It is very common for a small baby to suffer from diaper rash. It does not mean that the child is poorly cared for. However, if diaper rash isn’t treated, it can cause a yeast or bacterial infection, making matters worse.
Diaper rash is characterized by inflamed skin and a rash in the diaper area, which includes the upper thighs, buttocks and genital area.
The main cause of diaper rash is prolonged exposure to a dirty diaper, either moist with urine or soiled with stool. Other common causes are yeast infections, food allergies, digestive problems, sensitivity to the diaper, and poorly laundered diapers. Symptoms can include red skin, inflammation and even blisters.
If your child gets diaper rash, you must give your baby plenty of time with a bare bottom so that the skin can breathe and eliminate moisture on its own. There also are many natural home treatments that you can try to comfort your child and speed up the healing process.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for diaper rash.
Stale urine is extremely alkaline in nature and can burn a baby’s soft skin like an acid. To balance out the high pH, vinegar is one of the best ingredients.
- If you are using reusable diapers or cloth diapers, rinse them in a vinegar solution. Add one-half cup of vinegar to half a bucket of water and use it to rinse your baby’s diapers. This will help get rid of any soap buildup in the diapers as well as any urine smell.
- Make a very weak vinegar solution by adding one teaspoon of white vinegar to one cup of water. Use this solution to wipe your baby’s bottom when changing the diaper. This simple step will help to make your baby’s bottom resistant to yeast.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda has healing properties that can help treat diaper rash.
- Dissolve two tablespoons of baking soda in about four cups of water. Each time you change your baby’s diaper, wash the baby’s bottom with the mixture. Use a dry washcloth to lightly pat the skin dry before putting on a clean diaper.
- You can also add two tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water and give your baby a bath in it. Bathe the baby in the water for 10 minutes, three times a day. Again, make sure to pat the baby’s skin dry after bathing.
3. Petroleum Jelly
Many pediatricians recommend applying a thin layer of protective coating on the baby’s soft skin every time you change a diaper. Petroleum jelly is perfect for this purpose. It will help protect the diaper area from the irritating effects of urine and feces.
- After removing a soiled diaper, clean your baby’s bottom with warm water.
- Dry it well with a cotton towel, and then apply petroleum jelly.
- Do this every time your baby needs a diaper changed, and the diaper rash will heal quickly.
Cornstarch absorbs moisture, making it a great treatment for diaper rash. It will help keep your baby’s skin dry, reduce diaper friction and prevent diaper rash.
- Remove the soiled diaper and wash your baby’s bottom with lukewarm water.
- Carefully blot the skin dry with another cloth. Allow the skin to further dry naturally for a few moments.
- Lightly sprinkle cornstarch directly on the skin before putting a fresh diaper in place.
- Do this each time you change a diaper until the skin fully heals.
The high amount of protein in oatmeal soothes a baby’s soft skin and helps preserve the skin’s natural protective barrier. It also contains the chemical compound saponin, which helps remove unwanted oils and dirt from the skin pores.
- Add one tablespoon of dried oatmeal to bath water.
- Let your baby soak in the water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Then bathe your baby in the solution. It will have a soothing effect on the baby’s skin.
- Do this twice daily to heal diaper rash.
6. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has antifungal and antimicrobial properties, and hence can be used to treat diaper rash. It can also have a soothing and healing effect on the baby’s soft skin.
- Coconut oil works like a great moisturizer. Gently apply some coconut oil on the diaper area several times a day.
- You can even add several tablespoons of coconut oil to bath water for added moisturizing. It will help kill yeast like Candida that causes diaper rash, too.
7. Breast Milk
Breast milk, which helps fight infection and soothes the skin, is the best and least expensive way to cure diaper rash. Plus, with breast milk there is no risk of an allergic reaction that can worsen the condition.
Simply rub a few drops of breast milk on the affected skin as often as needed, and allow the area to air dry before putting on a new diaper.
8. Shea Butter
Shea butter has antifungal, anti-inflammatory and yeast-killing properties that can help prevent and get rid of diaper rash. It also has beneficial vegetable fats that can improve circulation, promote cell regeneration, and help heal rashes quickly.
- Wash your baby’s bottom with mild soap and lukewarm water. Allow the area to dry naturally.
- Rub pure shea butter gently in your hands until it melts. Then press your hands on the affected area, rubbing the shea butter on the irritated skin.
- Leave it on for a few minutes, and then put on a fresh diaper.
9. Plantain Oil
Many health experts recommend the use of plantain oil to relieve the pain of diaper rash. This oil is highly effective for treating diaper rash resulting from an allergic reaction.
The oil has anti-allergic properties that can help soothe and relieve inflammation associated with diaper rash. For treating diaper rash, you can use plantain oil or the herb.
- Crush clean, fresh plantain leaves with your hands and put them next to your baby’s skin with each diaper change.
- Alternatively, you can apply plantain oil directly on your baby’s skin before putting on a fresh diaper.
10. French Green Clay
Often sold as a facial mask, French green clay is also very effective in treating diaper rash caused by a yeast infection. The mineral-based French green clay can prevent the rash from spreading and also help the baby’s soft skin heal quickly. To treat diaper rash, sprinkle some French green clay over the affected skin area during every diaper change.
If the diaper rash does not get better after trying these remedies, consult a doctor immediately.