Monday, May 28, 2012

Atopic Bleach Baths

Atopic dermatitis is a morass of immune interactions which play out in a most unpleasant way, as the "itch that rashes".  Flexural creases are classic, but extensor surfaces, classic LSC areas and facial areas can be involved.  Every once in a while, a therapeutic measure comes up which has a profound and positive impact on these patients, but for the most part, it is just a hard slog of management.  Moisturizers, avoidance of irritants and use of antiinflammatories, as well as control of the environment, all play a role.  

One of the more interesting strategies to come out in the last decade is the use of bleach baths.  The usual dilution ratio of 1/2 to 1 cup of water for a forty gallon bath lowers the Staphylococcal burden on the skin, which in turn downregulates the immune response.  The result?  Clearer skin, less itching, better sleep, less of the hyperallergic responses (allergic rhinitis and asthma) and overall increase in the quality of life.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.  Best if you limit these baths to twice a week though. MOre than that and they will dry out.

.I gave everyone credit for this one, more because I wanted to raise consciousness on this subject, and ensure we were all on the same page re: how to incorporate bleach baths into atopic therapy.

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