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Bleach bath on par with water bath for atopic dermatitis

28 Dec 2017
Childhood atopic dermatitis or eczema takes a heavy toll not just physically and emotionally, but financially as well

Bleach baths are effective in reducing the severity of atopic dermatitis (AD) but do not appear to provide significant benefits over water baths alone, a recent study has found.

Researchers performed a meta-analysis of five studies that evaluated the efficacy of bleach baths in decreasing the severity of AD. All four studies that examined the efficacy of bleach baths found significant improvements in AD severity.

However, when compared with water baths, only two showed significantly better improvements in bleach baths. One study showed no significant difference between the two, while another found better improvements with water baths.

Of the 15 severity assessment evaluations at 4 weeks employed in the selected studies, bleach baths were better than water baths in only three areas.

Pooled data from three studies showed that the mean scores for the body surface area assessment decreased from 49.8±18.1 percent at baseline to 42.8±12.7 percent at 4 weeks for the bleach bath, and from 45.6±17.9 percent at baseline to 41.1±18.1 percent at 4 weeks for the water bath. The difference between the two groups did not reach significance (p=0.36).

Improvements in the Eczema Area and Severity Index were also similar between the two treatments (p=0.16).

Bleach and water baths were also similar in terms of safety, which was investigated in four studies. The most common adverse event was stinging and burning, observed in 11 percent of the patients. This was followed by xerosis (10.5 percent), erythema (6.9 percent), urticaria (5 percent), and oozing (5 percent).

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