Our MicroSilk Tub

This page details our experience with the MicroSilk tub. Evan enjoys this bath and it is a great tool to help maintenance his skin. While baths are an absolutely necessary part of Evan's skin routine, this type of tub helps aid exfoliation in a gentler way. Any bath is crucial for maintaining & hydrating the skin and removing & exfoliating scales but this technology makes my job easier while giving comfort to Ev's skin.

Here is our step by step guide while taking a MicroSilk bath.

1. Clean out the tub.
      Wait. Didn't I just do this??? As many know, ichthyosis is very repetitive. And as many know, infections are much easier to get with this kind of skin. I always feel more comfortable rinsing the bath out with a cleaner (my choice is dish soap and/or bleach). Especially when we have animals or if Evan was not the last one to use the shower/tub.

2. Soak bath seat and MicroSilk wand in diluted bleach water.
       This is probably a step many do not need to take. Since Evan has been progressing in the motor department, he is now able to sit in the tub independently, with the help of an adaptive seat (received through his physical therapist). Since his seat has a mesh liner, I soak it in a diluted bleach solution to insure its cleanliness prior to a bath. As well as the MicroSilk wand which gets caked with skin buildup during baths. Since I cannot see inside the tube I need to be sure it is "clean".

3. Fill the tub & bathe
      Be sure when filling your MicroSilk that it is filling at a comfortable temperature. Since the MicroSilk technology keeps the water at a constant temperature, you need to be sure the water is not too hot as it will stay that way while the jets are running.

This is only about 20 minutes of Evan's 1hr+ bath. 
And the jets kept turning off which is an indicator that it is time to clean out the jets. 

4. Scoop out skin. 
        We have had our MicroSilk since 2011 and we have always done this (we buy large fishnets which are cleaned out after every bath). For one, it's easier to give a bath without piles of skin floating on the surface getting in Evan's eyes or mouth while rinsing and bathing. And two, the amount of skin you see in the tub is enormous and I can only wonder what it is doing to our plumbing. Especially for those with septic systems this may be able to help. Just like when you do your ichthy laundry, you tend to shake out the skin prior to washing!

5. Clean the tub, fishnet, wand & filter (if it applies to your tub).
     Yes clean the tub for the second time in an hour! The amount of skin that you see floating in the bath leaves quite the mess to clean up. Once you drain your tub, as any bath one with ichthyosis takes, you will notices a film of skin and emollient residue on the walls and floor. Best advice I can give is, CLEAN IT IMMEDIATELY. It is very challenging to clean skin residue off the side of a tub that had dried, hard as a rock. I use dish soap to clean the tub, fishnet and wand. And I rinse out our filter right away with just hot water. Our tub will not turn on if the filter is not properly cleaned out.

6. Clean your jets out monthly. 
      Jason International provides a green cleaner for sale on their site. While it is recommended to clean the jets out quarterly through the year, ichthyosis can cause build up quicker than those with non ichthy skin. If I do not have the Jason cleaner on hand, I fill the tub with very hot water and some bleach, then run the jets one cycle. Following this I clean the tub per step 5 as necessary.

Our MicroSilk Tub- Part 2 posted on December 8, 2014
 I also wrote about our tub in October 2013. We got our MicroSilk after we bought our first home in 2011. Evan was only months old when he tried the tester tub and a year old when we had our own. So MicroSilk has pretty much always been a part of his routine. We have had our tub for over 4 years and I now can say that Evan is finally using it "on his own". Since Evan has been behind on the development track, could not sit independently for over 3 years, it was challenging to give him a bath in the MicroSilk tub. Even with the proper adaptive equipment for him to sit in, it was still nerve wrecking having him in a huge tub full of water. Then when I was pregnant in 2014, it made it impossible for me to reach and lean over to bathe him in the MicroSilk tub.

Fortunately with a new baby came some milestones for Evan. One huge milestone was his new found love of "crawling". He started army crawling around the house just at the perfect time; just when he could use a little independence as the new baby arrived. Another huge milestone was THROWING AWAY (recycling) the baby tub. The poor kid still got one bath a day in the baby tub, mainly because he was small enough to fit in and it was easier for me to bathe him without bending over. He obviously was getting uncomfortable in the little tub so we asked him if it was ok to get rid of it. He had no objections.

Since this spring, Evan has only gotten a MicroSilk bath and many times two of them a day! Thanks to his progress in the motor department, he is stronger and sits much better and safer in the tub than in years past. He has also grown a little bit, so now the water level isn't an issue when sitting on the tub floor or in an adaptive seat. And boy does this kid love his tub!

The benefits:
As I have written before, it is undeniable that this tub has benefits for the maintenance of his skin. The small oxygenated bubbles help with exfoliation and easily remove small scales without pain. The tub looks like a shaken snow globe within minutes of starting! Scales seem to lift easier and it is a much gentler way of exfoliating rather than aggressive rubbing with wash clothes or mitts. The oxygenated water must be a benefit to his skin becuase it is very noticeable when he gets a bath in a regular tub while on vacation or visiting family for the night.

Evan is in the MicroSilk 2x a day with a minimum of 12 baths per week. Many weekend nights we tend to "skip" baths due to busy schedules and becuase Mom and Dad need a little break. On weekday mornings he only recieves one cycle in the tub (20-30 min) due to our tight schedule- getting ready for school. On school nights, Evan takes a very long bath with at least 2 MicroSilk cycles and rarely gets out of the bath before an hour of time. As wonderful as this tub is, Harlequin Ichthyosis is relentless and that skin grows almost too fast to keep up with. 

Another benefit of this tub is how it keeps the water at a constant temperature. To have a kid who can't regulate his body temperature, in a bath tub for an hour, would be tricky without this feature (never mind draining our water tank!) Thanks to the tiny oxygen rich bubbles, it keeps heat energy in the water maintaining the temp as it was filled.

Tub Maitnence:
This tub is known as a "green" tub. No cleaners or additives are needed when using the tub. But since Harlequin Ichthyosis is so severe, I tend to continue with my typical maitnence routine before, after and during the bath. While using the tub I will occasionally use a splash of bleach as directed by our dermatologist. Since Evan does not have the necessary proteins on his skin to kill harmful bacteria, it is important to use this in any type of bath. We use to use baking soda in every bath but now only use it in non MicroSilk tubs.

Before and after every bath I wash the tub with dish soap. I want to be sure the bath is clean before using. Afterwards, dish soap helps to cut the greasy Aquaphor and skin residue caked on the walls and floor of the tub. I will occasionally use bleach as needed while cleaning out the bath.

To maitnence the jets, Jason sells a green cleaner that can be run through the MicroSilk. I usually do this every few months or when I notice the cycles will not run a full 20 minutes. As we have a first generation MicroSilk, we also unscrew and clean out the filter every bath or the jets will not turn on.


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