Don’t Underestimate the Home Remedies

courtesy of PinkMoose (via flickr)

courtesy of PinkMoose (via flickr)

From the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, Washington

Readers of our publication Pediatric News may recall Dr. Lillian Beard’s column, “Beyond Chicken Soup.” The column described Dr. Beard’s experiences with and knowledge of home remedies for various childhood ailments.

At this morning’s plenary session, I found it ironic that following two scientific talks about future possibilities for treating atopic dermatitis based on studies involving filaggrin and some very itchy mice, a doctor from Children’s Hospital Boston talked about current therapies for treating atopic dermatitis. She was one of several speakers who mentioned a possible link between infections and atopic dermatitis and referred to a study in Pediatrics in which researchers found that 1 cup of bleach mixed into 1/2 a bathtub full of water was associated with an improvement S. aureus, which is common in atopic dermatitis patients.

Bleaching the baby? Many pediatricians and dermatologists will counsel their atopic patients to give this bath a try. And I guess it’s no stranger than any of the many other home remedies, like drinking water while holding the handle of a metal spoon between your teeth like the bit of a horse’s bridle to get rid of hiccups (that works–I’ve tried it).

The doctor added a tip for parents who want to try this treatment. “Use white towels.” Good tip. 

—Heidi Splete
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Filed under Allergy and Immunology, Dermatology, Uncategorized

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