Aveeno cream and lotion contain colloidal oatmeal, which is an extract from the grain of Avena sativa (oats or oatmeal). It is used in homeopathy to prepare moisturising skin preparations.
In these particular moisturisers, the colloidal oatmeal is formulated in a moisturising base that contains glycerin and allantoin. Glycerin is absorbed into the skin where it works by attracting water to itself, helping to retain water in the skin surface.
Allantoin is an astringent substance that also breaks down keratin, which is a protein that forms part of the skin structure. In conditions such as chronic eczema, excessive amounts of keratin causes the skin cells to harden, and makes the skin become thickened and scaly. This not only makes the skin itchy and inflamed, but also reduces the degree to which anti-inflammatory medicines can penetrate through the skin to treat the inflammation. Allantoin breaks down the keratin in the hardened and thickened skin, helping to shed skin cells from the area to which it is applied, and soften and improve the appearance of dry, scaly skin.
Dry skin results from lack of water in the stratum corneum, which is the outer layer of skin cells. When this layer becomes dehydrated it loses its flexibility and becomes cracked, scaly and sometimes itchy. The stratum corneum contains natural water-holding substances that retain water seeping up from the deeper layers of the skin, and water is also normally retained in the stratum corneum by a surface film of natural oil (sebum) and broken-down skin cells, which slow down evaporation of water from the skin surface.
The skin dries out when too much water evaporates from its surface. This increases as we get older, and is made worse by washing, because hot water and soap remove the layer of natural oil on the skin surface.
Moisturisers are helpful for all dry skin conditions, particularly eczema and dermatitis, which get worse when the skin is allowed to dry out. Used regularly they help restore the skin's smoothness, softness and flexibility by helping the skin retain moisture. They should be applied frequently to prevent the skin drying out.
In conditions such as eczema, using a moisturiser regularly, even once the skin has improved, can help prevent flare-ups of this condition.
This medicine should not be used if you are sensitive or allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect. The following side effect is known to be associated with this medicine.
This list may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
There are no significant interactions reported with this medicine.
There are many other Aveeno skincare preparations available that contain colloidal oatmeal as the main active ingredient.
These include Aveeno bath oil and Aveeno colloidal sachets.