Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Colloidal Oatmeal (Avena sativa) Contribute to the Effectiveness of Oats in Treatment of Itch Associated With Dry, Irritated Skin

January 2015 | Volume 14 | Issue 1 | Original Article | 43 | Copyright © January 2015

Kurt A. Reynertson PhD, Michelle Garay MS, Judith Nebus MBA, Suhyoun Chon PhD, Simarna Kaur PhD,
Khalid Mahmood PhD, Menas Kizoulis BA, Michael D. Southall PhD

Johnson and Johnson Consumer Products Company, Inc., Skillman, NJ

BACKGROUND: Oat (Avena sativa) in colloidal form is a centuries-old topical treatment for a variety of skin conditions, including skin rashes, erythema, burns, itch, and eczema; however, few studies have investigated the exact mechanism of action for the anti-inflammatory activity of colloidal oatmeal.
METHODS: Four extracts of colloidal oatmeal were made with various solvents and tested in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant assays. In addition, an investigator blind study was performed with twenty-nine healthy female subjects who exhibited bilateral mild to moderate itch with moderate to severe dry skin on their lower legs. Subjects were treated with a colloidal oatmeal skin protectant lotion.
RESULTS: Extracts of colloidal oatmeal diminished pro-inflammatory cytokines in vitro and the colloidal oat skin protectant lotion showed significant clinical improvements in skin dryness, scaling, roughness, and itch intensity.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that colloidal oat extracts exhibit direct anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, which may provide the mechanisms for observed dermatological benefits while using the colloidal oatmeal skin protectant lotion.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2015;14(1):43-48.