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    Bleach baths - risks
    An_248129 posted:
    Bleach baths - worried mom My 3 yr old daughter got severe staph infection 2 months back. Physician recommended antibiotics and bleach baths.

    1. On first day of bleach bath I wasn't sure about exact procedure. I did dilute it and she stayed in bath tub quarter filled for 10 mins. Of course no face and hair. After 10 mins I wiped her from tub and put ointment. I didn't rinse her with water to clean bleach on body. From second day I checked online and rinsed her with water. On first day did I do too much damage to her skin? How much bleach her skin would have observed in a day? Will it have any long term impact?

    2. In these 2 months she did have recurrent minor episodes and over all she took bleach bath for 20 times in these 2 months. 7 continuos days 2 times and twice a week later. I can say she is free from past 2 weeks. Recently I got to know about bleach bath risks and got scared big time. Did I cause any damage to her lungs or skin at this young age? I trusted doctor more than anything. First day was stupid mistake. I will stop all this now but what is the impact of all this?

    3. Along with bleach baths our doctor advised to wash all clothes in bleach. So we did that too from these many days. Any thoughts on this?

    4. When she had severe infection we both also took bleach bath 3 times. For adults if we drown completely in tub is there a chance for bleach to go in genitals?

    I am thinking about all this from a week and too worried. Any advice would really help. Of course there is nothing much can be done now but I at least want to know truth. If they are really risky why would any doctor advice? Is it really tested treatment and from how long people are using?

    Thank you in advance
    Roy Benaroch, MD responded:
    Bleach baths have become an important tool for us to fight persistent or recurrent staph infections. When they're done correctly, they're really very safe.

    Though the exact method varies, what I tell parents to do is to put about 10-12" of water in a regular-sized tub, and add 1/4 cup of ordinary household bleach (I've also heard some docs prefer 1/2 cup, that's fine too). This creates a chlorine concentration just a little higher than what's found in an ordinary swimming pool. Let the child soak and move around and splash in this for about 10 minutes, then drain. They can take a regular shower afterwards (or not.)

    This concentration of bleach won't hurt eyes or discolor hair, and won't be irritating to genital skin. In fact, you do want the diluted bleach to get up in the perineal area-- that's one place where staph likes to hide.

    For more about eradicating staph:
    User81 replied to Roy Benaroch, MD's response:
    Thank you so much for the reply.

    I am happy to know that most of the doctors are recommending this. This means it is a tested treatment and definitely doctors would not advice for 3 year old if any risk was involved.
    I am also happy to know my first day experiment was not as stupid as I thought.

    Some online articles talked about cancer risks with bleach baths and I was totally taken back. Now I am gaining confidence that every one talks about cancer risk in every thing we do in this generation...take from microwaves to tap water. So I am just learning to calm myself down.

    Thank you so much one more time.
    OCDSufferer replied to Roy Benaroch, MD's response:

    You gave such a helpful reply I am hoping you might be able to help me.

    have suffered from "Contamination" OCD for 25 years. I have some questions which having the answers to would really help. When I'm having a bad OCD day I put 2 bottles of bleach in my bath water and saturate my body and hair in it for 15 mins and leave neat bleach on my hands for 1hr 15mins. What is the minimum time I could do this for to kill all contaminants?

    Since I have been doing this (for over 4 years now) my hair and nails have stopped growing would the bleach be the cause?

    Is there an alternative I could use in the bath which would have the same contaminant killing effect as the bleach?

    When my OCD is not too bad I shower using Dermol and leave on my skin and hair for 10 mins is this as effective as using bleach?

    Is the bleach baths harming me? I have 3 a week.

    I used to use neat disinfectant before I began using the bleach on my skin. Is disinfectant more effective than bleach!


    I put my clothes through a wash 4 times before I feel they are contaminant free would once be enough? I use 2 scoops of Persil and 2 scoops of Vamish Extra Hygiene in every wash.

    Do pre treaters in washing powder kill continants or just clean away dirt?

    When you take a shower does the water cause contaminants on your body to stick to the walls. If this is the case when you are clean does the water cause contaminants on the walls to again stick to your body?

    What is the best contaminant killing cleaner to use around the home ie disinfectant, bleach, household products and how long should you leave the cleaner in contact for, for it to work?

    I am on prescribed medication but it only helps to a degree.

    Thank you in advance.

    Just to add. I use neat bleach to clean the bathroom including the tiles which takes an hour. The bleach fumes make me cough and my eyes and nose run. What harm is this doing? I want to stop using bleach in the bath water and for cleaning but my OCD doesn't allow me to.

    Please help.
    Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff replied to OCDSufferer's response:
    Hi and Welcome -

    Your concerns landed in our Parenting Community and unfortunately our experts and members here do not have the expertise to answer your questions.

    I see you also found one of our other communities and hope you will follow up with your doctor and therapist to address your concerns and work on treating these behaviors.

    To point you in the direction to research symptoms/problems of the overuse of bleach, overdosing and poisoning, I found this--

    Department of Health - Use of Bleach
    Sodium Hypochlorite Poisoning

    Also, WebMD has this information about OCD -

    OCD Directory

    Hoping you find answers soon. Take Care,
    undefined replied to Roy Benaroch, MD's response:
    I'm wondering if you can help me. My 5 yr old has had 2 mrsa skin boils in a year. She is on bleach baths 2x a week, and has not had any problems until recently. She says her vagina is sore. She has issues at times with the acidity of foods causing some redness and burning. Can the bleach baths make that worse? She has not had a skin infection in 5 months, does the bleach baths need to continue forever? Her well child check up is not for a few months, and wanted some advice. Thanks

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