We all have different skin concerns, but for many people, eczema is a common struggle. In fact, over 30 million Americans experience symptoms of eczema, and though some patients eventually grow out of it, others can live with this condition for years (National Eczema Association).
What Is Eczema?
Eczema (or sometimes referred to as dermatitis) is a medical skin disease that’s characterized by red, blistering, scaly, brownish, or thickened skin that’s accompanied by itching. There are many types of eczema, including:
- Atopic dermatitis (most common type of eczema and is typically found in children and eventually outgrown)
- Contact dermatitis (causes skin to rash from touching other objects, including food, jewelry, and skincare products)
- Seborrheic dermatitis (begins at the scalp and can spread to the face and other areas)
- Stasis dermatitis (begins at the legs and is triggered by low blood flow)
- Neurodermatitis (a type of eczema that causes severe itching and irritation)
Though common, different types of eczema can develop as early as infancy or be triggered by the skin’s aging process or certain environmental factors. For instance, research suggests that asteatotic eczema can affect adults in their 60s, who may already have dry, cracked skin or live in colder climates (Medical News Today).
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you may have questions about your treatment options. One question we get asked a lot at Pinnacle Dermatology is whether bleach baths are an effective way to reduce this type of skin condition from getting worse.
Is it True Bleach Baths Help Treat Eczema?
Depending on the severity and type of eczema you have, a bleach bath may be recommended as part of your skincare routine. This type of at-home remedy involves adding a very small amount of bleach to your bath water, allowing your body to soak while the bleach works to kill any bacteria. When used as directed by your dermatology provider and combined with a moisturizer or other medication, a bleach bath may help reduce eczema flare ups and itching (Mayo Clinic). If you’re living with a more severe case of eczema, however, a bleach bath may do more harm than good, as the bleach can cause further irritation on cracked skin. Therefore, before trying this remedy on yourself or on a loved one, consult with a dermatology expert first!
Other FAQs About Eczema
Q: Is Eczema Hereditary?
The direct causes of eczema are still unknown, but research supports the theory that this common skin condition is genetically linked: “[Eczema] occurs more often in people who have a personal or family history of asthma, hay fever, and other allergies. This suggests that there is a genetic (hereditary) factor in the development of eczema (runs in the family)” (Cleveland Clinic).
Q: Is Eczema Contagious?
One thing we do know for sure is that eczema is not contagious. You cannot contract the disease simply by touching another patient experiencing an eczema flare up.
Q: How Can I Treat My Eczema?
Although there’s no cure for eczema, there are a multitude of effective medical dermatology treatments, therapies, and medications available to help manage your symptoms and help you:
- Control itching
- Reduce skin inflammation (redness and swelling)
- Clear infection
- Loosen and remove scaly lesions
- Reduce new lesions from forming
When treating eczema, the most important action you can take is to contact your local dermatology provider to find a personalized treatment plan that will address your specific type of eczema.
Because eczema is easier to spot on your own, early detection is essential! If you start to notice red blotches on your skin or your child’s face or body, contact a Pinnacle Dermatology’ dermatology provider for a personalized evaluation. We will discuss your concerns and design a treatment plan that’s right for you or your child.
Find a Pinnacle Dermatology location near you, and get ready to take back control of your skincare!