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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).

common types of eczema

What are the most common types of eczema in babies and children?

Atopic eczema

This is the most common type of eczema we see at itchy baby co. This form of is often hereditary and can go hand in hand with asthma and/or hay fever. In atopic conditions the body’s immune system responds to triggers which normally do no harm, for example certain foods, house dust mites and irritants, such as soaps and fragrances. This response makes the skin red and itchy.

Dry skin is a symptom of it and is thought to be caused by a breakdown in the skin’s natural barrier. The breakdown of this barrier means that moisture escapes from the skin more easily and allergens and irritants are more likely to aggravate the skin, causing inflammation.

Read more

itchy baby co. natural moisturiser

why is itchy baby co. natural moisturiser different?

Most of you know my story and I’m sure it’s similar to yours. For many years, well ever since my little boy was born nearly five years ago, we have battled with eczema. The emotional ups and downs, well mainly downs, the relentless search for effective products and the ongoing visits to a range of health professionals from naturopaths to paediatric dermatologists, all the while hoping that something, anything, would help.

As a pharmacist and mother I felt so frustrated and helpless that nothing I was trying was making much of a difference. So I was motivated to do something myself and our range of itchy baby bath soaks was developed. Then I started thinking about a moisturiser. What is about many of the creams available for eczema which are stopping me from seeing results? What do most of these eczema creams have in common and what can I change to develop a moisturiser to target eczema which might be different?

Read more

coconut oil and baby eczema

All you need to know about coconut oil for baby eczema

Can coconut oil really be an effective treatment for baby eczema? It’s a question asked by thousands of parents struggling to heal their baby’s eczema and stop the suffering.

With all the hype around coconut oil at the moment, it’s easy to get confused. Afterall, you don’t want to make your child’s eczema worse. And although prescribed steroid creams prescribed by your doctor have a place in eczema treatment, they are generally recommended for short term use and eczema is often an ongoing condition.

Here we present the scientific facts around coconut oil and its potential as a treatment for baby eczema. Because it turns out virgin coconut oil is a powerful natural solution that has proven benefits over conventional eczema treatments.

Read more

Itchy Baby Relief cofounders Julia Petroulas and Julia Simmonds

The team behind Itchy Baby Co

Julia Simmonds, Registered Pharmacist and Co-Founder

Julia is a registered pharmacist and has been practicing pharmacy for over 10 years. She loves helping parents and grandparents with all their baby and toddler needs and can often be found in the baby section of the pharmacy looking for new and innovative products to recommend to her customers. She is also a mum of two little ones who are Itchy Baby Co’s biggest fans. In and out of the dispensary Julia is committed to giving more babies happy skin.

Emma Petroulas, Co-Founder

When you email us here at itchy baby about your order, it’s likely it will be Emma on the other end. Emma manages the operations and makes sure your orders are sent out to you quickly, and that our website and day to day operations are running smoothly.

Julia pitched the idea of Itchy Baby Co to Emma over an early morning coffee, and she jumped on board straight away as a co-founder. Emma says she “fell in love with everything Itchy Baby Co. stands for – happy skin, happy babies and natural ingredients”. Emma’s itchy baby tip is to try our bath soak in the shower – just dissolve two spoonfuls of our bath soak in a bowl of lukewarm water. Toward the end of the shower use a face cloth to apply the bath soak directly to the skin by dipping the face cloth in the bowl and dabbing onto the skin. Leave it there for a few minutes and then pat dry and moisturise.

Mercene, Registered Pharmacist – Product Development

Mercene is a registered pharmacist, having practiced pharmacy for over 35 years. She works alongside Julia researching and testing new products.

Sharon, Production Assistant

Sharon along with her three siblings all suffered eczema from when they were toddlers, and she finds relief in itchy baby co products, making her excited to work for a business where she believes in what we stand for. She assists Julia with the production schedule and Emma in the warehouse. Sharon finds the best thing about working at itchy baby is getting to take home product samples and share them with her family.

Jackie, Production Assistant

Jackie started working for itchy baby co. during his summer break following university and we didn’t want to let him go! His itchy baby co tip is that our bath soak also works wonders on mosquito bites! Jackie works alongside Julia with the production schedule, and assists Emma in the warehouse.