Monday, December 5, 2011

What is Colloidal Oatmeal? And How Does it Help Eczema?

Please read my disclaimer before you continue reading.  
Thank you!

Simply speaking, colloidal oatmeal is very finely ground oatmeal.  Pretty easy explanation right!  

So what in the world is this stuff used for? 

First let me tell you that I ran across colloidal oatmeal from reading the ingredients off a bottle of Eucerin.  I’ve never purchased Eucerin, but I was curious why it is so popular and why so many people recommend it for my son’s eczema and dry skin.  First, check out the ingredients in Eucerin.  I’ve linked research and information to some of the concerning ingredients from The Skin Deep Database

Glycerin, Cetyl Palmitate, Mineral Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octyldodecanol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Colloidal Oatmeal, Dimethicone, PEG – 40 Stearate, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Phexoxyethanol, DMDM HydantionIodopropynyl, Butylcarbarmate.

I was very curious about this oatmeal so I did some research.

I ran across this great site dedicated to colloidal oatmeal.  I recommend checking it out, but I will also share information from this site here.  All quotes are from site link.

So back to the original question: 
What in the world is this stuff used for?

The popular use for colloidal oatmeal is in the bath.  
I have used this with my son.  I grind 2 cups of oatmeal in a coffee grinder and add it to his bath water.  Works great.  Please use oatmeal with caution if you have issues with gluten (or even if you aren’t sure).  It’s best to purchase certified gluten-free oats to avoid any averse reactions.  Please discuss the use of oatmeal as a means for holistic healing with a medical professional or holistic practitioner before using.     

Colloidal oatmeal has properties that comfort itching, so it is a good choice for relieving the pains of eczema. Simply run your bath with lukewarm water, and while the tub is filling, add a packet (two to three cups) of colloidal oatmeal under the faucet to help disperse the oatmeal. Soak in the bath for ten to fifteen minutes. When you are ready to get out of the bath, Be Careful. The bathtub will be slick from the oatmeal. When drying, don’t rub your skin since this can irritate the sore areas. Instead, pat yourself dry with a clean towel. This treatment can be taken up to three times daily to help ease the dry, itchy skin of eczema”

What a great holistic remedy for children and babies suffering from eczema (or adults for that matter).  My son’s skin looks awful in the bath (like burns all over his legs) and so this is a great addition to bath time.  Wish I had this information when he was 6 months old with weepy eczema patches all over his body.  

How does it work?
“Colloidal oatmeal is simply oats ground into an extremely fine powder. When added to bathwater, it creates a milky dispersion that prevents the oatmeal from settling rapidly. So the oatmeal stays in the water and doesn’t just sink to the bottom of the bath. When you get into the tub, the colloidal oatmeal feels silky, as it coats, moisturizes, softens, and protects your skin.”

How do I use it?
“Run your bath with lukewarm water, and while the tub is filling, add a packet (two to three cups) of colloidal oatmeal under the faucet to help disperse the oatmeal. You may have the urge to take a hot bath, but this will only irritate the skin and remove moisture from your body, so a warm bath is preferable. Soak in the bath for ten to fifteen minutes. When you are ready to get out of the bath, BE CAREFUL. The bathtub will be slick from the oatmeal. When drying, don’t rub your skin since this can irritate the sore areas. Instead, pat yourself dry with a clean towel.”

I added colloidal oatmeal to my latest homemade eczema lotion (recipe coming soon) as a dry-skin remedy this winter.  

Check this out if you are interested in making large amounts of colloidal oatmeal.  But a coffee grinder or other blender will suffice.  
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Posted by Amber at

Labels: eczema, Holistic healing, homemade remedies.

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