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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.

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.

How to help soothe that tricky scalp area

The hair and scalp can be a tricky area to treat. The scalp can sometimes require conventional treatments like medicated shampoos, but there are also natural remedies you can try at home to relieve symptoms of itchy dry scalps and help your baby recover quickly.

Here are our top four natural remedies to help soothe the itch.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains wonderful fatty acids that can add moisture to the skin and relive the itch. Try applying cold-pressed virgin coconut oil directly to your child’s scalp after bathing. Use it before bed to keep the skin moisturised overnight and wash off in the morning so the hair isn’t greasy. Also read, All you need to know about coconut oil for baby eczema

Colloidal oatmeal

This is the main ingredient in our entire range – we can’t get enough of it. Oats have natural properties which are proven to help relieve the symptoms of itchy, dry skin. These properties are soothing, protective, anti-itch and moisturising. Try our oatmeal bath soak, eczema moisturiser, along with our nourishing scalp oil for combined efficiency for relieving itchy, dry scalps. This three step process layers hydration into the skin using moisturising products which not only seal in natural goodness to keep skin healthy, but also protect the skins barrier so it functions at its best.

Olive oil

Raid your pantry, because olive oil is also packed with healing properties for the scalp. Apply to the affected areas and leave the oil on for about an hour. Use a brush to remove scales from your baby’s scalp, reducing any build up. Rinse, brush again and then shampoo hair as usual.

Itchy Baby Co Natural Scalp Oil

We’ve combined a few of our favourite natural ingredients to create this soothing oil. It’s packed with the goodness of oat extract, which forms a silky barrier on the skin to trap hydration and help stop moisture loss. The organic coconut oil reduces flaking and the calendula oils are great for soothing and giving nourishment. Just pump a small amount into your hand and massage directly into your child’s damp scalp until the oil starts to be absorbed.

For hair in particular, sometimes loose flaky skin can get caught and you find yourself picking at your child’s hair to get it out. We’ve come across a few products over the years, and can recommend this Cradle Cap Brush and Comb to help remove that extra dry, flaky skin. Perfect for using after moisturising and applying our natural scalp oil.

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.

eczema colloidal oatmeal bath itchy dry skin

It’s just OATMEAL! How can an oatmeal bath help my child’s itchy, dry, eczema skin?

I know, I get it, and I thought the exact same thing – oatmeal is oatmeal. How is it going to help my child’s itchy, dry, eczema skin? So to satisfy my scientific pharmacist self, I started researching the clinical evidence and research available (that kept me busy for awhile!) and after those late night study sessions, I decided to jump right in. Or rather… I stepped into the oatmeal bath carefully holding my little boy and hoping with every bit of my heart and soul for something to wash away the pain of his suffering and ease my guilt.

Why can an oatmeal bath be effective for eczema and dry, itchy skin?

Naturally, the benefits of an oatmeal bath go back to science…

Research shows most of the benefits of having an oatmeal bath come from oatmeal’s chemical structure:

  • Beta-glucans hold in water and protect the skin, and may also assist in stimulating collagen production to strengthen the skin from irritation.
  • Cellulose and fibre which give oatmeal the ability to soften and moisturise the skin.
  • Phenols which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, helping reduce irritation and itching of your child’s eczema skin.
  • Our body contains prostaglandins which cause blood vessels to dilate, resulting in inflamed, irritated skin that can be prone to infection by bacteria and other microorganisms.
  • Colloidal oatmeal lowers the levels of prostaglandins, resulting in repaired barrier function and calmed skin.
  • Saponins, which are compounds found mainly in grains, and this ingredient gives colloidal oatmeal exceptional cleansing qualities to wash the skin and also take away any triggers sitting on the skin’s surface which can cause irritation and lead to infection.

Is using oatmeal for eczema and itchy, dry skin a new thing?

No! Oatmeal has been used for hundreds of years to soothe itchy and irritated skin. The oldest oat grains were found in Egypt in about 2000 BC and was introduced to North America at the beginning of the 17th century. Colloidal oatmeal started to be used for cosmetic benefits in facial masks as well as for cleansing and relieving itching. In the mid 1900s, colloidal oatmeal became ready to use for skin care and in 2003, the US FDA approved it as a product that can relieve skin irritation and itching.

What new evidence is around to suggest colloidal oatmeal might be effective for my child’s eczema?

Studies have been conducted on colloidal oatmeal, as it has been used for centuries as a topical treatment for a range of skin conditions, including eczema. Extracts of colloidal oatmeal were made with numerous solvents and tested in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory assays. A blind study was also carried out with 29 healthy females who displayed mild to moderate itch with dry skin on their lower legs. After treatment with colloidal oatmeal, results showed significant clinical improvements in skin dryness, roughness and the magnitude of itchiness. These results provided evidence that colloidal oatmeal does contribute to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, benefiting the skin, and may be used to treat the symptoms of eczema (Reynertson KA et al., 2018; PubMed 2018).

In a double blind, active-controlled study researchers aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 1% colloidal oatmeal cream, compared to prescription creams in children with eczema. A variety of ages (ranging from 6 months to 18 years old) were randomised to colloidal oatmeal and prescription cream. The effectiveness of these products was tested using the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) scores, as well as the Investigator’s Global Atopic Dermatitis Assessment (IGADA) scores. The EASI scores showed that prescription cream was not superior to colloidal oatmeal. It was concluded that 1% oatmeal cream was equally effective and safe as the prescription cream, in the treatment of mild-moderate eczema in children (Lisante Et Al., 2017; Medline, 2018).

Another double-blind, randomised, controlled study was conducted by researches where colloidal oatmeal was applied for 15 minutes as an open patch test, and under a patch for 24-48 hours. Results showed no sign of an allergic reaction. In a 2-week, single-blinded study of patients with Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI, a remarkable improvement in skin brightness was seen within the first day, and continued throughout the study period. These results concluded that using the moisturiser containing colloidal oatmeal twice daily had great improvements in alleviating symptoms of irritated skin (Nebus et al., 2004).

But what is colloidal oatmeal?

When we hear oatmeal bath, it may sound like having a bath with breakfast cereal, but it is not quite what we think.  Oatmeal is ground into a fine powder and boiled, making it into a colloid, which is a solution of very small particles suspended in warm water, and because it has been finely ground, it remains evenly dispersed and does not sink to the bottom. This well mixed oatmeal is called colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal binds to the skin and forms a protective barrier which helps to lock in moisture, as well as ease inflammation, it also cleanses the skin.

Where can I find colloidal oatmeal to help my child’s eczema and itchy, dry skin?

Our itchy baby co. products contain colloidal oatmeal. A regular skincare routine of bathing and moisturising your child every day can lead to healthy and happy skin.We recommend dissolving two to three spoonfuls of our natural oatmeal bath soak in a lukewarm bath every day and applying our oatmeal and coconut moisturiser within two minutes of taking your child out of the bath.  You can find a range of natural skincare products containing oatmeal oatmeal at itchy baby co.

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.

References:

Lisante, T., Nunez, C., and Zhang, P. (2017). Efficacy and safety of an over-the-counter 1% colloidal oatmeal cream in the management of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in children: a double blind, randomised, active-controlled study. Journal of Dermatological Treatment 28: 659-667
Renertson, KA. et al. (2015). Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry skin.  J Drugs Dermatol. 14 (1): 43-48. PubMed-NCBI
Nebus J, et al. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;50:P77.
Gibson L, et al. (2003) Origin, history, and uses of oat (Avena sativa) and wheat (Triticum aestivum).

target eczema naturally

How can I treat eczema naturally?

 

When it became clear my baby had eczema the first question I wanted answered was how I could treat his eczema naturally. Three and a half years later we have tried so many natural remedies and treatments. There is nothing which was recommended to me that I didn’t try and not every natural eczema treatment made a difference to my baby’s eczema.

Treatments which help me manage eczema naturally

  • Taking probiotics

I started mixing probiotics into my baby’s milk from when he was four months old. While the evidence for probiotic use to treat different infant conditions is mixed, there is evidence which suggests probiotics help manage allergies and provide relief from eczema symptoms, and this has been my experience. Research also indicates that probiotics are safe and well tolerated in healthy infants and children.

Read more

colloidal oatmeal

How does colloidal oatmeal help treat eczema: the research behind it

Oatmeal has been used for hundreds of years to soothe itchy and irritated skin. The number one main ingredient in itchy baby bath soaks is colloidal oatmeal and is made by finely grinding down oatmeal.

How does colloidal oatmeal help itchy and irritated skin conditions such as eczema?

The reasons are many and all are to do with oatmeal’s chemical structure.

  1. Oatmeal can hold water and protect the skin because it is packed full of starches and beta-glucans.
  2. Oatmeal has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity through its many types of phenols.
  3. Oatmeal also cleanses due to its saponins.
  4. Oatmeal softens the skin because it has lots of cellulose and fibre.

With all these useful properties colloidal oatmeal has been used to treat many conditions including eczema, chicken pox, insect bites and skin irritations.

Read more