrote: "We also have a wonderful dermatology nurse at the RCH who prescribed bleach baths as part of our eczema regime. 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 you're considering on using bleach baths to combat against eczema it's important to speak to a doctor first.

  • NHS

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