Soothing Oatmeal Bags

I'm not sure that there is anything in the world that even comes close to the pain and irritation of itchy skin. Not all skin conditions itch, but when they do the urge to claw at your skin is real. My skin soothing spray can really help to break that frustrating cycle, but it's important to understand why skin itches in the first place.

Itching is an incredibly strange sensation that scientists still don't fully understand. The best explanation is that an itching sensation of the skin arises due to stimulation of pruriceptors - itch sensing nerve endings - by mechanical, thermal or chemical mediators. Itching is thought to have evolved as a way to protect skin (our largest organ) from parasites and a build-up of dead cells.

The reason that scratching feels so good is because it causes a low-level pain signal to shoot up to the brain and override the itch signal to provide us with immediate, but often short lived, relief. You will find that pinching or slapping the itchy spot can work, too. Unfortunately, some of those relieving chemicals, including serotonin, can actually make it easier for the itch signal to be re-triggered, creating a really frustrating cycle that feels impossible to break. 
 
Speaking of unbroken cycles, the other thing that can work against us in battling chronic skin disease is exhaustion. It's not widely acknowledged by doctors or dermatologists, but honestly how exhausting does it feel coping with a skin condition? It's tiresome. If skin feels painful or constantly itchy, it can stop you getting a decent nights sleep. The underlying route of so many skin conditions resides in the gut, and good sleep is essential for good gut health. So, what can we do to break this negative cycle and get some relief from irritated skin?
 

Colloidal oatmeal binds to your skin and forms a protective barrier. It also helps hold in moisture and ease inflammation. If that isn’t enough, it cleans your skin, too. People have used it for centuries to ease irritated skin. To make your own oatmeal baths there are a couple of options. You can Start with uncooked, whole oats from the supermarket or health food store. Use a clean food processor or blender to grind them into a fine powder. When you add this powder to warm water it should dissolve.  

The reason I love these little oatmeal bags is because they're simple to make, you can bulk make a little batch in advance and they definitely won't block the drains! Plus they don't require any blending. Not only that, gently sloughed against the surface of the skin they can work as a gentle exfoliating loofah to remove itchy dead skin cells. 

Soothing Oatmeal Bags

 

  • You will need muslin bags like these (or you can use the sock end of an old pair of tights) 
  • 100g of oats (whole oats work best)
  • 3 drops of your favourite essential oil (optional)
  • Spoon 100g of oats into each bag & firmly tie the drawstring. Or use a larger ribbon if you'd like to undo the tie-top and reuse your bags in future. 

 

  1. Make sure your water is lukewarm, not excessively hot
  2. Pop the oatmeal bag under running water as the bath fills
  3. Soak for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. After the bath, gently pat yourself dry so your skin still feels damp
  5. Immediately apply my skin soothing spray & chia seed oil body cream or your favourite natural oil (jojoba, almond & coconut are my favourites)
  6. If your skin is extra dry, apply shea butter on top, then pop on some old PJs

The bath water should feel soft and silky on your skin. If you soak too long, your skin will dry out and that can make your itch worse.