Tip of the Week: Dilute bleach for superficial infections

In an era without easy access to antibiotics, saving your precious penicillin for a serious pneumonia would be wise. So what do you do if you have a (mild) case...

In an era without easy access to antibiotics, saving your precious penicillin for a serious pneumonia would be wise.

So what do you do if you have a (mild) case of impetigo, or perhaps a yeast rash in a skin fold, or yet another round of athlete’s foot?

One simple answer is a dilute bleach solution.  When I was a kid, my mom would pour a cup of bleach into our swimming pool Рthis is the same idea.

A 1/1,000 dilution of standard chlorine bleach in water can be used for mild skin infections that are no more than skin-deep.  Washing the affected area with such a solution twice daily for a few days may eliminate the need for oral antibiotics.

The dilute bleach solution should not be used on open wounds other than superficial abrasions, and should be used with caution around the eyes (though this dilution is actually safe for bathwater, even for children).

Enhanced by Zemanta