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For years dermatologists have been recommending bleach baths to anyone suffering from eczema. It’s no wonder why when you read studies like this one where patients saw a clear reduction in bacterial infection after bathing in bleach. But bleach is a chemical and is clearly anything but natural and non-toxic. Thankfully, there are safe alternatives for eczema relief in the bath.
Dr. Peter Lio of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Center recommends bathing in apple cider vinegar. “For the apple cider vinegar baths, I like to start with 1 cup in the tub… but you can go up to even 4-5 cups per tub if it is not bothersome or irritating–this varies from patient to patient. I do like patients to rinse it off at the end so they don’t smell like salad and to minimize irritation. I recommend soaking for about 10 minutes then rinse, and do it nightly when flaring up (or even twice daily!) and then go down to 1-2 times per week.”
Several essential oils have been found to be effective against MRSA and various forms of staph infections. Try adding some of these to your bath with or without the vinegar.
- Tea tree and geranium when used together were the most powerful herbal combination for battling Oxford S. aureus NCTC 6571 (Oxford strain) in this study.
- Direct contact with Lavender oil inhibited growth of both MSSA and MRSA in this study.
- Thyme and Eucalyptus also displayed antibacterial effects in this study.
Before applying essential oils on children under five, it’s always best to consult a natural practitioner, Aromatherapist, or an essential oil safety book such as Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals by R. Tisserand and T. Balacs.