Types of Baths for Eczema: How and Why

Bath time can be confusing and frustrating (to say the least) when your little one has eczema. There are three different types of baths that can be beneficial for children with eczema: cleansing baths, detox baths, and bacterial baths. Take a look at the breakdown of how and why each bath can improve your child’s eczema.

Cleansing Baths

Cleansing baths do exactly what you’d think. They clean your child!

When doing a cleansing bath, be sure to use lukewarm to cool water. You’ll also want to limit to about 5 minutes.

When choosing soaps, focus on the ingredients of the soaps that you use during bath time and the creams you use post-bath. You might even consider adding baking soda to your bath if you have hard water. Just be sure to dissolve it in hot water first before cooling it for bath time!

During the bath, you’ll want to add oil or use moisturizing soaps. You could even try gentle essential oils like lavender or wild orange!

Detox Baths

Detox baths remove toxins from skin, boost immune system, calm your little one down before bedtime, reduce inflammation, increase absorption of nutrients, and can calm the nervous system. Check out the below recipe for a detox bath!

  • Recipe: Dissolve ¼ cup of baking + ½ cup Epsom salt (magnesium) + 2 tbsp bentonite clay + 1 tbsp oil in hot water. (No soap! Leave the soap to the cleansing baths.)
  • Cool the water to lukewarm/cool. Keep your little one in the bath for 15 minutes.

Bacterial Baths (aka Apple Cider Vinegar Baths)

Did you know that people with eczema are more susceptible to bacterial infections?

Instead of the often-recommended bleach baths, you can opt for a gentler apple cider vinegar bath! Bleach baths kill both good and bad bacterial, while apple cider vinegar leaves the good stuff behind!

Apple cider vinegar is also less drying than bleach. It can also relieve itching, reduce inflammation, slow down yeast growth, and boost your little one’s immunity.

  • Recipe: ½ cup apple cider vinegar (with the “mother”) + lukewarm/cool water. (Again, no soap!)
  • Please not that you can add more ACV as needed but start with ½ cup and work your way up. Keep your little one in bath for 10-15 minutes. After the bath, apply the lightest lotion/oil/cream onto damp skin. If your child is too wet, you can pat dry. Lastly, layer with the heaviest cream to lock in the moisture.

The Bottom Line?

It’s normal to feel a little (or a lot) overwhelmed when your child has eczema. You have to learn a whole new set of rules and recommendations…

Like THREE different bath times?!

The good news is you can take baby steps. You don’t need to tackle them all at once or do them each and every day. Start small and start a manageable routine based on your child’s needs.

And cut yourself some slack. You’re doing a great job mama!