1.5.09

Advice that is just plain wrong.

Here’s another misleading health story.

In the study that is cited, children with eczema were bathed in water or in a bleach solution. And the study found that the children who bathed in the bleach solution “had big improvements”.

Oh lord.

If you have eczema, your skin does not retain moisture. So you need to use an emulsifying ointment.

The old thinking was not to bathe at all. People believed that baths dried out the skin.

Nowadays the advice is to bathe in tepid water, with emulsifying ointment. The emulsifying ointment helps the skin absorb and retain moisture.

Sometimes if your child’s eczema flares up, he will scratch, and sometimes his skin will be broken. The study found that a bath in a weak bleach solution could help prevent infection.

No surprise to the eczema community. We have known about this household remedy for years. Bleach is a much better choice than continually using antibiotics. Duh.

But bleach will also dry out the skin. There needs to be an emulsifier in the bath.

I'm concerned that the results of the study might lead parents to think that they should bathe their itchy kids in a bleach solution.

What about the emulsifying ointment? It's never mentioned.

Unfortunately there was no place to comment on the story. Hence bloggy rant.

Emulsifying ointment, people. That is all.

4 comments:

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

We use something called Aquaphor, an emulient, from the U.S. for our kids eczema-- but bleach to prevent infection??? Wouldn't that make their eczema so much worse?? I'm totally baffled.

Btw, nice to meet you Ohio Girl In New Zealand.

Juli Ryan said...

I think Aquaphor is an emulysifying ointment. When our boy had broken skin, we used to sometimes put a capful of this stuff that we called "liquid gold" into the his bath. It was an antiseptic solution with emulsifiers in it. Which probably worked the same way as a little bleach. Poor itchy kids!

So great to find your blog, Florida Girl!

Brenda said...

My poor grandson has eczema. I feel so bad for him and the pain he has endured since he was an infant. He cries when his parents use bleach in the water as suggested by his skin doctor. They have him on some powerful steroid creme too. What to you recommend?

Juli Ryan said...

Brenda, maybe your grandson's parents are putting too much bleach in his bath water? He needs an emulysifying ointment like Aquaphor in the States to be melted and added to his tepid bath. Then when he gets out of his bath, apply steroid to the areas that have flared up and put emulsifying ointment all over his body. Keep applying emulysifying ointment as needed all day and all night. Keep using the steroid until the flared up area gets better. And apply the steroid for a few days after you can't see the flare up any more. A strong steroid used sparingly is better than an ineffective weak one. If the flared up area is infected, you will probably need to treat with antibiotics. Hope that helps. Poor itchy kids.