Mel Watts, who writes under the name The Modern Mumma, spoke to a paediatric dermatologist to seek a remedy for little Indie, who’s been suffering with the skin condition.
‘The problem is that we never used the steroid cream for long enough or the right amount of time. So that’s why it’s never gone,’ she explained in a Facebook post to her 91k followers.
‘We were always under the impression of a few days here and there. So now we’re on a strict routine of bleach baths and head to toe steroid cream and moisturising.
‘Though I understand sometimes we have different views on treatment for this we are politely going to stick to the new specialist plan.’
However, despite Mel’s determination to stick to the process that had been recommended to her by an expert, it wasn’t long before she was met with disapproval from several commenters who were concerned that it might not be the best course of action.
‘…..bleach……like actual bleach…….on a baby……?’ one questioned, whilst another wrote: ‘This is DISGUSTING.’
‘Steroid cream and bleach bath ? I’ll rather try Homeopathy before,’ a third agreed. ‘I read the bleach is very diluted but the steroid cream is not going to cure anything, just mask it for a while if she’s lucky, with all the additional bonus of their nasty side effects.’
Mel subsequently posted a response to the outrage in the comments section on the post, exclaiming: ‘Now I do not I repeat DO NOT RECOMMEND you stick your child in a bucket of bleach. That’s stupid! I was given a specific amount which is tiny. I think a bunch of people assume you just buy 10 litres of bleach and put the kid in. Which isn’t the case. You need to see a doctor and get a referral to even be able to get this advice.’
Detailing how the family had already ‘spent thousands’ on treatment and advice for Indie, she added: ‘Do you think we want to dump her in a bucket of bleach for shits and giggles or because we’ve crossed every of angle.
‘Now to be fair were her parents. And we’re doing what we think is right with the information we’ve been given. Now you go look after your children how you want whilst I parent mine how I want.
‘Also please don’t go bleaching your kids because I wrote that’s what we’re doing you need doctors advice!!! Not mine or the ignorant assholes who are giving me theirs.’
Many fans of Mel’s have also jumped to her defence, with some empathising that they have done the same thing with their own children in similar circumstances.
‘You are doing an excellent job, some people just have nothing better to do, my daughter has eczema and I would do the same as you if it came to it,’ one said, followed by a second who pointed out: ‘ It’s usually less bleach than what you’d find in a pool. If you can tolerate the pool, you can tolerate a bleach bath.’
‘I genuinely can’t believe how many idiots there are out there?!’ one exclaimed. ‘Unless you’ve had a child covered head to toe in eczema, literally tearing off their skin, dripping in pus, getting zero sleep and crying hysterically you really need to shut up.
‘My daughter suffers from photo aggravated eczema along with other conditions, she was hospitalised with it from 5 months literally every two weeks, she was wet wrapped head to toe. Her first admission her drip was placed in her head because her body had no suitable spots with her skin gone.
‘Bleach baths were the biggest godsend to her. It sounds harsh, but so is eczema!’
Studies in the past have shown that bleach baths can be effective for eczema in some cases, but it’s crucial that they are only given under the guidance of a professional.
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Professor Mike Cork, head of dermatology research and a consultant at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, said at the time of one piece of research being published in 2009: ‘People should not start putting bleach in their children’s bath.’
‘Bleach used incorrectly could cause enormous harm to a child with atopic eczema while, in the hands of an expert, it can as this trial indicates lead to benefit.’