Bleach Can Prevent Ageing and Skin Damage

Dilute bleach can prevent ageing and damage to skin, according to latest research at the Stanford University School of Medicine. For decades, some doctors have […]

Dilute bleach can prevent ageing and damage to skin, according to latest research at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

For decades, some doctors have used dilute bleach to treat moderate to severe eczema. Conventional medical wisdom is that the bleach acts to kill bacteria on the skin. Dr. Leung, however, was not convinced, stating, “The concentrations used in clinic are not high enough for this to be the sole reason. So we wondered if there could be something else going on.”

Studies on mice revealed a different mechanism for bleach’s curative properties. Their work revealed that bleach targets an inflammatory pathway by blocking a molecule called NF-kB, which plays multiple roles in inflammation, ageing and response to radiation. Normally, this molecule is activated when skin is damaged, and inflammation arises to protect the skin from further damage. However, it appears that this pathway can be deregulated in eczema, causing the molecule to be constantly activated. Dilute bleach solution seems to be able to block the effect of NF-kB by oxidising its activator molecule.

NF-kB is also implicated in radiation dermatitis, skin damage caused by radiation therapy. Up to 19 out of every 20 patients who are treated with radiation therapy develop radiation dermatitis, and it seems that bleach may be an effective and cheap solution to treat this condition by blocking the inflammatory process.

Whilst the treatment has not yet been tested in humans, mice with radiation dermatitis have significantly less severe skin damage and better healing and hair regrowth when bathed in dilute bleach solution. The scientists then turned to treating elderly laboratory mice with the bleach, and showed an anti-ageing effect associated with the treatment. This latest research offers hope for better treatments for patients who undergo radiotherapy, and possibly even for skin damage caused by excess sun exposure, diabetic ulcers or ageing.

Read more at: http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2013/november/bleach.html

Marco Narajos

About Marco Narajos

Marco is a first year undergraduate at Christ Church, studying Medicine, and is the Online Editor for Bang! Science in Hilary Term 2014.