Infants require special care constantly as they are prone to many infections or diseases. So, utmost care should be taken about the safety, health and the proper hygiene of the child. The use of diapers for infants is now a common phenomenon. It adds to the convenience of the mother and most diaper manufacturers claim that their products are hygienic. In spite of being considered safe and hygienic, some children suffer from diaper rash.
What is diaper rash?
Diaper rash or diaper dermatitis as it is called in medical terms, is just an inflammation of the skin resulting in irritation. At the same time, even an adult incontinent wearing a diaper may be susceptible to diaper rash. This is not a life threatening disease. At the same time, if it is not properly attended to, it may result in infection which needs to be treated by a dermatologist.
What causes diaper rash?
Generally it is believed that parental neglect is the cause of diaper rash. But dermatologists vehemently deny this and say the cause is still being investigated, since apart from parental neglect, there are many other causes for this disease. A recent study has revealed that about 35% children in the age group of 9 to 12 months suffer from diaper rash.
Diaper rash can be of several types. For example, contact dermatitis is one category of rash caused by erosion of top layer of the skin. Experts believe that it could be the result of friction caused by rubbing of skin against the diaper. The other cause of diaper rash is fungus infection which is caused because of dampness prevailing in the affected part. The other cause of diaper rash is nutritional and immunological deficiencies and malignancy.
Particularly in the case of infants, experts are of the opinion that diaper changes should be frequent. This is particularly true in case of diapers where the infant has either urinated or has a bowel movement. Conservatives even suggest using a diaper only when the child is to be taken out. The diaper should be such that it allows enough circulation of air. Before putting on the diaper for the child, it is suggested that barrier creams like petroleum jelly or zinc oxide be applied to prevent feces or urine coming in direct contact with the skin. Many physicians prescribe some topical ointment or powders which would reduce the infection.
Apart from this there are many home remedies for diaper rash. However, experts suggest that if the rashes are severe or do not provide positive results within a reasonable time, it is always advisable to consult a physician.
- Home Remedies
- Other Remedies
Home remedies for Diaper Rash
Baking Soda as a Home Remedy for Diaper Rash
Baking soda used in many culinary preparations contains Sodium bicarbonate or Sodium hydrogen carbonate and is a chemical compound which is in use since the 19th century. According to researchers, baking soda neutralizes the hydrochloric acid produced in the bile, reduces heartburn and neutralizes acidic reactions in the intestine. It is also used to alkalinize the uric acid and renal stone.
Using Baking Soda as a Treatment for Diaper Rash:
Add about two spoonfuls of baking soda to one tub of water and give the baby a hip bath. This can be done thrice a day.
Cornstarch as a Home Remedy for Diaper Rash
This starch is prepared from maize. The corn starch is used as a thickening agent in liquid based food like custard, sauce, gravy etc. Corn starch is preferred in cooking because it is an anti caking agent and mixes well with other ingredients. Apart from this cornstarch has many medicinal uses. Cornstarch also called “arrowroot,” is known to cure fungus infection
of the skin, bed sores, rashes, athlete’s foot etc.
Using Cornstarch as a Treatment for Diaper Rash:
Sprinkle the cornstarch on the affect area and very gently pat dry. While sprinkling on the baby ensure that the child does not inhale the starch. Yet another remedy is to mix one teaspoon of Crisco, ½ spoon of baby lotion, six teaspoon of cornstarch, three teaspoon of bag balm. Apply this mixture on the affected part. Apply this mixture each time you change the diaper.
Oatmeal as a Home Remedy for Diaper Rash
One of the most popular meals for weight-watchers, oatmeal is considered to be one of the healthiest foods. Oatmeal is just coarsely cut oats. It is also known for its quick cooking capability. Oat contains many forms of carbohydrates, beta Glucan, vitamins and fibers which are easily soluble in water.
Using Oatmeal as a Treatment for Diaper Rash:
Add three teaspoons of oatmeal to the bath tub and either allow the child to stay in the water for about five minutes or bathe the child in the oatmeal mixed water. This is one of the best home remedies for diaper rash
Lettuce as a Home Remedy for Diaper Rash
Lactuca sativa as it is called in botanical language, lecttuce is a leafy vegetable which is popular in salads, burgers and sandwiches. Grown in most of the countries, lettuce is rich in many antioxidants including folic acid, Vitamins A, C and K, fibers and lithium. According to experts, lettuce fights cancer, clears constipation, improves immunity, fights heart disease, cataract and even stroke.
Using Lettuce as a Treatment for Diaper Rash:
Take some lettuce leaves, wash them thoroughly and boil in water for about five to ten minutes. Now, strain the lettuce and keep aside. Before changing the diaper apply the strained lettuce on the affected part.
Cranberry juice as a Home Remedy for Diaper Rash
A bushy creeper with evergreen small leaves bears the cranberry fruit, which are dark pink in color. According to nutrition experts, cranberries are rich in nutrients including manganese and dietary minerals. They also contain Vitamin C and many distinctive Polyphenol antioxidants. They have anti-cancer properties, improve the cardiovascular system and remove urinary bacterial infections thus making them one of the best home remedies
Using Cranberry juice as a Cure for Diaper Rash:
Drink Cranberry juice at regular intervals, as it makes the urine less concentrated and thereby the infection level automatically comes down.
Chickweed as a Natural Remedy for Diaper Rash
Native of England, Chickweed is called Stellaria media in botanical language. It is also called tongue grass, mouse ear, star weed and stain flower etc. Chickweed is one of the most popular herbs to cure skin diseases
like rashes, eczema, skin inflammation etc thus making it among the top natural remedies for diaper rash
. It is also known to cure ulcer
, psoriasis, arthritis, cough etc.
Using Chickweed as a Treatment for Diaper Rash:
Chickweed is now available in ointment, tincture, and capsule form and also as herbal tea. For diaper rashes, it is advisable to apply ointment on the affected portion every time the diaper is changed.
White oak bark as a Natural Remedy for Diaper Rash
Oak is one of the most popular trees found in most of the deciduous forests of Asia and other forests of northern hemisphere. The leaves are spirally arranged with flowers which blossom during spring season. Oak wood is known for its hardness. It is used for making furniture, barrels to store wine, and in many construction activities where it is also used for making doors, windows etc. Apart from this, oak is known for its medicinal value. Interestingly, oak leaves are poisonous to certain animals. However, oak has many medicinal values for humans. There are many species of Oak tree and white oak is one such species.
Using white oak bark as a Treatment for Diaper Rash:
In about ¼ glass of water, boil about four teaspoons of white oak bark for about 20 minutes on low flame. Strain this and re-heat until the contents reduce to ½ its volume. Allow to cool and keep it in the refrigerator. Apply this medicine whenever you change the diaper.
Aloe Vera as a Natural Remedy for Diaper Rash
Believed to be a native of the Arabian Peninsula, Aloe Vera is grown world over. Arid weather is most suitable for the growth of the plant and it is largely grown in India, Africa etc. It is either stems-less or has a short stem, with thick green leaves. Certain varieties have leaves edged with small thorns. Researchers are of the opinion that Aloe Vera has many healing properties, beneficial for ailments of the skin and so it is one of the best home remedies for diaper rash
. It regulates blood sugar and lipids in the blood, cures hepatitis, herpes and many other ailments. It is one of the main components in herbal cosmetics.
Using Aloe Vera as a Cure for Diaper Rash:
One of the main reasons for diaper rash is the moist condition in the affected part which is removed by Aloe Vera gels available in the market. Apply the gel each time you change the diaper. Before applying the gel clean the affected part with cotton.
Olive oil as a Natural Remedy for Diaper Rash
Oil obtained from olive trees is popular in most of the European countries. Researchers have time and again highlighted the medicinal properties of the olive tree and its oil. In many countries where it is used in cooking, olive plantations have been established. Researchers have pointed out that olive oil is rich in many antioxidants, sterols, fatty acids etc.
Using olive oil as a Cure for Diaper Rash:
Take about two teaspoons of olive oil and mix with equal quantity of water and mix well. Apply this mixture on the affected part of the baby.
Chamomile and Lavender oil as a Natural Remedy for Diaper Rash
Naturopaths claim that this national flower of Russia can cure
for as many as 100 different ailments. This beautiful flower including the leaves can cure ailments
like common cold, cancer, cardiovascular disorder, gastrointestinal disorder, hemorrhoids, inflammation of the skin and other skin ailments including rashes etc. It is the best known sleep remedy and it calms the mind. Normally, chamomile flowers are white or golden in color.
Lavender is yet another beautiful flower plant largely grown in Asia, Africa and in many European countries. There are as many as 39 species of lavender plants. The purple flowers grow in small bunches. Lavender is used in many culinary preparations. The medicinal value of the plant give antiseptic and anti inflammatory qualities and it is known to improve the health of the skin.
Using Chamomile and Lavender as a Cure for Diaper Rash:
Chamomile and Lavender oil are available in many medical stores. Mix these oils in equal quantity and apply to the affected part after cleaning the area with cotton.
Jojoba oil as a Home Remedy for Diaper Rash
Jojoba is a shrub largely grown in California, Mexico and the desert areas of Arizona and now also in the Thar Desert in India with the intention of arresting the desertification. Jojoba is cultivated commercially for its valuable oil which is used in making cosmetics and in the preparation of fragrances. Jojoba oil is known to improve the health of the skin.
Using Jojoba oil as a Cure for Diaper Rash:
Jojoba oil is available in most medical stores. Buy the oil manufactured by a reputed company and apply it on the affected part every time you change the diaper.
Other natural remedies for diaper rash
Prevention is better than cure. As said earlier conservative people suggest doing away with the diaper. They suggest using a clean cotton cloth spread on a rubber mat. If you find it convenient to use diaper, then use it only when you go out for a party etc. While at home keep the infant diaper-free.
Take one cod liver oil capsule, open the outer cover and apply the liquid inside the capsule on the affected part.
Many infant-friendly diapers are available and doctors suggest using only such diapers.
Add about five drops of tea tree oil to three cups of water. To this add about 1/8th cup of olive oil and about ten drops lavender oil. Put these in a bottle and shake thoroughly. Apply this solution on the affected part every day.
Some formula medicines contain alcohol. Experts are of the opinion that alcohol may aggravate the rashes. So, particularly while applying medications on children ensure that they are free from alcohol.
Do not put cloth diapers in to the washing machine. Clean them in hot water and do not use any detergent. Then hang them out to dry instead of using the dryer.
Wash baby’s bottom with one part of vinegar mixed with eight parts of water. This is one of the best natural remedies for diaper rash.
Bag balm is yet another popular remedy for diaper rashes.
Wash the baby’s bottom with warm water and dry the area with a clean towel. Then sprinkle good quality baby powder.
Mix Epsom salt and Sea salt in equal quantities. Put this mixture in the bath tub. Sit the child in this water for some time. Dry gently with a towel.
Some babies may be allergic to a particular material used in the diaper. Try diapers made by other manufacturers.
Calamine lotion applied on the affected area is another remedy for diaper rashes.
Apply Vaseline gel on the affected part. This reduces the inflammation also.
Vegetable oil does well to cure diaper rashes. Take about ½ teaspoon of vegetable oil and apply it on the affected part. Before applying, clean the affected part with cotton.
As far as possible avoid plastic diapers. Use only cotton diapers.
It is observed that when breast feeding, if mother changes her diet, some infants could develop diaper rashes. If a nursing mother takes more of tomato, for example, the child could be affected by diaper rashes.
Take a piece of cotton and dip it in milk of magnesia liquid. Apply this liquid on the affected part.
Take an egg and separate the white, and store in a bowl. Now, clean the affected part and allow it to dry for some time. Now, apply the white portion of the egg on the affected part every time you change the diaper.
The other known remedy is to place plain tea bag in the diaper. When the tea comes in contact with the urine certain chemical reaction takes place and it activates the healing properties in the tea. The tea cures the rashes. Of course, for some days, the bottom of the infant will remain stained in color.