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Colloidal oatmeal and eczema

Colloidal oatmeal and eczema

What is colloidal oatmeal?

Whenever we’re asked about our products and our journey to creating Itchy Baby Co, there’s one ingredient we just can’t praise highly enough – colloidal oatmeal.

Colloidal oatmeal may sound fancy, but it’s just good old-fashioned oats, finely ground down to create a soft powder, which can be easily suspended in water or creams. Being absorbed easily allows eczema skin to benefit from the protective, moisturising, anti-inflammatory properties of oats more easily and effectively than if they had not been finely milled. It’s super-soothing, non-irritating and is packed with antioxidants – so it’s no wonder that it’s the number one ingredient in all of our products.

How does colloidal oatmeal work such magic?

  • Oatmeal holds a large amount of water because it’s packed full of starches and beta-glucans, this helps protect and hydrate the skin
  • It has a high number of saponins, so it’s perfect for cleansing sensitive skin
  • Oatmeal is full of cellulose and fibre, so it leaves your baby’s skin super-soft and nourished
  • Oatmeal has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity through its many types of phenols
  • Studies have shown that colloidal oatmeal binds to the skin and provides a protective barrier against irritants.
  • It also contains water-binding polysaccharides and hydrocolloids that hold moisture against the skin allowing it to act as an emollient

Why don’t I need to use soap and other cleansing products with colloidal oatmeal?

Colloidal oatmeal has natural cleansing properties which come about because of a feature in its chemical structure called saponins. This means the skin is being cleansed while it is also soaking up all of the other properties which can help to manage eczema and reduce eczema flare ups. There’s no need to use another cleansing product such as a body wash, and definitely stay away from soaps and bubble bath which can dry out and irritate the skin triggering an eczema flare up.

How often should I bathe in colloidal oatmeal for eczema?

We recommend bathing in a colloidal oatmeal bath once a day as part of your skin care routine in managing eczema. Bathing in colloidal oatmeal will not only allow the skin to benefit from its moisturising, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, but also wash triggers away from the skin which can cause irritation and sometimes lead to infection. Bath time should be kept to a maximum of ten minutes in lukewarm water and there’s more tips on the best way to bath a child with eczema here.

Soak it up

Our natural oatmeal bath soaks are a great example of colloidal oatmeal at its best.

We started our range with our oatmeal bath soak, which is 100% oatmeal and nothing else! This is still one of our most popular products, however if you like to mix-up your ingredients a bit, we do also now offer a range of combination soaks which combine a number of gorgeous, skin-loving ingredients with the good old colloidal oatmeal.

Enjoy the best of both worlds with this soak; you get the protective benefits of oatmeal, with ultra-moisturising, vitamin-rich ‘goat’s’ milk.

This soak combines our star ingredient, oatmeal, along with highly moisturising ‘goat’s’ milk and moisturising coconut oil. This soak is highly moisturising and adds a tropical lushness to bath time!

Marshmallow root is so great for soothing the skin, so we’ve combined it with our favourite oatmeal to offer a super hydrating, easily absorbed bath soak.

This blog post was brought to you and your child with love and care by Julia and the itchy baby co. team x

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.

is eczema hereditary?

Is eczema hereditary?

We still don’t know what actually causes eczema, and there are so many variations that it can sometimes take a while to even narrow down which type you’re dealing with in the first place! The latest thinking is that eczema is caused by a combination of factors, including:

  • Genetics
  • Abnormal function of the immune system
  • Environment
  • Activities that may cause skin to be more sensitive
  • Defects in the skin barrier that allow moisture out and germs in

So, is it hereditary?

Eczema certainly seems to run in families, so that suggests a genetic role in eczema’s development. A major risk factor is having a relative who has or has had eczema, asthma or seasonal allergies such as hay fever.

I have eczema, does this mean my child will?

Not necessarily. Lots of adults with eczema go on to have kids with no skin issues at all. Similarly, some children will develop symptoms when both parents seem to be eczema-free. If you do suffer from eczema or asthma, or have particularly bad allergies, keep an eye on your child’s skin. They may be more predisposed to eczema, so it’s a good idea to seek treatment as early as possible. It’s always better to treat eczema as soon as the sensitivity and itching begins – that way you can prevent some of the more severe reactions.

Preventative care

We have a range of gentle and natural solutions for those with sensitive skin, so it may be worth using these instead of normal children’s bubble baths which have a lot of harsh chemicals in them. If you do notice an issue with your baby’s skin, make sure you go and see a GP straight away. There are many kinds of eczema, all of which require slightly different treatments.

Using our bath soaks every night will help keen skin soft and hydrated, even if your child doesn’t suffer from eczema! It’s a great way to soothe any general itchy or dry skin and prevent breakouts for those little ones with sensitive skin.

Mum guilt

Don’t feel guilty if you have eczema and your child develops it too. It’s a very common issue for many, many children. Focus on creating a management plan for your bub so breakouts are less often and less severe. If you want to know more, check out some of our other blog posts – we’ve got lots of great tips on how to prevent toddler flare-ups, advice for managing eczema in hotter months and practising self-care if your child is diagnosed with eczema.

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.

sun for eczema

Is sun good or bad for eczema?

Summer is a lovely time of year – swimming, picnics, days at the beach and long, balmy evenings. However, for those of us with children who suffer from eczema, it can be a stressful season.

There are a lot of varying opinions on whether the sun is good or bad for eczema, and there are no simple answers!

Some people find that their eczema improves with exposure to sunlight (this is particularly true of the contact and discoid types), while others experience a worsening of their condition in the sun.

Some types of eczema are even directly caused or made worse by exposure to the sun, although this is rare. The term for this is photosensitive eczema.

Once you work out what triggers your child’s (or your own) eczema, you can start to put a management plan in place for the coming warmer weather.

There is a lot of new research that says exposure to sunlight is beneficial for eczema sufferers. Vitamin D is great for lots of things, and some people do find a little sunlight can really help clear their skin. As well as Vitamin D, sunlight also triggers the release of compounds (regulatory T cells and nitric oxide) which dampen the problematic immune system response in people with eczema.

As with any outdoor activities in Summer, you need to follow the normal Sun Smart recommendations:

  • Cover up with loose, cotton or UV protection clothing
  • Use sunscreen (more below about which types to look for)
  • Wear a hat and sunnies
  • Seek shade
  • Don’t go out in the peak UV hours

Try planning some nice outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon sun when it’s not too warm. Dress your child in light, cotton layers to keep them cool. Don’t let your child get too hot or sweaty, as this can then become a trigger for a flare up. Stick to semi-shaded areas and always use sunscreen (sunburn can also cause skin inflammation and make eczema worse). Use your judgement when exposing them to a bit of sunshine – you want them to soak up those lovely rays, but to stay safe and cool!

When it comes to choosing your child’s sunscreen, try and find a physical sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These types of sunscreen create a physical block meant to keep UV rays from penetrating the skin. They’re non irritative but effective – unlike some sunscreen with chemical blockers which can cause irritation, burning, and itching for those with sensitive skin.

Top Tip! Keep your sunscreen in the fridge in Summer for a super refreshing and cooling application!

 

In conclusion, sunlight is a good thing for most people with eczema. A little exposure to some light morning sunshine is something that can help manage flare-ups and improve the condition of sensitive skin, so long as you’re careful not to overdo it.

Spending more time outdoors this Summer? Check out our post about Spring remedies where you can find lots of tips for managing your child’s eczema in the great outdoors.

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.

spring remedies

Spring remedies for eczema

Spring is just around the corner, and whilst most of us are glad to see the warmer weather return, it can affect those with sensitive skin.

Heat can be a big trigger for those with sensitive skin and eczema, meaning flare ups can be more common in Spring and Summer. Hotter days also mean we have the air con on more, and that can be really drying – another thing that can exacerbate eczema symptoms.

With Spring also comes the release of pollen and other allergies from grass and flowers into the air which can irritate those prone to reactions. So, before the warm weather kicks in, we thought we’d give you a few tips to help cope with the change in season.

  1. Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise again

The key to keeping eczema under control is moisturising the skin regularly. Don’t wait until the skin becomes red and itchy, make it part of your daily routine to moisturise your child so their skin stays soft and hydrated. Keep some cream or ointment close-by or in your handbag too so you can keep them nice and moisturised throughout the day if you’re out and about.

  1. Pick your playtime’s 

Try to organise your day so you’re out and about in the early morning and later in the afternoon. Avoiding the hottest parts of the day can really help manage those eczema symptoms. Another great way to beat the heat is to set up some water play in a shaded part of your backyard so the kids can still get outside and stay nice and cool.

  1. Be Sun Smart

We’d recommend being Sun Smart to anyone who’s out in the Aussie sun, but those extra layers of rashies, hats and sunnies do a really great job of protecting those with sensitive skin. If your child gets too hot and irritated, a cold compress is a nice way to cool them down and relive the itch.

  1. Swimming

We all love a dip to cool off in the warmer months, especially little ones! Sea water is a great natural remedy for eczema, so a splash in the ocean is always a good thing. If you go to your local pool, try to choose one that is saltwater based as chlorine can trigger eczema. If this isn’t possible, just take some simple steps to reduce the chances of a flare up. Make sure you shower your child straight after their swim using an oatmeal based, soap-free wash and cover them in moisturiser to protect their sensitive skin.

  1. Comfort at night

In Spring the nights can start to get warm, so make sure your child’s room is a nice cool temperature. Dress them in light cotton clothing (this is a great idea during the day too) so the skin can breathe and pop a fan on if it is feeling a bit stuffy.

  1. Rugs

Spring is typically picnic season, and that means lots of time outside. Sitting directly on sand or grass can really irritate your child’s skin, so make sure you have a blanket or rug with you on these occasions. You can get some great lightweight ones now that fold or roll up nice and small, perfect to keep in the back of the car for your alfresco dining occasions!

Need more suggestions, What are some quick tips for helping eczema in the heat.

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.