Acne treatment Acne treatment

Oatmeal Bath for Itchy Skin

Oatmeal Bath for Itchy Skin Oatmeal Bath for Itchy Skin


When you have itchy skin, you want to stop the itch as soon as possible. Sometimes, though, you have no anti-itch medications around, and you can't get to a pharmacy. A home remedy is likely in your kitchen, though. Oatmeal baths can soothe skin that's itching from any one of a number of causes, from poison ivy to pregnancy-related conditions.


Oatmeal is made from common oats, Avena sativa. This grain serves as both human food and animal feed. It is an annual grass and has been used in folk medicine for conditions such as insomnia, paralysis and rheumatism. Oatmeal flakes come in differing sizes that affect cooking time, and oatmeal is the base grain for different cookies and breads.


Oats can save your skin because of the fats and sugars they contain. The fats are lubricants, which help dry skin. The website Real Age notes the polysaccharides -- basically complex sugars -- in the oats leave a "gelatinous" residue in bathwater and on your skin, also combating dryness. Oatmeal proteins work to protect your skin in general. A 2010 study, published in the "Journal of Drugs in Dermatology," found substances called avenanthramides block inflammatory compounds and histamines, thus helping to soothe skin that's become itchy.


Always use uncooked oatmeal. Oatmeal in baths should either be in powdered form, sometimes called colloidal oatmeal, or tied up in a porous container and allowed to soak. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests tying up 1 cup of oatmeal in a sock. Unpowdered oats are heavy, so if you just dump them in the tub, they'll probably fall to the bottom. This will also create a mess to clean up when you try to drain the tub.

Underlying Causes

If the itch is not due to something obvious, such as a bug bite, see your doctor, even if the oatmeal bath soothes the itch temporarily. Itching can occur for a number of reasons, some of which require prescription medication to solve. For example, ringworm, a common name for Tinea capititis and corporis, is a fungus that causes intense itching for which you need an anti-fungal medication. If you don't get a prescription, the fungus can spread all over your body.


Oatmeal as a food is usually off-limits for people with gluten sensitivity because of cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains. Dr. Michael Picco of notes that, happily, this doesn't hold for gluten-containing skin products. This implies that oats on the skin shouldn't be a problem, but avoid getting the oat-water in or near your mouth. Speak with your doctor for a final verdict regarding oatmeal baths if you have celiac disease.

Related Articles

Unbearable Itchy Skin
Overview Itchy skin, also known as pruritus, develops for a number of reasons, ranging from eczema a...
Itchy Skin After a Beach Visit
Overview A trip to the beach can be both invigorating and relaxing, giving you an opportunity to swi...
Itchy Skin Related to Cold Weather
Overview Itchiness is common when the cold, dry winter air saps the moisture from your skin, accordi...
Cures for Itchy Winter Skin
Dry skin is a common occurrence for many people. Dehydration, usage of highly perfumed soaps or fail...
Itchy Skin on the Elbows
Overview You can experience itchy skin on any part of your body. Itchy skin is defined by the Americ...
How to Relieve Itchy Skin Problems
Overview If your skin is itchy and irritated, scratching may be the only thing that feels good. Scra...

Comment «Oatmeal Bath for Itchy Skin»