Can Milk Baths Be Used To Treat Eczema?

There are quite a number of skin diseases, including eczema, that leave skin feeling dry, itchy, and subsequently red and swollen, causing all sorts of discomfort and even embarrassment. While it's not quite acne (which 50 million Americans struggle with every year, says the American Academy of Dermatology), eczema — atopic dermatitis — remains a problematic skin issue in its own right. Affecting up to 15 million Americans, including infants, one gets a clear picture of how eczema is inevitable for almost everyone at some point in their life, per Cleveland Clinic.

For many, one tested and trusted method of getting rid of eczema is the application of aloe vera gel. This method is one that works mostly due to the antibacterial and antimicrobial components of the plant, per Medical News Today. Other well-known treatments for eczema include topical steroids, which help to combat inflammation and speed healing, as well as the coal-tar treatment (via Insider).

Other recommended solutions to an eczema problem could include lifestyle alterations such as avoiding woolen clothes, according to dermatologist Jessica Wu M.D. "Wool fibers are like little corkscrews that irritate the nerve endings in your skin," she tells Refinery29. "If you must wear wool, layer a smooth silk or finely-woven cotton T-shirt underneath," the doctor adds.

How about milk baths? Can they stop eczema?

The list of cures for eczema seems to now include milk baths, although there is still some debate on their suitability for the purpose. Essentially, a milk bath involves the addition of milk to the bathwater, per Healthline. Scientifically, uncertainty shrouds the efficacy of this particular cure, even though some studies have been made which suggest that milk baths can indeed help with skin ailments like eczema, as well as psoriasis (via Healthline.)

But even where milk baths have been successful, they have been found to be more suited to infants than adults. Infants suffer eczema at a mind-boggling rate; 20% of them are said to go through its discomfort, per Johns Hopkins Medicine.

While milk baths remain generally unproven as a cure for eczema in infants, their use for curing the condition in adults seem even more unconvincing. So it may be wise to speak with your doctor or dermatologist first before attempting this procedure.

Cures that have generally been used, and continued to be recommended as cure for eczema, include apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and honey, among others, per Medical News Today.