Diaper rash can range from mild to severe, but it can extremely painful for infants. Tackle it the natural way with these Home Remedies for Diaper Rash.
Every parent likes to see their baby in a sunny happy mood all the time, but a bad diaper rash can ruin everything! It can make the happiest babies fussy and uncomfortable, not to mention their delicate skin which looks all red and angry!
What is Diaper Rash?
Diaper rash appears on the diaper area and genitals of young babies, usually when the area is in a warm, humid environment. It is also referred to as diaper dermatitis and is generally red in color, with small blisters or peeling of the skin visible in some cases.
Diaper rash is often painful and some babies are particularly prone to it, especially if they have other skin conditions like eczema. Babies between 9 and 12 months are most prone to diaper rash.
Causes of Diaper Rash
- Irritation caused by urine and stools
- Leaving the diaper on for too long
- A new food in the baby’s diet
- Diapers or underwear that’s too tight
- Irritation caused by chemicals in soaps,wipes or laundry detergents
- Irritation caused by certain fabrics
- Yeast or fungal infections (seborrheic diaper dermatitis)
- An underlying skin condition, such as eczema
- Consumption of antibiotics or of breast milk from a person taking antibiotics
Depending on the cause, diaper rashes can be classified into the following types:
- Irritant Dermatitis: Due to constant contact with soiled diapers
- Candida Dermatitis: Caused by yeast or fungal infections
- Bacterial Dermatitis: Caused by bacterial infections
- Allergic Dermatitis: Caused by the reaction to an allergic substance in the diaper or any product applied on the diaper area
The best solution for diaper rash is airing out the skin, that is, letting your baby go diaper free. This may work for a mild diaper rash that’s just starting out, but sometimes, it may not be enough. Rather than go for a chemical-laden cream for your baby, here are some natural home remedies for diaper rash that are much more gentle, but still effective!
10 Natural Home Remedies for Diaper Rash
1. Breast Milk
One of the simplest, most effective and easily available solution for diaper rash is breast milk. Being rich in fatty acids and known to boost immunity, applying breast milk on your baby’s rash can help bring it down. Just put a few drops on the affected area and let it dry before putting on a clean diaper.
2. Coconut Oil
There are too many uses for coconut oil in home remedies to count, and diaper rash is one of them! Its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties help treat the rash, while the healthy fats moisturize the area and prevent further rashes. Once baby’s bottom is clean and dry, apply some coconut oil and massage it gently into the affected area.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar’s acidic properties counter the alkaline nature of urine, helping to heal diaper rash caused by a wet diaper kept on for too long. This ingredient also possesses antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties and has been shown to inhibit the growth of yeasts like candida. You can either pour some vinegar in baby’s bath water or wipe with a cloth dipped in it. For the latter, mix one teaspoon of white vinegar in a cup of water and use a clean cloth to wipe.
Note: This is not recommended for more severe rashes as it may sting.
4. Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal contains several compounds that help treat diaper rash by protecting the skin’s natural barrier and clearing out the pores. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which soothes irritation and reduces pain and itching. Add a tablespoon of oatmeal to baby’s bath water and let baby sit or play in this for 10 minutes. Pat dry without rubbing. Repeat twice a day.
5. Aloe Vera
You can’t have a home remedies list without Aloe vera! Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti microbial properties, aloe vera can treat diaper rash and also kill of the germs causing it. The gel offers a lot of relief for an angry rash. Just apply a small amount of fresh aloe vera gel on baby’s bottom do that the entire affected area is covered.
6. Baking Soda
Baking soda may seem like an unlikely home remedy for diaper rash, but the truth is that it’s perfect to balance the pH level of delicate baby skin. This helps to fight bacteria, fungi and other microbes. Make a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda in warm water and use this to wash your baby’s bottom.
Yogurt or curd is a great remedy for diaper rash – both in and out! Homemade thick yogurt has anti inflammatory properties and helps to soothe angry diaper rashes. Besides this, if your baby is ready for curd, you can include it in her diet – the probiotic nature protects against yeast and microbial infections. Make sure you don’t use yogurt with sugar in it, as it can worsen the infection.
8. Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt is another word for Magnesium sulfate, a compound used extensively to soothe inflammation and irritation. The magnesium helps treat painful and itchy diaper rashes in babies. Mix half a cup of Epsom salt in baby’s bath water and let baby sit or play in it for 10-15 minutes. Do this about 2-3 times a week for good results.
9. Chamomile Tea and Honey
Chamomile tea isn’t just a great way to induce relaxation, but along with honey, it’s a good remedy for diaper rash. Honey has loads of antiseptic and healing properties and this treats diaper rash in a gentle manner. Mix half a teaspoon of honey in a cup of chamomile tea and put in a spray bottle. Spray directly on the rash after cleaning and drying baby’s bottom. Wait for it to dry before putting on a fresh diaper.
10. DIY Diaper Cream
Just because you’re staying away from chemicals doesn’t mean that you have to stay away from diaper cream! You can make your own diaper cream with this recipe from Maple Money, that uses only coconut oil and corn starch. Store it in a clean, sanitized container to prevent cross infection. You can also put it in a deodorant or lip balm stick so it can be directly applied on the rash.
Tips to Treat a Diaper Rash
- Wash your hands well before and after handling baby’s diaper or rash
- Use plain water as far as possible, preferably spraying it on
- In cases you need to use soap, opt for a mild soap-free cleanser
- Avoid rubbing the rash area
- Always pat dry before applying anything
- Make sure the diaper area is completely dry before putting on a fresh diaper
Tips to Prevent a Diaper Rash
1. Changing diapers often – Be extra careful about checking baby’s diaper and change as soon as it’s wet. Leaving the baby in a wet diaper can worsen the rash.
2. Allow the area to breathe – Schedule some diaper free time for baby through the day so the skin has time to breathe and heal itself.
3. Avoiding scrubbing the area – Skin with a rash can be quite sore, so it’s important to avoid scrubbing when cleaning or rubbing any cream or oil into the rash. Instead, apply by patting gently.
4. Avoid baby wipes – Baby wipes are often laden with irritating chemicals that can cause diaper rash. In case you have to use baby wipes, choose scent-free versions made of 100% natural materials.
5. Use unscented soaps – Many soaps, even ones that claim to be baby-friendly, contain chemicals under the term ‘fragrance’, which can harm baby skin and cause more rashes.
6. Use properly-fitting diapers – Diapers or underwear that is too tight can trigger diaper rash. Opt for diapers and bottom wear that’s snug but not tight and made of breathable materials.
7. Change your laundry routine – Use a mild laundry detergent without chemicals. Wash cloth diapers in hot water and rinse many times before sun drying. Rinse once in a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water.
8. Introduce new foods gradually – Some rashes may be caused by new foods in baby’s diet, which is why it is recommended to follow the 3-day rule so you can monitor any changes caused by the new food.
Some people advice using baby powder for diaper rash, but doctors don’t recommend it because it can harm babies’ lungs if inhaled. Corn starch is a natural remedy which works against diaper rash, but also poses a risk on inhalation. Corn starch can also worsen diaper rashes caused by the fungus Candida.
In most cases, a diaper rash is not a complicated condition, but sometimes, it can lead to a secondary infection with bacteria or fungus, especially if the skin is broken. If you observe blisters, fever, swelling, crusty skin or pus oozing out, take your baby to the doctor right away.