Health

Soothe itchy skin with an oatmeal bath

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oatsSo many of the store-bought beauty and bathcare products we use contain ingredients that can irritate or damage sensitive skin. Even the products that claim to have no parabens/chemicals/phthalates/fragrance may have natural ingredients that can still cause skin reactions.

I use oatmeal baths for my 3-month-old baby who experiences eczema; I tried numerous varieties of ‘natural’ bath products and moisturisers which all seemed to just irritate her skin more. By adding oatmeal to her evening baths, it reduced redness and soothed her skin which prevented further scratching and irritation.

What is it about oats that soothes skin?

Products containing oats are frequently recommended by dermatologists to treat a range of skin problems for people of any age, and an oatmeal bath is an inexpensive and easy way to soothe conditions such as itchy skin, rashes, chicken pox, dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.

Oats contain chemicals that are thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect and they also help to lock in the skin’s moisture which protects it from further irritation.

To make your own oatmeal bath, all you need is uncooked oats (the plain porridge kind that you get from the supermarket are fine), a square of muslin cloth (or you can just use a clean sock) and a few rubber bands or a piece of string to tie it off.

Make your own oatmeal bath

oats flatPlace uncooked oats (half a cup for a baby bath, full cup for an adult’s bath) in the center of a muslin cloth or into a sock.

Gather the cloth up and tie around the top with rubber bands or string to prevent the oats from going everywhere – you don’t want to be bathing in porridge!

While filling the bath, run under warm water and squeeze the cloth to allow even distribution. As the water runs through it should look milky.

oats bagDrop into bath and leave to soak. To prevent further skin irritation, ensure the bath temperature isn’t too hot as this can strip the skin of moisture.

Images / NZ Real Health

Ange is a personal trainer, yoga teacher, wife, and mother (with second bubba on the way!) based in Auckland, New Zealand.

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