A woman lays in a bathtub.

Rub a Dub Dub

The sanctuary. The porcelain crib. The domestic oasis... a.k.a. the bathtub.

First off, what was used back in the olden days, such as bins and large basins, were not called bathtubs. The first was invented in 1883 by John Michael Kholer. Praise be! Not that a wash bin is so horrible to fathom using, but I owe so much appreciation to my beloved tub.

Bathing and atopic dermatitis

While attempting to assuage our irritated skin, most of us find the bath to be one of our go-to places for comfort. Papers upon papers are centered around the notion that bathing in certain elements can assist in atopic skin health. However, dermatologists and researchers sometimes differ on what is best to use while soaking in our heaping bowl of water. Nonetheless, most are on board using the bath as a place for skin repair and overall respite.

Bleach baths

Despite the sound, many doctors find the use of bleach in our routine soaks to be valuable. Never use it neat on the skin (meaning zero dilution). It always needs to be diluted.

  • Dilution should be half a cup to a full bathtub of water. Too much bleach can have a counter effect and irritate the skin.
  • Use lukewarm water - nothing too scolding or hot.
  • Talk to your doctor about time in the bath - 5 to 10 minutes.

Furthermore, the use of bleach during our soak is to help stave off nasty bacteria. It can also help with inflammation. Don't forget to wash off afterward.

Dead sea salt

Ever heard of The Dead Sea? It carries more than 9x the salt content in our ocean. Due to the salt to water ratio, fish and other creatures can not survive in that environment. Yet, humans go to this spot, located in Western Asia, to thrive in it.

Since most of us do not live near or in Jordan, we must create our own salty refuge.

What makes Dead Sea Salt differ from other salts, like Epsom salt, is that it contains many useful nutrients that our body craves. These nutrients are support systems to our frail and painful skin. Minerals like...

  • Magnesium - enhances skin hydration and barrier function
  • Calcium - promotes skin growth and regeneration
  • Sulfur - reduces and soothes skin inflammation
  • Zinc - aids in protecting the cells that create collagen

Floating around in all of this goodness can be such a treat for our skin. Much like bleach bath instructions, there is a protocol in place.

  • Use up to 1-2 cups per full bath
  • Talk to your doctor for soak times -- 5 to 10 minutes
  • Use lukewarm, not scolding or hot, water

I know for myself, not using extremely hot water dims the relaxation a pinch, but it's not all that bad.

The cherry on top

Besides all of the physical uses of the bath, there is also a mental component.

Many flares and eczema issues stem from stress. There is plenty of it going around the world these days. To be able to relax and release tension in the water is a further option of use for our esteemed bathtub. What else can add to the relaxation?

Let go

I know it may be difficult for some to see this necessary (at times) ritual to be less relaxing and more like a chore. But, if you flip the script and use it as a place of peace to breathe, enjoy silky sounds, and tickle your tastebuds, it may just be a ritual you choose to cherish.

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