Learning how to get rid of diaper rash is easy, but seeing your baby in this discomfort is possibly one of the worst feelings for a parent especially when their suffering from a nasty episode of diaper rash.Nappy rashes tend to breed in warm, moist places such as your baby’s diaper and in most cases look like red scales in the genital area or red splotches on your baby’s tushy.
This irritating baby skin condition can be triggered in several ways including new foods and products, stool and urine, antibiotics taken by the mother or baby and too tight a diaper. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, diaper rash is inevitable and is just a normal part of being a baby.
Good news is that there are several remedies for diapers rash, and are all easily available either at your local pharmacy or in your home closet.
When choosing an ointment/cream or method to treat diaper rash, it is not only important to find a solution that will take care of the problem but one that will still be gentle enough for your baby’s delicate skin.
Considering that there are several different types of diaper rashes, we bring you some of the best tips to treat and prevent diaper rash including a few over the counter and home remedies.
1. Get Rid of the Diaper
Since the main cause of most diaper rashes is prolonged exposure to a dirty diaper, either soiled with stool or moist with urine, the first thing to do is to get rid of the underlying problem – the diaper.
A dirty diaper provides the perfect breeding environment for bacteria, yeast and fungus, all of which contribute to nappy rash. It is best to let your baby roam bare-bottomed as much as possible in an effort to treat/prevent diaper rash, and as an alternative to a diaper and to minimize mess, cover your baby with a washable cloth and place them on a rubber mat.
2. Change that Diaper Often
For those times that you must diaper your baby, make sure you change it often to treat the rash and prevent any further outbreaks. Experts recommend changing a diaper every 2-3 hours or as soon as it is soiled, which is why it is important to check the diaper often.
3. Stay away from commercially made Diaper Wipes
This is where you need to pay attention, because a large percentage of parents make this mistake. Diaper wipes however convenient they may be are known to cause allergic outbreaks that could result in diaper rash.
In fact, several children have been diagnosed with some type of allergy owing to several preservatives found in many diaper wipe brands, most notably methylisothiazolinone (MI). This chemical is known to cause red rashes that could very well be a type of diaper rash.
So when you choose packaged, disposable diaper wipes, you are most likely to find chemical preservatives in the list of ingredients.
Water combined with a little mild soap is perhaps the best alternative to using commercially available diaper wipes, and you will want to make sure that you always remove any residue with a wet cloth especially if you’re using soap.
4. Dry that Tushy
This goes without saying, but once you remove a soiled diaper, it is important to clean the area and wipe dry with a soft towel. To ensure that the area is completely dry, let it air for a few minutes before putting on a new diaper.
5. Use Baby Friendly Skin Products
When shopping for baby products be it toys, diapers or detergents, you want to ensure that they are safe to use.
It is highly recommended that you use products that are designed for baby use such as soaps, ointments, creams and even diaper detergents.
Refrain from using products that are meant for adults, and creams that contain boric acid, phenol, camphor, methyl salicylate and benzoin tincture.
Also, it is good practice to wash your infant’s clothes, diapers, sleepwear, towels, bedding separately from those of household members, and with laundry detergent designed for this purpose.
Residue from unfriendly baby products such as bleaches, detergents and fabric softeners can come in contact with your baby’s skin and consequently result in diaper rash or other infections.
6. Stay away from Powder
Back in the day, powder was one of the best solutions to keep a baby’s bottom dry, but has proven to be harmful in recent times.
Research from the American Academy of Paediatrics indicates that baby powder can cause serious lung damage and this is especially true of talc based powders.
Even small amounts of powder can be harmful and what’s more concerning is the fact that it’s hard to keep powder out of the air, making it much easier for your little one to inhale it.
If you do however decide to use powder, do it sparingly but still wipe the wet area dry before applying.
7. Avoid Plastic Pants
Plastic pants worn over diapers tend to preserve moisture hence takes the skin longer to dry resulting in prolonged diaper rash.
If your baby has nappy rash, avoid tight fitting diapers and clothing, which may restrict airflow and cause chafing. If you must use fitted diapers, switch temporarily to larger, looser size diapers.
8. Switch Disposables
Just like no two fingers are created equal, this analogy applies to diapers as well. Chances are your baby is sensitive to one brand of diapers, and not another so try using a different brand and see how it works out.
Cloth diapers are known to be great resisters to diaper rashes, and if you haven’t considered them yet, you can read more about them here.
9. Apply Diaper Rash Cream
This is one of the things that is a must have in any mom’s arsenal and just like the name reveals, is specifically formulated to cure diaper rash.
But buying the best diaper rash cream can be overwhelming because literally there are hundreds of products to choose from. We’ve reviewed some of the best diaper rash ointments to help you make a viable decision.
Most paediatricians recommend applying diaper rash ointment every time you change your baby, and when used appropriately is proven to shield the diaper area from the irritating effects of faeces and urine.
But if your baby is already affected by diaper rash, it is best not to apply diaper rash cream around the clock, but rather keep the area exposed to air in an effort to let it dry and heal.
10. Diaper Rash and Cloth Diapers
In order to prevent wear and tear of cloth diapers, it is important to check if the ointment and oils you are using are safe on the diaper especially if you’re using the prefold type.
Many of these treatments are known to break down the fibres of these diapers resulting in shorter longevity. Adding to this, some of these creams and oils can cause staining, which in some cases might be permanent.
As a solution, switch to disposables when you do need to diaper your baby until the rash clears up.
11. Dry Diapers on the Line
Some moms claim that hanging diapers on the line instead of drying them in the dryer is less likely to cause a rash.
This trick is supported by some medical professionals as well, but there are official reports or research performed to prove if this is indeed a solution.
But needless to say there’s no harm in trying so if you have room on the line, give it a shot. However, if you are going to dry diapers in the dryer, avoid using dryer sheets for their chemical laden formulation that might irritate your baby’s skin.
If for some reason, you can’t get your hands on the best diaper rash ointment, fear not, there’s may be a solution right in your closet aka home diaper rash remedies.
12. Breast Milk
Believe it or not, this treatment actually works! Breast milk works twofold in that it is a great solution for mom and baby.
For moms, it can be used to treat cracked nipples, a condition that all moms experience when breastfeeding and can also heal diaper rash in babies.
Treating diaper rash with breast milk is easy as well, where you simply pour a few drops over the affected area and allow it to dry.
There are some mothers who claim that using breast milk is better than any other ointment or product.
13. Aloe Vera Gel
This plant extract is not only natural, but is a proven solution for just about any skin condition. Its magical ingredient – B-sitosterol possesses infection fighting properties combined with skin friendly vitamin E.
This makes it an excellent remedy for diaper rashes regardless of the cause, whether fungal, bacterial or viral or a mystery. When applied properly, the skin absorbs this gel like no other, and leaves skin moisture free and dry.
It is not recommended to use detergents for washing cloth diapers as they might trigger infections and rashes.
Instead it is best to wash cloth diapers with warm water combined with half a cup of vinegar in the first wash. Fact is that urine is an alkaline liquid and vinegar tends to combat it well.
15. Vegetable/Coconut/Cod Liver Oil
Applying this will sooth the affected area and provides your baby with the relief they need.
If you can’t get your hands on vegetable oil, Cod Liver oil capsules works great as well, where all you need to do is extract the liquid and apply it on the affected area.
With regards to oil, coconut oil can be used for a variety of things especially diaper rashes and yeast infections.
Coconut oil has natural antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties, and is not only gentle and safe for your baby, but is safe to use with cloth diapers.
16. Virgin and organic
These are the two best types of coconut oil to use to heal diaper rash owing to the fact that it does not have to be heated, which would basically get rid of all the nutritive and medical benefits.
So if you’re wondering how to get rid of diaper rash when you have no access to creams, this is possibly the easiest product to get your hands on.
17. Arrowroot Powder
A traditional remedy to cure diaper rash was to use a combination of corn starch and Crisco on the affected area. But tests performed ever since indicates that corn starch can actually worsen the rash especially if it is yeast related.
As an alternative to this traditional remedy, arrowroot powder and coconut oil when combined use their collective properties to clear the rash. These are safe alternatives for both disposables and cloth diapers.
18. Egg Whites
Although not scientifically proven, many moms claim that using egg whites has worked wonders for their baby.
After cleaning your baby’s bottom, apply the egg whites to the diaper area, and allow it to dry before putting on a clean diaper. This process can be repeated daily until the rash has disappeared, which generally should not be more than 3 days.
19. Cranberry Juice
As mentioned earlier, urine is an extremely alkaline liquid, and 2-3 ounces of cranberry juice given orally will help prevent and reduce bladder infections.
20. Oatmeal Bath
Who would’ve guessed but oatmeal does sooth your skin and for your baby this means adding 1 tablespoon of dried, fine oatmeal powder to their bath. This solution soothes as well as comforts your baby from the pain and aftermath of the rash.
Although this medicine is used to treat heartburn and stomach upset in adults, it surprisingly works really well to cool off the diaper rash affected area.
Start off by taking a small amount of the liquid and applying it to your baby’s bottom, and then allow it to dry before diapering.
Every parent and baby will go through at least one episode of diaper rash and when looking for ways on how to treat diaper rash, the solutions mentioned above are definitely worth exploring.
One thing is certain; whether you use cloth or disposable diapers, diaper rash is inevitable. But using the right diaper cream can make things a whole lot comfortable for your baby, and some even prevent recurrences. Adding to this, there are several different ways to treat diaper rash including home remedies that entail using things you most likely have ready available in your closet. It is best to steer clear of commercial made diaper wipes as they contain chemicals that may cause infections or make the ones even worse. And as always, seek medical advice 🙂