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The effects of hydrotherapy alone and hydrotherapy with sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) on the number of bacteria on the surface of unburned and burned skin were examined. Hydrotherapy did not significantly reduce the number of bacteria in either skin category. The addition of various concentrations of NaOCl to the water in the hydrotherapy tank significantly decreased the number of bacteria on unburned and burned skin. However, treatment with this antiseptic agent in the tank water was associated with some side effects to patients and personnel, which has limited its use in our burn center.