The role that the bath plays in the dermatologic therapeutic armamentarium is well recognized. The virtues of colloids, oils, and many other bath additives have been extolled, and rightly so.
For the past 10 years I have routinely employed an inexpensive water softener,1 a nonirritating, completely soluble, granulated powder readily available through grocery stores. This powder, sodium hexametaphosphate,* is conducive to restoring the protective acid mantle of the skin and is indicated wherever and whenever a bath is feasible in dermatologic practice.
In a routine bath, sodium hexametaphosphate is readily miscible with soap, does not precipitate colloids in any additives, and improves the efficiency of soapless detergents. As a sole agent, used in the bath in the treatment of dermatoses and inflamed skin, this conditioner imparts a very soft, silky feel to the water. For the ordinary tub, patients are advised to draw a lukewarm bath and
GROSS ER. A Bland Bath. AMA Arch Derm. 1959;80(1):99. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archderm.1959.01560190101019
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