Apparently there’s a lot more that you can do with that tub of household bleach that sits under the kitchen sink than you think. Aside from house cleaning and standard stain removal, new studies at Stanford University Medical Center have discovered that bleach can also help reverse signs of aging and even treat skin damage that has been caused by excessive exposure to the sun and radiotherapy treatment.
A series of tests were performed on mice suffering from dermatitis, and the results demonstrated that when exposed to diluted bleach, there was an increase in cellular growth and the animals experienced less severe skin damage, improved healing and hair regrowth. Another series of tests performed on elderly mice bathed in bleach yieled interesting results: they looked younger afterwards. Have we perhaps discovered the fountain of eternal youth after all?
While these studies are still in the experimental stage, these findings could be the key to fighting radiation dermatitis in people, a sunburn-like effect that occurs as a result of radiation cancer therapy. Bleach is no stranger to treating eczema, but not much was known about how the chemical actually worked on skin. Bleach works by blocking the process that causes inflammation, which occurs when immune cells are sent to the injured location on the skin in order to prevent and fight infection.
According to Thomas Leung, a dermatology instructor at Stanford, there is a possibility that bleach can aid in healing diabetic ulcers and other similar wounds. “This is exciting because there are so few side effects to diluted bleach,” he said. “We may have identified other ways to use hypochlorite to really help patients It could be easy, safe and inexpensive.”
Although this new discovery is rather exciting, don’t go off and try to create your own anti-aging bleach solution just yet. Still the prospects are looking good and there is a chance that a few years down the road, DIY at-home bleaching sessions (and not for your mustache) will be all the rage. For all we know, bleach might take the place of expensive retinol creams and laser treatments originally reserved for celebrities and those with excess money to spare. Maybe the key to our own version of Tuck Everlasting has been sitting under our kitchen sinks all this time.