Effects of Colloidal Oatmeal Topical Atopic Dermatitis Cream on Skin Microbiome and Skin Barrier Properties

J Drugs Dermatol. 2020 May 1;19(5):524-531.


Atopic dermatitis is characterized by dry, itchy, inflamed skin with a dysbiotic microbiome. In this clinical study (NCT03673059), we compared the effects of an eczema cream containing 1% colloidal oat and a standard moisturizer on the skin microbiome and skin barrier function of patients with mild to moderate eczema. Patients were randomly assigned to treatment with 1% colloidal oat eczema cream or a standard, non-fragranced daily moisturizer. Treatment lasted 14 days, followed by a 7-day regression period. Of 61 patients who completed the study, 30 received the 1% colloidal oat eczema cream and 31 received the standard moisturizer. At 14 days, the 1% colloidal oat eczema cream reduced mean Eczema Area Severity Index and Atopic Dermatitis Severity Index scores by 51% and 54%, respectively. Unlike treatment with the standard moisturizer, treatment with the 1% colloidal oat eczema cream was associated with trends towards lower prevalence of Staphylococcus species and higher microbiome diversity at lesion sites. The 1% colloidal oat eczema cream significantly improved skin pH, skin barrier function, and skin hydration from baseline to day 14, whereas the standard moisturizer improved hydration. Overall, the results demonstrate that topical products can have differing effects on the skin barrier properties and the microbiome. Importantly, we show that the use of a 1% colloidal oat eczema cream improves microbiome composition and significantly repairs skin barrier defects. J Drugs Dermatol. 2020;19(5):   doi:10.36849/JDD.2020.4924.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Avena / chemistry*
  • Colloids
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / pathology
  • Emollients / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration / drug effects
  • Male
  • Microbiota / drug effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin / chemistry
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Cream / administration & dosage*
  • Skin Cream / chemistry
  • Staphylococcus / isolation & purification
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Water Loss, Insensible / drug effects
  • Young Adult


  • Colloids
  • Emollients
  • Plant Extracts