If you’re living with eczema — often called atopic dermatitis — you may be searching for skin care products or nutritional supplements that can help improve your skin symptoms. Among the array of products marketed to help control dry, itchy skin — including topical soaps and probiotic drinks — you’ll often see common ingredients. Goat’s milk is one of them.
“I was wondering whether anybody has experience using goat’s milk to help eczema?” one MyEczemaTeam member asked. “I’ve seen reviews of both using goat milk soap and drinking goat milk supposedly helping skin. Has anyone experienced this?”
Although research on the benefits of goat’s milk for treating eczema is currently limited, some people with eczema have reported positive results. Here’s what you need to know about the potential benefits and risks of using goat's milk to help with your eczema symptoms.
Goat’s milk — a dairy milk option that can be found in most local grocery stores — is considered a nutritionally rich drink filled with protein, fatty acids, and carbohydrates. It can be processed in many ways for consumption, including pasteurization and filtration, to enhance its flavor and shelf life.
On store shelves, you can find a variety of goat’s milk products including cheese, yogurt, and kefir (fermented milk). Not all goat’s milk is created equally. Goats that were raised freely on pastures generally produce milk that has a higher nutritional content.
Goat’s milk is also a primary ingredient in many beauty products, including moisturizer, soap, and body wash.
Goat’s milk can be used in a variety of ways, including in your diet and on your skin. One MyEczemaTeam member discussed swapping out cow’s milk in their diet with goat’s milk. “Goat’s milk is easier for me to digest than cow’s milk, reducing inflammation within the guts.”
Eczema is an inflammatory disease that has some ties to what you eat. Eczema can be triggered by food sensitivities or allergies, and by removing a trigger from your diet, you may see positive results on your skin. However, according to the NHS, many of the triggering ingredients found in cow’s milk are also found in goat’s milk, so this substitution is not recommended for people with intolerance to dairy products.
Other members discuss topical uses for goat’s milk to directly prevent and treat eczema flares and nourish sensitive skin. One MyEczemaTeam member shared, “I use a soothing lotion with goat milk and lavender. They have lilac and other scents, or you can buy it fragrance free.” Another member shared, “I use goat milk soap from a farm in Indiana where I live. The one that I use is unscented.”
Keeping skin moisturized is essential to preventing eczema flare-ups, and goat’s milk is one of many primary ingredients — along with olive oil, oatmeal, shea butter, and more — found in moisturizers and lotions.
Some members report benefits from using goat’s milk products. One member said, “I love goat milk soaps without scents. They are moisturizing and do not irritate my skin.” Another agreed: “I’ve used goat’s milk soap and found that it did actually help soothe my itching!”
However, what works for one person might not work for everyone.
At this time, research on goat’s milk and eczema is lacking. According to the National Eczema Association, there is limited clinical evidence about the effectiveness of probiotic beverages, which are commonly made from goat’s milk, in helping to treat eczema. This and other organizations have not released statements on the effectiveness of goat’s milk for eczema. Additional studies must be done on large populations of people with eczema in order for doctors to be able to recommend this ingredient.
One large randomized controlled trial is currently underway to assess the impact of goat’s milk in the diet on the prevention and treatment of eczema in infants and children, compared to cow’s milk. This study, which has enrolled almost 2,300 participants, is sponsored by a large goat’s milk company in New Zealand and is expected to be completed in 2028. No results from this study have been published to date.
As with all new products, there are risks to using goat’s milk, particularly because it could be a potential allergen and trigger for your eczema. Because it is not a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved product, goat’s milk has not been tested on a large scale for its major side effects in people with atopic dermatitis.
Interestingly, the use of topical goat’s milk products, such as lotions and soaps, has been linked to the development of a dietary allergy to goat’s milk. One small study of people with inflammatory skin conditions (including eczema and psoriasis) who use goat’s milk soaps and/or moisturizers found five participants who developed anaphylactic shock when consuming cheese made from goat’s milk. They were also found to have immunoglobulin E (IgE), an immune system molecule associated with allergic reactions, in their blood. Although larger studies are needed to confirm this correlation, these results suggest the potential for developing an allergy from using topical goat’s milk products.
As with all products that you put on your skin, you must be careful to identify and avoid eczema triggers. New soaps, fragrances, and lotions can often trigger eczema flare-ups due to the introduction of irritating ingredients. When you use topical goat’s milk products, make sure they are fragrance-free and made from natural ingredients that you recognize. Your dermatologist can help recommend a goat’s milk skin product that might work for you.
Before adding topical creams with goat’s milk to your treatment plan — or making major changes to your diet — speak to your dermatologist or a registered dietitian. Your health care team can help you consider the benefits and potential harms of products that include goat’s milk based on your specific eczema symptoms and your current treatment plan. It is important to note that there’s no dietary nor topical cure for atopic dermatitis, and continuing your medications as prescribed is essential to keeping your eczema in check.
When incorporating goat’s milk into your eczema care plan, make sure to keep track of your skin symptoms, such as skin that is painful, itchy, inflamed, or peeling. If your symptoms get worse after starting to use goat’s milk, be sure to stop using it and report your symptoms to a doctor right away. Some treatments and supplements may work better for different individuals. Pay attention to your body and communicate with your health care team to find the treatment plan that is best for you.
MyEczemaTeam is the social network for people with eczema and their loved ones. On MyEczemaTeam, more than 47,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with eczema.
Have you ever tried goat’s milk for your eczema? What form did you take it in? How did it affect your atopic dermatitis symptoms? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.