Diaper rash can be uncomfortable and painful for babies. Unfortunately, almost all babies get diaper rash at some point or even on a regular basis. As parents, we have to be aware of what causes it and what we can do to combat the rashes so our baby will be more comfortable.
Diaper Rash and Its Causes
A diaper rash is a skin irritation that is most commonly found on the baby’s bottom. Babies and toddlers experience this before they get potty trained. It is characterized by redness and burning on certain areas of the skin that comes in contact with a diaper. Diaper rash can appear as a result of an irritation, infection or allergy.
A baby’s skin is very sensitive. If the diaper is left on the baby or has been worn by the baby for too long, the skin might get irritated. More so if the diaper is soiled and it rubs repeatedly against the baby’s skin. Diaper rash can also appear as a result of an allergic reaction. This is not uncommon for babies wearing disposable diapers. Disposable diapers have dyes, fragrances, and chemicals in them which can be the cause of the allergy. For babies using cloth diapers, it can be because the skin reacted to the detergent used in washing the diapers. Lastly, an infection could cause the diaper rash. When the skin’s pH level changes, bacteria and fungi grow easily. Since some of the substances found in disposables prevent air from circulating, this creates an environment that is ideal for the fungi to thrive, thus causing the rash.
The good news is, there are different ways that one can treat these rashes.
The Natural Solutions
Treating diaper rash doesn’t have to be expensive or painful. The important thing is that the method and the treatment used is gentle to your little one’s skin yet effective enough to speed up the healing process. Here are different natural treatments that you can try.
Breastmilk is not just food for your child. It can be used to treat diaper rash simply because it contains antibodies that can help protect your baby from the harmful bacteria. Simply express the milk from the breasts, apply it on to the affected area, then let air dry.
Baking soda helps in balancing the pH levels and this makes it an effective treatment for diaper rash. It neutralizes the acid in the stool and urine so it prevents the bacteria and the yeast from growing and making the rash worse. You can mix 2 tablespoon of baking soda in the bath and soak your baby’s bottom for around 10 minutes then pat dry. You can also put baking soda in your homemade cloth wipes instead of using the wipes bought at the grocery store.
When treating diaper rash, it is always a good idea to use natural and safe ingredients because your baby’s skin is sensitive and it can absorb pretty much anything. Coconut oil is one of the safest and most natural home remedy that you can use. It has antifungal, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that can efficiently treat diaper rash. You can either apply a few drops of coconut oil to the affected area or mix it with herbs or tea tree oil.
Vinegar is another common and natural remedy. What it does is it balances the alkalinity of the urine so it prevents your baby’s skin from burning due to the rash. If you are using cloth diapers you can add half a cup of vinegar when you wash them. Or you can also mix one part vinegar and eight parts water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray this onto your baby’s bum whenever you change the diaper.
Cornstarch is good in treating diaper rash that are caused by moisture and friction. To use, you can simply sprinkle cornstarch over the baby’s clean, dry skin. Just a word of caution, if the rash was a yeast diaper rash then you should skip this treatment as this could make the infection worse.
Preventing Diaper Rash
Preventing diaper rash is possible. In fact, prevention is the best treatment. In order to prevent diaper rash, it is imperative that you frequently change your baby’s diaper. Regardless if you are using cloth or disposables, if you do not change the diapers often then you are increasing the risk of your baby developing a rash. However, using hybrid diapers can be a great way to prevent diaper rash. Allowing your baby to go bare bottom from time to time is recommended. By doing so, you are giving your baby’s bottom skin time to breathe and you are taking that opportunity away from the bacteria, yeast and fungus to breed.
Be wary of baby products that you use. Instead of using commercial baby wipes you can create your own cloth wipes. Switch to cloth reusable diapers too since disposables contain dyes and chemicals that could irritate your baby’s skin. And as for the soap, laundry detergents and lotion, make sure that they are mild and baby friendly.