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Oatmeal for Eczema — Why it Works and How to Use it For Instant Relief

Kiss dry, itchy skin goodbye.


Our skin tends to act up a bit in the fall. As the weather dries out and allergens fill the air, it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly is the cause. Nonetheless, dealing with dry, itchy skin can be really frustrating, especially if you have eczema. Luckily, using oatmeal for eczema is a great solution if you’re struggling with uncomfortable symptoms.

Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is characterized by itchy skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can appear as:

  • Red to brownish-gray patches, especially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows, and knees, and in infants, the face and scalp
  • Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
  • Thickened, cracked, scaly skin
  • Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching

The cause of eczema is unknown, but it often appears or gets worse during times when airborne allergens are present, like in the fall and spring seasons. And while there are topical creams, ointments, and oral corticosteroids that your doctors can prescribe, DIY treatments can help you manage your symptoms at home — naturally!

Oatmeal for Eczema

One of the most popular at-home treatments for eczema is oatmeal. Oatmeal — more specifically, colloidal oatmeal — is an all-natural ingredient that’s found in many skincare products, especially those for eczema. One study found that using colloidal oatmeal for eczema helped protect the skin and soothe away itching and irritation. The same study showed that colloidal oatmeal also helped maintain the pH of the skin surface, which means it could protect from bacterial buildup and drying!

The best and most popular way to use colloidal oatmeal for eczema is by taking an oatmeal bath. But before you go dumping your instant oats into your bathtub, keep reading. Colloidal oatmeal is actually finely ground oats. Grinding the oats into a fine powder helps them melt more easily into the water and not sink to the bottom of your tub. When the oat particles are floating in your tub, your skin is more exposed to the compounds that relieve those pesky symptoms.

How to Take an Oatmeal Bath for Eczema

To take an oatmeal bath for eczema symptoms, first fill your tub with warm water. You don’t want to use water that is too hot, as this will further dry out your skin. Place 3/4 to 1 cup of colloidal oatmeal into your bath and allow it to disperse into your bathwater, stirring any residue at the bottom of the tub if needed. You can also add a few drops of skin-soothing essential oils into the bath, like this lavender oil from Cliganic (Buy on Amazon, $9.99)! Soak for 10 to 30 minutes.

When you’re done with your bath, you can rinse any oat residue off your body with warm water in the shower. Pat your skin dry (don’t rub) and apply your favorite moisturizer. That’s it!

You can make your own colloidal oatmeal at home by simply putting some oats in a food processor or grinder and grinding them into a very fine powder. Otherwise, you can purchase packets of colloidal oatmeal to use in your bath. We love this one from Aveeno (Buy on Amazon, $9.08).

Here’s to healthy, happy skin!

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