Whether it’s a vacation in the Alps or a trip to the beach, our skin is intensively exposed to climatic influences in both summer and winter. People with dry skin suffer from inflammation and skin irritation all year round. Patients with atopic dermatitis are particularly severely affected, for whom the weather has a negative effect on the skin and can even worsen the symptoms. A dermatologist from the USA recommends taking an oatmeal bath to relieve the symptoms. What is the oatmeal bath effect and for whom it is particularly helpful – we explain in the article.
Table of contents
- 1. oatmeal bath effect for dry skin and neurodermatitis.
- 2. make your own bath additive with oatmeal: Recipes for neurodermatitis, sunburn and dry skin.
1. oatmeal bath effect for dry skin and neurodermatitis
A bath with finely ground oatmeal moisturizes the skin and can relieve itching and redness. The home remedy is especially helpful against acne, sunburn, skin irritations and for babies against diaper dermatitis. If you do not have a chronic disease, you can simply test whether an oatmeal bath helps you. To be on the safe side, patients with atopic dermatitis should first consult their family doctor, and parents with babies should consult their pediatrician.
Dr. Azza Halim, the director of a skin care clinic in Florida, explains that oatmeal acts as a natural emollient, making dry skin supple again. They protect the skin barrier and help restore moisture balance. Feelings of tightness are relieved, the skin appears even and feels smooth and supple.
Oatmeal is also rich in healthy fats and vitamins. For example, they contain vitamin E, which is known for its powerful antioxidant properties. Vitamin E can protect the skin from free radicals produced by the influence of UV radiation. It prevents the free radicals from attacking the protective lipid layer of the skin. The result: a healthy skin appearance.
1.1 What ailments can you relieve with an oatmeal bath?
Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist in New York, has been convinced of the soothing effect of an oatmeal bath. She has treated the following ailments with the natural remedy:
- Redness and dermatitis
- Diaper dermatitis
- Contact dermatitis (caused by poison ivy)
- Insect bites
A new study , published in 2020, confirms the positive effect of oatmeal on our skin. The researchers were able to prove that a cream with oatmeal heals eczema faster than a cream without oatmeal.
How effective an oatmeal bath is and how quickly it can relieve symptoms depends on the symptoms. People with neurodermatitis should be patient: The first results can be seen only after several weeks. Those who want to take an oatmeal bath as a first aid for sunburn can feel relief right after the bath.
1.2 Oatmeal bath: What you need to consider
If you want to take an oatmeal bath, then you can use both regular oatmeal and colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal is made specifically for making skin care products. It is sold in powder form and can be dissolved in lukewarm water. People with neurodermatitis and dry, flaky skin should opt for it.
If you only have temporary discomfort like sunburn, then you can also use oatmeal from the supermarket. Just grind 500g of oatmeal finely so that it dissolves quickly in water.
1.3 When should you not take an oatmeal bath? Allergies
Important: First test whether you or your children tolerate the oatmeal well. For this purpose, simply put a pinch of the ground oatmeal on the inside of your wrist. Wait 15 minutes, rinse the wrist under running water, and then wait an hour. If there is no redness or swelling in this time frame, then you can take an oatmeal bath.
People, with celiac disease (gluten intolerance) should better avoid oatmeal bath. Oatmeal is often mixed with remnants of other grains during production and thus contaminated. Therefore, they can cause an allergic reaction.
2. make your own bath additive with oatmeal: Recipes for neurodermatitis, sunburn and dry skin.
During a study conducted in 2012, researchers tested more than 445,000 products containing oatmeal. No allergic reactions were found. The subjects with dry skin reported softer skin two weeks after the study began.
Here’s how to make your own skin care step by step:
1. fill lukewarm water in the bathtub.
2. finely grind 500 g of oatmeal or add 400 g of colloidal oats to the water.
3. relax in the bath for fifteen minutes.
4. rinse the body with lukewarm water.
5. pat the skin dry and rub.
2.1. oatmeal bath against sunburn
Lying on the beach too long or not applying sunscreen? The consequences can be felt and seen after just a few hours. As long as you don’t have blisters, you can take an oatmeal bath twice a day.
Recipe for oatmeal bath for sunburn:
- 300 g of colloidal oats
- a handful of dried rose petals
- 1 cup of Epsom salt (optional)
2.2. oatmeal bath for neurodermatitis
As long as the dermatologist allows, oatmeal bath once a day, for a long time can help. By the way, for patients with atopic dermatitis, there are special oat ointments and creams in pharmacies.
Recipe for oatmeal bath with lavender:
- 15 drops of lavender oil
- 300 g colloidal oats
- 50 g Epsom salt (bath salt with high magnesium content) – optional.
Lavender oil is not only relaxing, but also good for the skin, as a new study claims . The bath salt deeply cleanses and nourishes the skin without drying it out. However, the effect of Epsom salt on atopic dermatitis has not been scientifically proven. Therefore, it is a beneficial additive that you can add if you wish and after consulting your family doctor.
2.3 Oatmeal bath for dry skin
If you have dry skin, then an oatmeal bath could have a beneficial effect on your body. Take a bath with dissolved oat powder two-three times a week.
Recipe for oatmeal bath for dry skin:
- 400 g colloidal oats
- 200 ml milk
- 1 tsp honey
Dr. Alan Parks, a dermatologist with practice in Ohio, USA, recommends the oatmeal bath with milk and honey. The combination moisturizes.