April 21, 2009

Diluted bleach baths help eczema sufferers

U.S. researchers say they discovered powerful relief in the form of a diluted bleach bath for children who suffer flare-ups of the skin disorder eczema.

Researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have said the diluted beach baths are a cheap, simple and safe treatment that drastically improves the rash as well as reduces flare-ups of eczema, which affects 17 percent of school-age children.

Dr. Amy S. Paller of the Feinberg School of Medicine and Children's Memorial Hospital said the typical treatment of oral and topical antibiotics increases the risk of bacterial resistance, something doctors try to avoid, especially in children. Bleach kills the bacteria but doesn't have the same risk of creating bacterial resistance, Paller said.

The study found that patients on the bleach baths had a reduction in eczema severity that was five times greater than those treated with placebos over one to three months.

The study is scheduled to be published in the journal Pediatrics next Tuesday.