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Natural Topical Relief for Eczema

Eczema is very common among children and can seriously affect their quality of life. More people should know about a safe, natural topical treatment that is as effective as pharmaceutical creams.


Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is very common among children. Though it is more common in black children, black children are underrepresented in studies. This study compared a 1% colloidal oatmeal cream to a ceramide-based prescription barrier cream in black children with mild-to-moderate eczema.


Colloidal oatmeal is a finely ground oatmeal powder. It is the only over-the-counter skin protectant approved for relieving minor skin irritation and itching due to eczema by the FDA. It has been shown to be as effective as a steroid-free prescription barrier cream in children.


The 49 children in the study were between 6 months and 18 years old and had mild-to-moderate eczema. They were told to apply their cream twice a day or as needed for 3 weeks.


At the end of the study, scores on the Eczema Area and Severity Index were similar for both treatments. There was an improvement on the oatmeal cream of 2.4 points versus 2.1 points on the pharmaceutical cream.


On a secondary endpoint of the Investigator’s Global Atopic Dermatitis Assessment, improvements were also similar.


Improvement was seen as early as one week. The oatmeal cream had the advantage for itch at one week, improving it by 43.1% versus 33.3%; redness (26% versus 21.7%), moisturization (59.6%, 55.2%) and sleep quality (19.9%, 8.9%). The pharmaceutical cream had an advantage for skin appearance and dryness/flakiness.


This study suggests that a natural oatmeal cream may offer affordable, safe, effective help to children with eczema.


Journal of Dermatological Treatment. Aug 2023;34(1).

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