Home Remedies for Diaper Rashes

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With squirmy movements and the clear sign of discomfort stretched across their faces, babies with diaper rash are no happy campers. The constant irritation they feel makes it hard for them to enjoy the effortless days of infancy by keeping kids twisting and turning in the middle of the night. While the condition is known to send some parents in a panic, most cases easily vanish after a few days of using effective home remedies.


What is Diaper Rash?

Various skin disorders and/or irritants are responsible for causing the skin rashes in the diaper region of children known as “diaper rash” [1]. As the condition worsens, a child faces diaper dermatitis accompanied by a secondary bacteria or fungus that begins to attack the folds of the skin. A parent becomes aware of diaper rash when redness and puffiness is found about the thighs, buttocks, and genitals of their offspring. Sometimes, the skin is slightly warmer than the rest of the body. Overall, a baby becomes uncomfortable – often crying and fussing when it comes time to change their diaper.

Most infants are affected by diaper rash at some point in their lives. It is also not uncommon to see infants come home from the hospital with a slight rash decorating their thighs and buttocks. Typically, children develop diaper rash during the first 15 months of their lives, especially when they are between the ages of 8 and 10 months of age. While the condition may look alarming to parents and children face great discomfort, most cases of diaper rash are treated within a few days. Home remedies are quite effective.

Causes of Diaper Rash

When it comes to preventing and treating diaper rash, it is suggested to learn why the condition takes place in the first place. In regards to the redness, itchiness, and soreness a child may encounter, a number of causes include:

a) New Products:

When a baby is exposed to new products that irritate the skin, diaper rash may follow. Often, a new brand of disposable wipes, disposable diapers, fabric softeners, and other harsh detergents may cause a poor reaction [2]. Baby lotions, oils, and powders may also cause a delicate bottom to redden and become irritated.

b) Bacterial or Yeast Infections:

Bacteria or fungus is known to attack the creases of baby’s skin – making the buttocks and thighs a prime target for diaper rash. The warmth and moistness of this region serves as the perfect conditions for bacteria and yeast to survive.

c) Food:

The introduction of new food to a baby’s diet affects the chances of suffering from diaper rash. This is when the contents of stool changes and babies begin to experience more bowel movements. The overall transition usually takes place when the child is between four and 12 months of age.

d) Breastfeeding:

Some babies will develop diaper rash when their breastfeeding mothers consume a food that causes changes in their diet, such as a meal containing tomatoes.

e) Skin Irritation:

When a baby’s sensitive skin is exposed to urine and feces for a prolonged amount of time, the risk of developing diaper rash greatly increases. A child that produces a high amount of bowel movements are also more susceptible to the condition, as feces causes more irritation than urine to the skin.

f) Skin Sensitivity:

A higher risk of diaper rash is seen in babies who already suffer from skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or eczema.

g) Rubbing or Chafing:

Skin rashes often develop when the rubbing and chafing of skin takes place in a child wearing tightfitting diapers or clothing.

h) Medication:

A baby is sometimes given antibiotics or receives them through the milk of a breastfeeding mother. While antibiotics are known to kill harmful bacteria, they also destroy the good kind as well. When a child possesses the improper balance of bacteria – yeast infections and diaper rash may occur.


Complications of Diaper Rash

The average diaper rash is easily treatable and often improves within a couple of days after beginning a home remedy. If the rash does not improve with home treatment or over-the-counter ointments, setting an appointment with a physician is highly suggested. An examination is required when a baby displays a fever, blisters, pus, weeping discharge, boils, unresponsive rashes to treatment, as well as rashes that spread to other parts of the body.

Home Remedies for Diaper Rash

When it comes to treating a diaper rash, parents face a wealth of home treatments that utilize many common items found within the household. To discover a whole new world of home remedies for diaper rashes, consider the following approaches:

a) Corn Starch:

An effective cure for diaper rash is seen in sprinkling the affected area with cornstarch, which promotes healing and soothes dry skin.

b) Baking Soda:

By adding a cup of baking soda to a baby’s bath water, you can soothe the discomfort associated with diaper rash.

c) Common Household Items [3]:

Most diaper rashes will disappear within two days when babies are bathed in warm water with the presence of Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid, which is known to help clear up rashes. Spraying diaper rash with cooking spray (such as Pam) contains just the right amount of oils to speed the healing process, as well as moisturize the skin. If you happen to have a little Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia in the house, apply a soaked cotton ball or sponge directly on a diaper rash. The antacid in the product actually neutralizes the acids that add to skin irritation.

d) Tea Bags:

Some parents have used the same ingredients found in ancient Chinese medicine when turning towards tea bags to treat diaper rash. By placing plain tea bags in a diaper, urination releases the healing properties of the tea, which helps ease symptoms within 24 hours. When using this home remedy, don’t be alarmed if the baby’s bottom is “stained” for a couple of days.

e) Boiled Lettuce:

Take a few washed dark green lettuce leaves and place them in a pot of water with enough water to cover the leaves. Let the leaves boil for five minutes, which are then later strained. Next, you should pour the water into a sterilized container. Before applying the concoction on a diaper rash, allow the mixture to cool after each diaper change. The next day should bring effective signs of healing.

f) Egg Whites [4]:

Crack three or four eggs in a manner that discards the yolk. Pour the egg whites over a freshly cleaned and dry rash, followed by putting on a clean diaper. The next time you change the diaper, the rash should look much better.

g) Oatmeal:

The next time you run bath water for your baby with a diaper rash, try placing some oatmeal in the water. When the baby is enjoying his or her bath, continue to “swish” the water about the bathing tub for 15 minutes to soothe and treat the condition.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaper_rash
[2] http://www.clevelandclinic.org/
[3] Joey Green’s Amazing Kitchen Cures by Joey Green (pg 105)
[4] http://www.otan.dni.us/webfarm/emailproject/diaper.htm