Winter and Oatmeal


My skin’s had a rough winter.

And it’s only February.

I was diagnosed with rosacea about a month ago. My face often feels like it’s burning. The inflammation and itch spreads from my ears, to my chin, just above my eyebrows, and all across my cheeks.

I’m a vision.

I’m also not convinced I have rosacea. Symptoms aren’t always consistent, no matter my diet, and it’s winter in New England so that means drying heat, drying cold, drying wind … drying skin.

I was prescribed a cream by my doctor and admittedly, it helps soothe the inflammation and burning. For a bit, anyway. But it also dries my face something fierce and results in flaky rough patches everywhere.

I thought maybe it was time to return the doctor’s cream to the medicine cabinet and turn to my pantry for a little relief.

I remember my toddler son’s struggles with eczema and the soothing nature of oatmeal, so I started there. After a little more research, I learned yogurt has soothing properties of its own. Yogurt moisturizes, helps reduce discoloration, and calms feisty skin. And don’t forget the honey – also a natural moisturizer.

I mixed about a third cup of oatmeal with some very hot water and let it set a bit. I added enough water so I achieved a slushy mixture with a little more water than oats. Instantly, the hot liquid took on the milky oatmeal tone, and the oats softened. Finally, I mixed in equal amounts of honey and plain Greek yogurt – about a tablespoon of each.

Let the smearing begin.

I mostly used the liquid and left behind the oats.  Immediately my red skin returned to it’s normal New England winter whiter shade of pale.*  There was a bit of stinging sensation at first, but what followed was pure bliss: No itch. Therefore, no scratch.

With my facial skin improved, I’ll be straining the remaining liquid into a soothing bath for the rest of me.

It is winter in New England which means a good, long soak is necessary for survival.

*Thanks to Procol Harum for the perfect description of my New England winter skin.

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