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Eczema: What’s making you itch

Eczema: New research explains what’s making you itch

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common disease in which the skin can become red, inflamed, and itchy.  Eczema can occur on any part of the body but tends to favor the folds of the skin, and tends to be worse during extremes of temperature. It can be triggered by many factors, but the presence of staph bacteria on the skin has long been believed to play a role.

Thanks to a new study out of Drexel University we now have a better understanding of why.  The study shows that certain strains of staph bacteria produce a “biofilm” (think of it as a coat of jelly).  Researchers believe this biofilm that blocks sweat ducts.  The blocked ducts become a target for the immune system, and the immune response leads to itching.

So what can be done to minimize the presence of staph bacteria on the skin?  Oral antibiotics can be helpful but are not ideal for long term use.  Surprisingly, bleach baths can be a safe and effective way to eliminate the bacteria that lead to itching on the skin.

Most people get a little concerned about the idea of giving their child a bleach bath.  Caution definitely needs to be taken to keep the water out of eyes, but because the concentration of bleach is fairly low, the treatment is not usually painful.  As with any bath, it should be followed up immediately with medication and moisturizer.

Follow the link below for specific instructions on how to perform a bleach bath, and say bye-bye to biofilm.  By eliminating staph bacteria, moisturizing regularly, and apply medications as prescribed, itchy eczema symptoms can be controlled.



*image courtesy of clorox.com







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