Atopic dermatitis is a frustrating skin condition that plagues people from a very young age. More commonly known as eczema, this affliction causes patches of dry skin. Patients, especially young children, struggle to avoid scratching the patches. As a result, infections abound. Several studies suggest that treating the infection with a dilute bleach bath may significantly reduce symptoms.
Staphylococcus Aureus & Atopic Dermatitis
One of the most common manifestations of atopic dermatitis is itchy patches of dry skin. When patients scratch, they create an open wound through which bacteria can transmit and develop. Eczema patches become an ideal breeding ground for various infections, especially Staphylococcus aureus.
A 2000 study published in the medical journal Ophthalmology reported that more than half of patients who suffer from atopic dermatitis have Staphylococcus aureus in their eyelid margins and conjunctival sacs. This infection may cause serious health concerns, including sepsis and low blood pressure.
Medical professionals have learned that aggressively treating the Staphylococcus aureus infections can decrease eczema symptoms as well. It appears that a combination of oral antibiotics and topical application of a dilute sodium hypochlorite (bleach) solution is a very effective means of treatment.
Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, published a study in 2009 examining the effects of topical treatments on eczema symptoms. All patients were given oral cephalexin. Then, the patients were divided into two groups. One received intranasal mupirocin ointment and bleach baths.
The other group was given intranasal petrolatum ointment and plain water baths. Body parts treated with the diluted bleach solution had a significant drop in eczema symptoms at one and three months, compared to patients who received plain water baths. This suggests that the diluted bleach solution is an effective means of minimizing the Staphylococcus infection and symptoms of atopic dermatitis.