If you have a child who is living with eczema you will very likely have been advised to try bleach baths as a way of easing symptoms. The idea is that adding bleach to your child’s bath will thoroughly clear the skin of Staph overgrowth. Staph infections are a common occurrence for eczema sufferers. I would like to offer alternatives to bleach baths AND a homeopathic solution for staph infections.
Let’s talk about bleach baths.
I have had many mums ask me if bleach baths are a good idea. Their “mum instinct” is telling them NO, it’s really not a great idea BUT they have been assured by a medical practitioner that they are safe. Eczema skin is more prone to staph infections and when your skin is in an eczema flare this can cause further unwelcome complications to an already complicated situation. However….exposing skin to any kind of chemical based sterlising solutions – even diluted in a bath – is going to damage the skin.
Bleach baths are not a solution to keeping your skin free of bacteria.
They can contribute to an INCREASED frequency of staph infections, and further compromise an already stressed immune system. So, what will keep our skin free of bacteria? And do we actually want it bacteria free?
Our skins microbiome (our skins ecosystem) is teeming with bacteria, staph included.
Under normal circumstances, these bacteria naturally and harmoniously live together on our skin. This microbiome plays a very important role in our health – for our skin and our body as a whole. In order to ensure no particular bacteria strain becomes dominant, a healthy balance of ALL strains is required. There are over 30 different types of Staphylococcus alone. The strain of Staph which, when out of balance, causes the problem is Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus).
It’s when these bacteria enter the body through the skin that more serious bacterial infections can occur. The chances of serious infections increase significantly with eczema, as there is very often broken skin that allows an opening for the S. aureus bacteria to enter into the bloodstream. Coupled with an already compromised immune system, it’s no surprise keeping staph infections in check is a top priority for eczema sufferers.
Avoid destroying your body’s defense to Staph infections &
depleting the immune system again and again.
Repeated topical steroid cream use depletes the immune system leaving it MORE susceptible to the bacterium staph aureus, which is responsible for these skin infections. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for staph infections – further compromising the immune system. Before antibiotics are prescribed bleach baths are often recommended as a way of keeping the overgrowth of staph in check. But why?
Bleach is a disinfectant, so it seems like a “logical” step to use in a bath as a method of keeping your skin free of bacteria. Keeping our skin “clean” is important to ensure infection does not take hold – or so we are told.
However, bleach is a toxic chemical that carries health warnings on every bottle. It is absorbed into your bloodstream through your skin whilst bathing and inhaled into the lungs as a gas. Anyone with compromised breathing should avoid contact with bleach in any situation. Applying lots of moisture back into your skin, in the form of cream after bathing is recommended as bleach can be very drying. Even with post bath rising the risk of sealing any bleach residue under the barrier cream, forcing further absorption into your body, is very likely.
Bleach does its job very well! It WILL remove any and all bacteria for any surface – including the skin. HOWEVER we need some bacteria on our skin to remain in balance. Staph is an opportunistic bacterium and will spread rapidly if no other bacteria is present to keep it in check. On a skin free of all opponents staph bacteria is going to spread – quickly.
What other options are available?
A simple safe natural alternative to bleach baths is using ¼ cup of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (ACV) WITH MOTHER in the bath. ACV has natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and won’t strip your skin of moisture, oils or upset the natural bacterial balance of your skin.
The homeopathic solution – support the skin whilst you heal from the inside out.
Homeopathy can reassert the microbial balance and address the underlying immune system causes of eczema. Thus, your skin heals whilst you are naturally protected from staph infections and you can step out of the vicious cycle.
There are many remedies which can help in this situation. As with all homeopathic treatment remedies are selected based on individual symptoms and health history. To find the right remedy for your child’s skin symptoms book an appointment with me HERE
With homeopathic treatment there will be no more need for bleach baths, or antibiotics, for staph infections. Is there any other system of medicine which can offer such relief from infections whilst boosting your immune system?
Still need convincing bleach baths are not a good idea? Have a read of this great article – What is bleach?