Itchy skin! It kept my daughter Eva up most nights and was distressing for the whole family. She would wake in the morning with blood stained sheets from scratching her skin for so long - Heart breaking!
One of the goals of any eczema sufferer is to relieve and prevent itching. Not only because it is extremely distressing but because scratching the skin can cause the skin to become very inflamed and even infected (the topic of another post, I promise!) Itchy skin is usually very dry from constant water loss of the skin layers. Basically what is happening to the skin is something called Trans Epidermal Water Loss (next level water loss) and is a result of an allergy or reaction to something either internal (like food intolerances, poor gut health) or external (synthetic chemicals in soaps and washing powders, dust mites, pollen or the winter cold)
The most common form of treating itchy skin is to moisturise but for some eczema sufferers this isn't enough to take that itchy away completely. A moisturiser that contains water will further dry out eczema prone skin and cause the skin to become more dry and inflamed. An oil based balm such as Frankie Apothecary Kawakawa Reapir Balm will hold moisture in the skin and provide a barrier to prevent further drying out of the skin.
Meet the humble oat and it's anti-itch powers that are clinically proven.
Now, I'm not talking about your standard breakfast oat (disclaimer: soaking in your breakfast oats will not relieve the itchy symptoms!) but colloidal oats.
Colloidal oats are oats ground to a powdered compound so fine that, when added to the bath, the proteins disperse rapidly instead of sinking to the bottom of the bath, and form a viscous hydrocolloid gel (a film) which clings to the skin. This provides a protective barrier which stops water loss and restores the pH of itchy skin, in effect stopping the itch.
When paired with an oil based topical treatment, colloidal oats relieve the symptoms of eczema and other dry itchy skin conditions - think nappy rash, bug bites and chicken pox.
Eva finds relief after just one oat soak and we have found that soaking a few times a week and lathering her in Frankie Apothecary Kawakawa Balm keeps her itching at bay.
The best part - Colloidal oatmeal contains natural cleansing properties so you can replace your soaps and body washes for a much more gentle and natural bath time regime.
Our itchy skin bath soak is perfect for itchy skin caused by Eczema, psoriasis, Dermatitis, Nappy Rash, Pregnancy, bug bites and chicken pox.
Whether you are in the beginning, middle or end of your eczema journey you will know there is no one easy fix or cure, and working out what your eczema triggers are can be daunting and take years. Oat soaking will not cure your eczema. But, if I had been given the option of colloidal oat soaking to help stop Eva itching all night while we embarked on our long journey of discovering her triggers, then I know our stress would have been halved if not eliminated.