Home bleach bath warning

Atopic eczema affects 10–20% of children and 1–3% of adults, with up to 90% of the latter being colonised with large numbers of S. aureus on their skin.

In a review of the use of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) bleach in medicine, lead author Dr Kerryn Greive (PhD) of Ego Pharmaceuticals, a company that manufactures treatments for atopic eczema, said concerns over antibiotic overuse and increasing bacterial resistance patterns were causing more clinicians to recommend bleach baths as a cheap and easy alternative.

“If you are going to use toilet cleaner to treat eczema, you have to think what can go wrong,” she said.

The report highlighted concerns including the variable concentrations of NaOCl found in household bleach products (ranging from 1.5% to 6%).

“Exposure to NaOCl is associated with significant risks due to its strong oxidising properties,” the review stated.

“Even at dosages

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