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Bleach in bath water to help MRSA
Jul 25, 2007

My employers' teenage daughter, very active in sports, has had many staph infections in which most antibiotics were doing no good until she found one strong enough. Her doctor suggested she add half of a cup of Chlorox bleach to her bath water two times a week and the staph went away. I have a male friend who is HIV positive and has MRSA on his buttock. I suggested he ask his doctor if a "bleach bath" would help him and the doctor said "no way!" What is your opionion?

Response from Dr. Conway

I am not aware of any data to suggest that bleach baths will help remove resistant bacteria on the skin, except to say that it will help with general cleanliness and hygiene that is important in addressing the issue of excessive bacterial colonization in general. The beneficial effects of bleach would need to be weighed against its significant irritative effects. I would consider the use of more mild cleansing agents, and the use of short courses of topical antibiotics to address the problem, if such approaches are needed.

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