This article has been reviewed by Thanai Pongdee, MD, FAAAAI
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a chronic skin condition. It usually affects the face, scalp, elbows or knees. The red, scaly, itchy rash is more common in infants and in people with a history of allergies or asthma.
Triggers include allergens, sweating, emotional stress or irritants such as harsh soaps or wool. Another factor contributing to flare ups is Staphylococcus aureus. This is a type of bacteria that can frequently infect the skin of people with atopic dermatitis.
To decrease bacterial infection and reduce symptoms, bleach baths are sometimes recommended.
Diluted bleach bath recipe and instructions
Add ¼ - ½ cup of common 5% household bleach to a bathtub full of water (40 gallons). Soak your torso or just the affected part of your skin for about 10 minutes. Limit diluted bleach baths to no more than twice a week. Do not submerge your head and be very careful to avoid getting the diluted bleach into the eyes. Rinse off with fresh water and apply moisturizer.
Bleach baths can be painful for people with extremely dry skin, so talk to your doctor first to make sure you can benefit from this symptom-reliever.
Find out more information about skin allergies.