Colloidal oatmeal is a product that consists of oats that have been ground very fine for use as a home remedy for itchy or dry skin. It typically is added to bathwater, creating a liquid that might be described as silky. The user soaks in this liquid for several minutes, and the oatmeal in the water coats the skin.
- People who use colloidal oatmeal say that it is especially effective at treating skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, chicken pox and acne.
- The pain of sunburns, bug bites, poison ivy and other rashes may also be relieved using this home remedy.
- It has also been used by people who have rosacea.
- The ingredients in colloidal oatmeal might help in many ways. It contains avenacins compounds, which have antifungal properties; saponins, which can help in cleansing; and flavonoids, which might help with absorbing ultraviolet-A (UVA) rays.
- It also includes vitamin E, which is an anti-inflammatory, along with phenols and starches to help in moisturizing.
- What makes it effective at soothing the skin is the cellulose and fiber from the oats. These make a skin-softening emollient that is effective against irritation and redness that comes from conditions such as eczema and rosacea. When skin is soothed, the itching usually is relieved as well.
- Oatmeal is generally considered very safe to use. Bathers should avoid getting it in the eyes, as it can be irritating.
- Some people might experience an allergic reaction to oatmeal.
- People who are sensitive to gluten should be cautious as well, especially if any of the bath water is ingested.
- Although pure oatmeal does not contain gluten, many oat products are susceptible to cross-contamination during production and might contain trace amounts of the protein. Certified gluten-free oatmeal is available in many stores.
- Colloidal oatmeal generally can be used without worry because there is no known drug interaction with it.
- There also is no known nutrient interaction, so holistic or homeopathic remedies should not interact
Source: WiseGeek, http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-colloidal-oatmeal.htm