Can Bathing in Bleach Help Your Psoriasis?

By Claire Gillespie
Reviewed by Allison Truong, M.D.
June 16, 2022

If you have psoriasis, you probably treat your skin with the utmost care, doing your best to avoid anything that might trigger a flare-up. So, the idea of bathing in bleach might sound like the opposite of this careful, gentle approach. After all, bleach bottles warn against bodily exposure—including on the skin—due to the risk of irritation.

Bleach baths aren’t endorsed by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) for use on psoriasis, but they are sometimes used to help with eczema. Here’s why: Bleach baths may help decrease inflammation, itchiness, and bacteria on the skin, explains Rhonda Q. Klein, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Modern Dermatology in Westport, Connecticut.

And dermatologists may recommend bleach baths for psoriasis in people who have recurrent skin infections (such as folliculitis) or for those who have both psoriasis and eczema. That’s because a bleach bath may decrease the bacterial load, thereby calming a psoriasis flare.

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