Oatmeal Baths for Babies With Eczema – the Ultimate Guide!

Oatmeal Baths for Babies With Eczema – the Ultimate Guide!

Have you heard about Oatmeal baths for babies with eczema?

No!

Then this article should be perfect for you to read.

Oatmeal and other natural wonders: The ultimate bath guide for babies with eczema!

Oatmeal baths are cheap and easy to make and have proven to be an excellent natural treatment for babies with eczema.

What do Oatmeal baths do for eczema and dry skin?

Oatmeal works gently to lock in and restore the skin’s moisture, protect the skin and soothe any irritation at the same time leaving your skin feeling soft and less dry.

Although it sounds strange the first time you hear about it, oatmeal baths for your little ones are actually quite lovely, and super good for them. The milky softness from the oatmeal is wonderful for eczema but can make any kind of skin feel gorgeous and moisturized.

There are millions of manmade products designed for your skin, and somewhere along the way it all got a bit complicated. So many products are full of ingredients that we can’t pronounce and have no idea what they are anyway.

Sometimes it is better to try the simple things in life and never was this truer than for exhausted parents of little eczema babies. Some simple, natural ingredients are all it takes to soothe your tiny itchy baby and give the whole family a little relief.

What are the health benefits of an oatmeal bath?

An oatmeal bath for babies can help clear up all sorts of pediatric skin conditions, not just eczema.

It also excellent for sore little red bottoms from nappy rash and works to easily hydrate the skin without parents having to hold a squirmy toddler still for cream after the bath. It is also great for baby acne, chicken pox, insect bites, sunburn or windburn and shingles.

The special properties in oatmeal are why it is so soothing and nourishing for the skin. It is high in essential vitamins and minerals, helps to fight infection, encourage your immune system to work better, and is strong is skin healthy ingredients like vitamin E and zinc.

The proteins in oats help protect the skin and the natural fats in it actually can provide some UV protection too!

Gently rubbing some oatmeal flakes onto eczema skin is also a kind and easy way to remove dead skin cells and flakes, or conditions like cradle cap.

But it is for babies with eczema that we really love its strengths.

Not just a superfood and great for your insides, oatmeal kind of has magic powers too. It is a beautiful natural way to lock in and restore the skin’s moisture, protect the skin and soothe any irritation, as well as reduce inflammation.

Wonderfully, it also works as a natural skin cleanser. A bath before bed is also a great way to wind your baby down for in preparation for sleep.

oatmeal baths for babies with eczema

Eczema: What do you have to watch out for when bathing?

Soap

Soap is an absolute no-no for babies, children, and adults suffering from eczema and should be avoided. Most soaps are made with ingredients which strip the skin of natural oils and have a drying out effect (which is the last thing eczema sufferers need!)

Little babies really don’t need soap anyway as they are hardly rolling around in mud and germs. The worst they are exposed to is their own poop which can be easily cleaned away without soap oddly enough!

Many common ingredients in soap should be avoided by people with eczema, including:

  • Sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate (SLS)
  • Diethanolamine
  • Triclosan
  • Parabens – listed as methylparaben (E218), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben (E216), butylparaben or heptylparaben (E209) and any other chemical name ending in -paraben
  • Petroleum Oils

That being said, there are soaps on the market specifically created for people with sensitive skin and are fine to use on babies with eczema. One such example is goat’s milk soap which we talk a little bit more about below.

Other culprits

Ingredients to watch out for in any product for eczema skin include:

  • Salicylic acid
  • Glycolic acid
  • Retinol
  • Preservatives like methylparaben and butylparaben
  • Benzophenones – also known as oxybenzone, Eusolex 4360, methanone, Uvinal M40, diphenylketone and any other chemical name ending with ‘-benzophenone’
  • MCI/MI (methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone)
  • Methyldibromoglutaronitrile
  • Fragrances

Avoid products that are scented (and even those that say ‘unscented’ on the label) and instead look for ‘fragrance-free’ products, as usually chemical fragrances or perfumes are not good.

Even products designed and marketed specifically for babies, such as the Jonhson’s range can still be too harsh on the skin of babies with eczema. With eczema skin, and especially with irritated baby skin, it is better to be as safe as possible.

Water temperature

You also need to make sure that the bath temperature isn’t too hot. Tiny babies don’t need a hot bath anyway and babies with eczema should have their bath temperature cooler again. Eczema makes them feel hot already and a bath that is too hot will aggravate that.

Test your baby’s water temperature with your wrist rather than your hand (which can tolerate hotter temperatures than you think). Or if you prefer to be more accurate about these things, bathe your baby at no hotter than 35 degrees Celcius.

Oatmeal baths for babies with eczema: How to do it

Finding out that a skin treatment is ridiculously cheap is not a common bonus for eczema parents, but we have good news for you here. You can buy commercial oatmeal products designed for the bath, but you can very easily and cheaply make your own from any basic rolled oats.

Ground oats are often called colloidal oatmeal when listed on ingredients in products, but all this is ground rolled oats.

Using rolled oats, you grind them as fine as possible with a food processor. If you can get them to a fine enough powder the oats will dissolve in a bath on their own, and should turn the water into a milky silky consistency (sounds divine – right?)

oatmeal powder in a bag

However, if you can’t get them ground to powder you can easily fasten the oats in a muslin or cheesecloth bag (or pantyhose works beautifully too) and just soak this in the bath.

Add around 1/3 cups of ground oats to your baby’s bath. If the oats are fine enough they should dissolve virtually immediately and you can bathe your baby straight away.

If you are using a muslin bag to soak, make the water very hot and then leave the oats to soak in the water for at least 20 minutes. Wait also until the water is the right temperature for your little one.

Soak your baby in the oatmeal bath for at least 15-20 minutes. There is no need to rinse them off, just pat dry with a soft towel afterward. Be careful though; oatmeal does make your baby and the bath surface both a lot more slippery!

You can bathe them in oatmeal as often as you like.

How to make an Oatmeal bath in easy steps:

  1. Grind rolled oats using a coffee grinder or food processor.
  2. Run a bath for your baby
  3. Put 1/3 cup of the oats into the bath. If they are not very finely ground you can tie them up in a pantyhose
  4. Let the oats mix in (this can take up to 20 minutes if they are more coarse)
  5. Put your baby into to soak for as long as 20 minutes
  6. No need to rinse, just pat dry with a towel

Oatmeal baths for babies with eczema are very easy to do and they are a cost-effective way to treat eczema.

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Some other top ideas for eczema baths

Bleach

A bleach bath is a bath that has a very diluted amount of bleach in it.

You can use regular household bleach, such as White King, and dilute it in a bath for people suffering from eczema. Bleach baths have apparently been recommended by doctors and skin specialists for years and are quite effective at treating the condition.

Primarily the bleach kills the bacteria on the inflamed skin and reduces the chances of infection. In doing so it reduces the severity of the condition and helps any flare-up to pass sooner.

The dilution that you use makes the water no stronger than that in a chlorinated swimming pool, so while dousing your baby with bleach seems weird, it is no weirder than putting them in a pool.

For every 10 litres of water use 12ml of liquid bleach.

If you want more information about bleach baths check out our article on the topic here.

Coconut oil

Another superfood getting all the praises of home cooks lately, coconut oil also goes beautifully in a bath for little ones. It is a nut though, so if your child or family has a nut allergy then steer clear of this treatment.

Coconut oil has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties which help to soothe itch and inflammation. It helps to fight against bacteria and can stop open eczema wounds from getting infected. The natural acids in the oil repair broken skin and provide lovely nourishment.

It also works as an excellent moisturizer or natural topical cream to put on dry or angry patches of skin throughout the day – kind of like putting lip balm on cracked lips. It is wonderfully absorbed into the skin and smells pretty nice too!

Try putting 1/8 cup warmed coconut oil and 1/8 cup Epsom salts in your baby’s bath.

Again we have a full detailed review of Coconut oil Click Here.

Salt

A number of different kinds of salt work well in your baby’s bath, including Epsom salts, Himalayan pink salt, Dead Sea salts, or even just regular salt. Salt is high in lots of trace elements and minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. It can also improve your body’s immunity, help heal, remove infections and battle with bacteria.

And the bonus for eczema sufferers; salt also relieves inflammation and soften and moisturizes the skin. Add about 1/8 cup of your chosen salt to your baby’s bath.

We reviewed Dead Sea Salt baths in full. Read our results here.

Goat’s milk

You can channel famed Egyptian queen Cleopatra with this bath; apparently, goat’s milk was all that she would soak in and she swore by it for her skin.

Goat milk contains natural fatty acids which mimic those occurring in the skin, so it is easily absorbed and feeds the dry or inflamed skin and helps it to heal. The milk is high in vitamins C, B1, B6, B12 and E.

This is another product that provides moisturizing properties, so if your toddler wants to run through the house naked than let you put cream on him after the bath, your job is already done!

You can add one cup of fresh goat’s milk or 1/8 cup powdered goat’s milk to your baby’s bath before letting him have a lovely rich soak.

You can also purchase goat’s milk soap which many parents have found to be incredibly helpful for their eczema babies; grating or shaving some flakes of this soap in the bath will also create the soak. You can obviously also use the soap as a cleaning product if you wish.

Goat’s milk soap is usually made with gentle ingredients for sensitive skin which may include, as well as the goat milk, nourishing oils like coconut, palm or olive oil, and possibly essential oil for scent or health benefits. They really shouldn’t contain much more than that.

We have tried some handmade goat milk soap from Amazon and we loved it. Here’s a link for the one we tried.

You could also mix and match a few of these bath ideas and combine them. Try oats, Epsom salts and even some honey for instance – your hands will love it too!

Final Thoughts

We hope you found this article helpful. Taking a bath should be a pleasure and if it has the added benefit of helping your eczema then it’s a bonus.

Oatmeal baths for babies with eczema is a natural way to take a bath and at the same time help your skin.

Give your baby an Oatmeal bath and see if it helps them. What have you got to lose?

It’s natural and Organic and it won’t hurt to try.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Resources

  1. https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-make-your-own-oatmeal-bath-289466
  2. https://www.bustle.com/articles/79988-use-coconut-oil-for-eczema-treatment-the-next-time-you-have-a-painful-itchy-flair-up
  3. https://primephysiquenutrition.com/6-types-baths-give-eczema-relief-plus-giveaway/
  4. http://battleeczema.com/understanding-good-bad-soap-ingredients-eczema/
  5. https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-health-benefits-of-oats/#gref
Can Bleach Baths Help Eczema? – Are they safe?

Can Bleach Baths Help Eczema? – Are they safe?

Bleach Baths: What on earth is going on with eczema treatments?

If you have a baby or small child with eczema, you may have been given the very strange advice to give them a bleach bath for eczema. But can bleach baths help eczema? Lets find out.

It sounds very odd I know, and kind of like the last thing you should be doing for a tiny baby with sensitive skin, but in fact, the science behind it is very sound.

Let’s have a look into this in a bit more detail.

What is a bleach bath?

A bleach bath is a bath that has a very diluted amount of bleach in it.

You can use regular household bleach, such as White King, and dilute it in a bath for people suffering from eczema. Bleach baths have apparently been recommended by doctors and skin specialists for years and are quite effective at treating the condition.

Primarily the bleach kills the bacteria on the inflamed skin and reduces the chances of infection. In doing so it reduces the severity of the condition and helps any flare-up to pass sooner.

The dilution that you use makes the water no stronger than that in a chlorinated swimming pool, so while dousing your baby with bleach seems weird, it is no weirder than putting them in a pool.

Why is infection bad?

Eczema, when just on the surface is painful, hot and itchy, but not particularly harmful to your child. It’s just very annoying and uncomfortable for them.

But if the wounds get infected, this is where trouble sets in. The wounds can’t heal, and the infection can make your child very sick.

How to take a bleach bath for treating eczema?

For every 10 liters of water in the bath, you add 12ml of liquid bleach. You can also add bath oil (I use Hamilton’s) to help moisturize the skin, but this is not necessary.

As always with an eczema bath, you should not have the water hot, just lukewarm. When running it, it helps to test the temperature with your wrist rather than your hand, as your hand can tolerate hotter temperatures more easily.

Use standard household bleach, DO NOT USE COMMERCIAL STRENGTH BLEACH!

Dilute the bleach in the bath before putting your eczema person in the water. Let them soak for around ten minutes, but not submerge their face or head under the water. It is safe to wash the face and scalp with the water, however, you just want to keep it out of little eyes.

Do not rinse the skin after the bath. You may want to use old towels or ones that are already white to dry.

If your baby has been prescribed a steroid cream, you can put this straight on the skin at this point as you would after any bath. Put a good thick eczema-approved moisturizer all over the skin. We use two types of Diprobase and Wild Naturals when they were younger.

You can do this daily if needed.

Won’t it sting my child?

It shouldn’t sting your child or irritate them, but a few people will get this reaction. Some children will feel a stinging sensation from the bath solution, in which case discontinue this practice.

Because eczema is so subjective, some people with it don’t react well to the bleach bath, but this is the same as with any product or even just water by itself.

It won’t be burning them or damaging them, just irritating. If they feel stinging, rinse off in fresh water and put moisturizer on as usual.

Bath times are so important to aid a good nights sleep, Read our blog about ECZEMA SLEEP DEPRIVATION

Is a bleach bath safe for babies?

Yes, the bleach bath eczema is safe for babies. A baby bath will hold around 15 litres of water, so put no more than 18ml of bleach in their bath. Dilute the bleach in the water and mix before putting your baby into the water, and make sure that the temperature is lukewarm.

As you always should when giving a baby a bath, have everything at hand and completely ready to go before you bring your baby in.

Can Bleach Baths Help Cradle Cap?

If your baby has crusts over his scalp, the bleach bath can be used to remove them and get rid of any infection in the wounds. If your baby’s cradle cap starts to smell then it may be becoming infected, and a bleach bath could be a very good idea.

Soften the crusts by splashing on the water or soak a cloth in the bleach water and then hold this over your baby’s scalp to loosen them. The skin may look a bit red and raw underneath, but it can be good for the antiseptic effects of the bleach water to get to this skin.

My son as a baby hated having this done, but removing the crusts is essential for getting rid of bacteria and exposing the raw skin so that topical creams can get in and do their good work.

Mum to eczema babies: my own experience with bleach bathing

I remember distinctly the first time a bleach bath eczema was suggested for my then six-month-old, and I remember how shocked I was.

When you find out that your child has eczema, you get told all of the things your baby has to avoid.

This is very sensitive skin and needs to be treated so carefully. Even products designed specifically for a tiny newborn baby’s skin, such as the range from Johnson’s Baby, are apparently too harsh for eczema skin. ( However, I found this cream worked for me for a number of years )

‘Be wary of everything!’ you get told, ‘Don’t let anything abrasive in even the slightest way touch this precious skin!’

And then the skin experts say, ‘You should be putting your baby in a bleach bath,’

And as a parent, you look at them in incredulous disbelief and say, ‘What the…?’

A non-exhaustive list of things that could cause sensitive eczema skin to flare up

  • Soap
  • Most chemicals in skin care products
  • Central heating
  • Wool
  • Manmade fibres
  • Clothes with tags or seams
  • Chemicals used in regular clothes detergent
  • Dust
  • Grass
  • Pet hair
  • Swimming pools
  • Certain foods such as wheat, dairy and eggs

And the list goes on and on and on. As an eczema sufferer or eczema parent, you start to become wary of everything.

My children are now 9 and 7 years old and have still never used soap. They are old enough for showers now which seems to be better for their eczema than soaking in a bath. But for a long time, I was doing baths and being super extra mega careful about what to put in them.

What can you put in the bath to wash eczema skin?

With first two children, we knew it was bad within their first months out of the womb. I gave birth to tiny little hot eczema babies.

I had been using the baby products recommended by my midwives at the hospital, but apparently, that was way too harsh to expose tiny eczema babies too. Not only could I not use baby bath products, I couldn’t even use soap or shampoo to wash my baby.

There were, fortunately, some recommended natural products that I could pop in their bath. All of the following were helpful:

It does sound like I was making cake batter rather than bathing my children, but with eczema, you start to learn to just roll with it.

My son would scratch so much that his skin never got a chance to heal, and infection inevitably set in, on his little scalp and chubby red cheeks. Because he was drooling and teething and sucking on his hands as well, his face was always being irritated and exposed to constant bacteria.

So, I gave the bleach bath a try.

Do bleach baths really work?

It certainly worked for both of my babies. It felt very weird doing it; even after I was given direct instructions to do so from my child’s skin specialist I still did the extensive research myself make sure I was still doing the right thing.

But it works, and like most treatments for eczema, it very well may make your life easier, so it is worth a try. They do smell a bit bleachy afterward, but no worse than they would after a swim in a public pool.

BEST ESSENTIAL OILS FOR ECZEMA AND DRY SKIN

Bleach bath top tips: Points to Remember

  • Choose plain bleach with no added fragrance or detergents
  • Dilute the bleach in the water before you put your child in
  • Bleach can lose its concentration over time, so don’t go for an old bottle that’s been in your laundry for years. Buy a new bottle for this purpose.
  • Store the bleach out of reach of your children
  • Use old towels to dry your child
  • Congratulate yourself a little bit for multitasking and cleaning the bath at the same time as disinfecting your child.
  • Avoid contact with your eyes

It won’t work for everybody, and it might irritate some people’s skin, but overall it has a positive effect on most. Infection in the wounds and under the crusts is the worse enemy, so I do recommend giving this a try, even if it does sound awfully weird and contrary to keeping harsh substances away from sensitive skin.

If you are unsure, talk to your family doctor or skin specialist first and see what they recommend. But if they have already suggested the bleach bath to you, I say go for it. It definitely helped us.

Disclaimer

This website and blogs pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about eczema, skincare, and related sub­jects. The words and other con­tent provided on this website or within our blogs, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other healthcare workers, GP or Doctor.

Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials.

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