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Domeboro Soaks, an Alternate Tablets Packet for Solution for the Treatment of Allergic Eczema of Skin

Updated on July 4, 2017
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John was a Navy hospital corpsman. He worked general sick bay, managed a carrier O.R., and treated heat rash, eczema, and dyshidrosis.


Domeboro Tablets

Shield for blister after antiseptic treatment with Domeboro Solution
Shield for blister after antiseptic treatment with Domeboro Solution | Source

Good foot care is important for good health. We all know from TV commercials the relief that a brief hot foot bath can have to aching feet. But constant exposure to moisture can hurt the feet. The skin's integrity can be compromised. Skin can soften, turn white, slough, and become susceptible to infection. The wrinkling and turning white is called maceration by health care practitioners. This is one reason that the military insists on carrying extra pairs of dry socks for those exposed to the elements. But sometimes an ailment can contribute to the wetness. There are times when it seems you just cannot get ahead of the process, especially when you have a problem like dishydrosis, atopic dermatitis, or other eczematous conditions.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and Eczema

All of us have the occasional rash, but what if you have an allergic dermatitis or atopic dermatitis that results in an exudate (weeping) and blisters? There is a great preparation for that and I have found it to be most welcome when, for instance, you come in contact with poison ivy.

The preparation is called Domeboro solution (a Domeboro astringent solution) and is made by Bayer. Domboro solution is a modified Burow's solution (aluminum acetate solution, a raw material which can be purchased from some pharmacies with a doctor's prescription). Domeboro solution is modified in that it contains three other ingredients in addition to aluminum acetate. Aluminum acetate is what gives the astringent effect (drying of the wet irritated area). It comes in powder packets and tablets.

The preparation of Domeboro solution is very easy. One takes warm water (tap water is ok) and mixes the powder packet. I put the powder in a clean empty milk container and shake vigorously until completely dissolved. Then I pour the solution into a small plastic storage container, perhaps 1' by 1'. The effervescent tablets mix themselves pretty well in a basin of warm water. Both powder packets and tablets are the ultimate in convenience. This technique lends itself well to treating hands and feet.

I usually soak for 30 minutes and dry off. You can feel the astringent effect which I think takes away the burning sometimes experienced. It also dries up the blisters, many of which can be open and/or weeping. It also helps slough of dead skin. This helps prevent infection as well as the fact that the solution also has antibacterial qualities. One tablet or packet should be dissolved for every 12 oz of water used.

The usual dilution of Domboro Solution is 1: 20 which results from using 2 tablets per soak. Other dilutions are: One packet or tablet:
1:40 Dilution, 0.16% Aluminum Acetate.
Two Packets:
1:20 Dilution, 0.32% Aluminum Acetate.
Three Packets:
1:13 Dilution, 0.48% Aluminum Acetate.

Check with your physician about dilution.

The lowest price on the Internet was $10.00 - $10.33 for twelve powder packets or tablets. Some pharmacies sell as few as one packet for around $1.50. There is also a generic Domeboro type solution offered over-the-counter.

Areas other than the feet and hands can be treated by soaking gauze in the solution and wrapping or covering (also a wet compress). When the gauze dries out, it must be reapplied once it has been soaked again. Do not leave dry gauze on the affected area.

For my money, Bayer Domeboro solution is the one to purchase.

However, should you be on a restricted budget, I have discovered an alternative that has worked well for me. There are a class of compounds referred to as alum. Alum is actually a generic term for different compounds which all have astringent effects. While Domeboro is aluminum acetate, I have found that potassium aluminum sulfate (used in cooking, and what most people think of as alum) can make a suitable foot bath. I say this because I have not tried the soak on any other part of the body. Alum can be had at spice or health food stores for a very reasonable price. I found several places advertising alum for $3 - $5 a pound. The preparation I made was one heaping teaspoonful in a pint of warm water. Since mild astringent solutions are used in the relief of such minor skin irritations as those resulting from allergies, insect bites, or fungal infections I experimented with satisfactory results.

You should follow your doctor's recommendation for the dilution he/she wants you to use. And as far as using alum, you need to talk it over with your physician. What I did was experimental, although in the literature in nursing journals I found several who claimed essentially that it has been REPORTED that alum can provide a soothing and drying soak for such conditions.

For more about eczema, try


Final Notes on Foot Soaks

Epsom salts have been used in medicine for decades, and have been used as a desiccant in some applications, but there is no reporting of magnesium sulfate being used to dry out eczema on feet. It will soften rough skin and soothe achy feet.

There are reports that Listerine foot soaking can provide a relaxing foot bath, but claims that it will help you wipe away dead skin seem to be wanting.

Here's to dry feet! Perhaps this FYI will make uncomfortable conditions much better in the future.

© 2010 John R Wilsdon

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