Natural and Home Remedies for Diaper Rash

Diaper rash (a rash on baby’s bum) is an inflammation of the epidermis (or dermatitis)

Image of a baby in diapers sleeping peacefully

The rash is usually caused by irritation to the skin from urine, feces and detergent (or chemicals in disposable diapers).

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

The skin is usually red and may or may not have small blisters.

PREVALENCE

Prevalence has been reported as a very wide range, therefore a rather useless statistic. Incidence is highest in babies with diarrhea and lowest among breastfed babies.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

A doctor’s first recommendations will be for home treatment but if the rash continues, s/he may prescribe a steroid cream. If there is an infection, bacterial or fungal, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics or an antifungal cream.

HOME TREATMENT

The suggestions below are offered for further research.

First order of business is to keep baby’s skin clean and dry. Expose the affected skin to air as much as practical. Most cases will heal within a day or two.

DIET

If your child is eating food, remember that immune function is even more important for your child than it is for you; you are providing building blocks for future health and well-being. One of the jobs for the immune system is to fight infection. If baby is nursing, then the nursing mom should eat a nutritious and wholesome diet; the quality of your milk depends on it.

FOODS TO PROMOTE HEALING

Fresh, whole, living foods appropriate to the child’s age

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID 

  • Remove all chemicals and food additives from a child’s diet; no processed foods
  • Remove inflammatory foods from the diet
  • Remove sugars from the diet (esp. for fungal infections)

ESSENTIAL OILS

Never use on infants under 4 months old. Do not get oils into baby’s eyes or on baby’s hands. Dilute in a carrier oil of high quality. You can add a drop or two of essential oil to an ounce of carrier oil and rub the mixture on baby’s affected skin. You also can add a drop to a homemade baby powder. Do not use full strength. Yet another option is to put the oil mixture in a mister. Consult a pediatrician about safety.

  • Chamomile
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Lavender
  • Melrose
  • Myrrh
  • Naouli
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree

HYDRATION

Babies can be dehydrated, too. If your baby is losing fluid through diarrhea, s/he will need more fluid than usual. If you think your child is dehydrated, consult your pediatrician about the use of rehydration solutions like Pedialyte. There are signs of dehydration you can observe:

  • Cold, splotchy hands and feet
  • Darkened urine
  • Decrease of tears
  • Dry mouth and lips
  • Eyes and soft spot on head appear sunken
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Reduced skin elasticity
  • Reduction in wet diapers
  • Thirst

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • After washing, blow-dry baby’s bottom. Use low heat (or cool air) and keep the dryer a safe distance from skin.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in water and applied with a cloth
  • Baking soda dissolved in water (a couple of tablespoons in a washtub or dissolve some in water and apply with a wet cloth before diapering)
  • Breast milk–a few drops on the affected area
  • Coconut oil on affected area. Or other good oil like olive, sesame, almond. Consider adding a drop or two of one of the essential oils above if age-appropriate.
  • Consider food sensitivities as a possible culprit.
  • Cranberry juice for a baby old enough to have it may help lower pH of the baby’s waste.
  • Disposable diapers. There are absorbent disposable diapers that may help, but they may contain chemicals and of course, there’s the landfill issue.  If you use them, choose all natural, chlorine-free products.
  • Edible clay bath or as a substitute for talcum powder. Caution: Baby should not inhale any dust from this or from any powder.
  • Make your own baby wipes from natural ingredients; recipes online.
  • Oatmeal bath
  • Soap may be too harsh for baby skin
  • Vinegar. Add to the final rinse water for cloth diapers or consider a diaper service that will do that for you.
  • Washcloths in place of commercial wipes. Buy in bulk at bulk prices.
  • Yogurt. Apply plain unsweetened yogurt to baby’s bottom.

CAUTIONS

  • Beware of using petroleum products on baby’s skin.
  • Cornstarch can worsen a yeast infection.
  • Do a skin/patch test with any new topical application you decide to try.
  • Don’t use dryer sheets and if you do, choose hypoallergenic.
  • Don’t use detergents or commercial products with fragrances.
  • Eliminate chemicals from the environment and particularly in the diaper wash.

When to consult a pediatrician:

  • Baby has fever and loss of appetite
  • Blisters and crusts form
  • Rash does not clear up with home treatment

PREVENTION

  • Change diapers often.
  • Keep baby’s bottom dry as much as possible.
  • Expose baby’s bottom to air as often and as long as possible.
  • A wholesome diet for baby or, if nursing, for the mother.

 

 

 

 

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