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Keith Larman
05-13-2010, 11:03 PM
Yes, that's what I said. Bleach Bath.

The kid had a weird rash that was covering both her legs. To make a very long story short the pediatricians finally figured out that she had "Hot Tub Dermatitis" but only on her legs. She had gone to a friend's place and while they weren't allowed in the spa, they dangled their legs inside. Which explained why the heck she had such an odd looking rash on her legs but not on the areas of her body where it normally shows the most (under the suit since the suit holds the water against the body longer and rubs).

So what does this have to do with bleach baths? Well, while this goes away on its own usually, one treatment is to put a half cup of bleach in a large bathtub and soak for 10-20 minutes.

If you just went "huh?" that was my reaction too.

Anyway, I got home and looked it up online and found that it was something done for a number of skin infections. Interesting. So I decided I'd try it on myself first before dunking my 9-year-old in it. So I put the high end of the concentration recommendations I'd found and soaked. Kinda like being in an over-chlorinated pool. As a matter of fact it wasn't as bad as some pools I've been too where they get too heavy handed on the stuff.

No problems.

So... Why am I posting this here? Well, in reading about this for my daughter's "hot tub dermatitis" (that'll teach that 9-year-old to hang out at pool parties) I also found articles saying that the same bleach bath can be remarkably effective with staph skin infections as well as with MRSA. This is a big deal and a problem for some martial arts. We get on the mats, roll around, grapple, rub, and get sweaty. Staph is easy to pick up. And once it starts it is *really* tough to kill. MRSA in particular is one nasty thing to get. And one reason it is so effective is that staph and MRSA are very sensitive to bleach. By keeping the concentration low but soaking in it for 20 minutes the bleach and water gets into your skin (can you say prune skin?). That allows it to get to the very deep residing bacteria like staph and MRSA in a way that most topical creams just can't do. And since bacteria don't develop resistance to bleach anything you can do to avoid using antibiotics for these things is a *really* good thing.

So just tossing it out there. There's a lot of articles about it on-line on reputable medical sites. I would think a long soak with a light concentration every now and then would be vastly preferable to fighting MRSA and taking massive doses of antibiotics after the fact.

So... Just fwiw.

Janet Rosen
05-14-2010, 01:12 AM
Bleach is toxic to living tissue. I would not recommend it as a routine, prophylactic measure.

Keith Larman
05-14-2010, 09:36 AM
From WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/news/20090427/bleach-baths-may-help-kids-with-ezcema)fwiw. The second page has a section on MRSA.

And I should say I think it goes without saying... Talk to your Dr. first.

Keith Larman
05-14-2010, 09:43 AM
I should also point out that at the dilution levels we're talking about it is really much like swimming in a properly maintained swimming pool. That's the chlorine level. Or ironically enough for my daughter with "hot tub dermatitis" it is the same level and temp as you'd see in a properly maintained warm hot tub.

Most pools use the powder calcium hypochlorite although "liquid" pool shock is calcium hypochlorite. I.e., Laundry bleach or Calcium hypochlorite. Same stuff.

So yes, obviously bleach can be nasty stuff. But like many things concentration matters.

Adam Huss
05-14-2010, 09:50 AM
Were these people just not cleaning their hot tub?

I think I've used bleach on poison ivy back in the day...wouldn't recommend it though, probably terrible for you.

Keith Larman
05-14-2010, 09:57 AM
Were these people just not cleaning their hot tub?

I think I've used bleach on poison ivy back in the day...wouldn't recommend it though, probably terrible for you.

It turns out hot tub dermatitis is rather common. The high temps make the chlorine break down very quickly. And if the level gets too low the high temps are a virtual petri dish for bacterial growth. Usually not a problem in "commercial" pools -- that's why most pool clubs have spas that are so bloody high in chlorine -- they have to in order to avoid problems. Most things I've read suggest changing the water rather frequently which is also often not done. Combine all that with a kid who has dry, sensitive skin and she's a prime candidate.

And no, I wouldn't use straight bleach on anything. Nasty stuff.

Walker
05-14-2010, 10:50 AM
I haven't ever tried this product, but thought I'd put the link here in case someone is having a problem picking up stuff in the dojo.

http://www.defensesoap.com/

Janet Rosen
05-14-2010, 11:38 AM
From WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/news/20090427/bleach-baths-may-help-kids-with-ezcema)fwiw. The second page has a section on MRSA.

Cool - thanks for the link! I guess then the only caveat would be for those of us who avoid swimming pools because of sensitivity to the diluted chlorine.

Keith Larman
05-14-2010, 01:02 PM
Cool - thanks for the link! I guess then the only caveat would be for those of us who avoid swimming pools because of sensitivity to the diluted chlorine.

Well, of course. Some people can't do pools very well. So this obviously wouldn't be a great idea for them.