Simple household whitener bleaches kids of chronic eczema too

April 27th, 2009 - 3:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 27 (IANS) Simple household bleach is best known for whitening a load of laundry, but it is also surprisingly effective in getting rid of chronic eczema in children.
Chronic, severe eczema can mar childhood. The skin disorder starts with red, itchy, inflamed skin that often becomes crusty and raw from scratching. Eczema disturbs kids’ sleep, alters their appearance and affects their concentration in school.

The itching is so bad that kids may break the skin from scratching and get chronic skin infections that are difficult to treat, especially from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

Researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have discovered powerful relief in the form of diluted beach baths.

It’s a cheap, simple and safe treatment that drastically improves the state of the skin as well as reduces flare-ups of eczema, which affects 17 percent of school-age children.

The study found giving paediatric patients moderate or severe eczema (atopic dermatitis) diluted bleach baths decreased signs of infection and improved the severity and extent of the eczema on their bodies.

That translates into less scratching, fewer infections and a higher quality of life for these children, said a Feinberg School release.

The typical treatment of oral and topical antibiotics increases the risk of bacterial resistance, something doctors try to avoid, especially in children. Bleach kills the bacteria but doesn’t have the same risk of creating bacterial resistance.

Patients on the bleach baths had a reduction in eczema severity that was five times greater than those treated with placebos over one to three months, said Amy S. Paller, professor of dermatology paediatrics at the Feinberg School.

The study is slated for publication in the next edition of Paediatrics.

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