Diaper rash: the bane of many a parent’s existence. This nasty skin condition consists of red, inflamed skin on baby’s bottom and genitals, and can lead to an inconsolable child, and stressed-out parents. Because it’s such a common phenomenon, the baby-products market is saturated with “miracle cures.” However, these products are not all created equal, as some expose baby to potentially harmful chemicals. To skip the risk, consider these all-natural, and super effective, remedies for diaper rash.
You can apply the following after gently cleaning, and patting the bottom dry. Let your natural remedy of choice soak in before putting on a new diaper.
Breastmilk. Dabbing breastmilk on the rash soothes the affected area, as breastmilk is filled with healing and antiseptic properties, and is a natural moisturizer and anti-inflammatory. And, it’s free!
Coconut oil. This multi-purpose oil has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties that can kill the Candida that causes some diaper rashes. It also reduces inflammation and increases hydration.
Apple cider vinegar, ACV. Diaper rashes caused by either fungal or yeast infection, can be treated with apple cider vinegar. The fermented liquid kills bacteria that agitates the rash, and prevents the growth of yeast. Mix one part ACV with three parts water before use.
Olive oil. Provide itch relief by treating the rash with olive oil, which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
- Honey and chamomile. Create a mega-soothing, antiseptic spray by dissolving one teaspoon of honey into two cups chamomile tea, and transferring the mixture to a small spray bottle.
The diaper rash should clear up after a few days of regular treatment. If the rash seems to worsen, causes excessive pain (especially when baby urinates), is accompanied by a fever, or is bleeding or oozing, check in with your pediatrician.
Preventing Diaper Rash
While it’s great to have natural treatments when a diaper rash develops, it’s even better to prevent it. First, it’s important to understand what causes diaper rashes. Typical culprits include irritants in a diaper or skin cream, a bacterial or yeast infection, chafing, a new food that causes changes in fecal matter, and the use of antibiotics.
The following strategies can help you bypass rash-triggers and save your baby’s tush from this uncomfortable condition.
Switch diaper brands. Some diapers contain volatile organic compounds that could cause skin irritation. You can easily take care of the problem by switching to a diaper brand that’s hypoallergenic and antibacterial, and contains no harmful chemicals, like chlorine, phthalates, dioxin, alcohol, latex, or fragrances. Bamboo is a naturally antimicrobial option.
Purchase larger diapers. If you notice your baby’s diapers becoming snug, go to the next size up, as chafing from a too-tight diaper can create skin irritation. In addition, don’t put the diaper on too tight – aim for it being just tight enough to contain a mess.
Use natural fibre wipes. Just like diapers, some wipes contain ingredients that can provoke a rash. Minimize this risk by using wipes that are hypoallergenic and antibacterial, free of irritating chemicals and fragrances, and contain aloe.
Let baby go without a diaper. Because moist areas create breeding grounds for the bacteria and yeast that can cause a diaper rash, it’s best to let baby go without a diaper for a bit, if you notice the beginnings of a rash. During this time, go outside with baby if the weather is nice, or have them play on a waterproof mat that’s covered with a soft material.
Change diapers more frequently. You can reduce the aforementioned presence of bacteria- and yeast-producing moisture, by regularly changing baby’s diaper. The longer they sit in a wet diaper, the higher their chance of developing a diaper rash. In addition, be sure to thoroughly clean their crevices, as left over urine or poop particles could prompt a rash.
- Keep a food diary. To pinpoint foods that cause a rash, keep a log of any new foods you feed baby. For example, if you gave them strawberries on Monday and Tuesday, and they developed a rash on Wednesday, your food journal could help you deduce that strawberries might be the cause.
Foods most likely to provoke a diaper rash include citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, plums, and dairy.
If your baby is solely breastfed, keep track of changes in your diet, as certain foods that pass through the milk could create a rash.
While diaper rashes are usually an inevitable occurrence in your baby’s first year, these natural remedies and preventions can help you bypass frequent, and long-lasting skin irritations. And as an added bonus, these treatments are often household staples, meaning you won’t have to spend extra money on over-the-counter creams that may or may not work. Here’s to a rash-free, happy baby!