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Home > Infant Corner: Diaper Rash
Infant Corner: Diaper Rash
by Dave Foreman
I bet you never thought you would see this topic in one of my newsletters! I started my infant corner about a year ago and was surprised I hadn't discussed it yet. Most of us know what diaper rash is, but for new moms and dads, here you go: Diaper rash is a skin problem experienced by most infants, that can be caused by the skin staying wet, rubbing from the diaper, contact with chemicals in the urine and stool-or a combination of the above. The skin may look red, raw, scalded or burned. Although diaper rash is uncomfortable, generally it is not a serious problem. This is probably the most common "ailment" that infants get. Diaper rash occurs most often in babies between the ages of 9 months and 12 months. It often occurs in babies who sleep for many hours in a wet diaper. (Diaper rash can also affect adults who wear incontinence briefs, but for now, we will focus on diaper rash in children.)
The most common causes of diaper rash include:
• Not changing a wet or dirty diaper often enough. The skin becomes irritated from contact with urine and stool, particularly when diarrhea is present.
• Babies starting to eat solid foods. This may change their stools and make diaper rash worse.
• Rubbing of the skin by a diaper. The irritated area may include the thighs, genitals, buttocks, or belly area.
• A skin reaction to perfumes in disposable diapers, to chemicals in skin-cleaning "diaper wipes," or to the detergents or fabric softeners used to clean cloth diapers.
What can I do to treat or prevent diaper rash?
• Give your baby a bath, either in plain warm water, or in water with some oatmeal added to it. Once your baby is out of the bath, gently pat dry their bottom or let air dry (I know this is like playing Russian roulette, but it is best for the baby)
• Let your baby have some diaper-free air time (again another game of Russian roulette). Air is your baby's bottom's best friend when it comes to diaper rash. The more play time with air, the better.
• Avoid using commercial baby wipes as most of them contain harsh alcohol, which can irritate baby's skin even more. Make sure you dry the area thoroughly after cleaning, and then try to give some air time again.
Tried & tested natural remedies for diaper rash: Oliver oil & water:
Natural and healthy, olive oil has been used for centuries for all different kinds of ailments. Try whisking a tablespoon of olive oil with five drops of water until it forms a creamy smooth texture, then apply to baby's clean, dry bottom.
Cod liver oil capsules:
Another great natural remedy is to use cod liver oil capsules. Open the capsules and pour the oil over the affected area. (This is one of my personal favorites - talk about healing quickly!!)
Essential Oils are wonderful products that can be used to naturally treat a number of problems. Tea tree is one of the best out there. This multi-use oil is effective against yeast, is antibacterial & anti-inflammatory and healing to wounds (vulnerary). Keep this away from your baby's eyes, mouth and mucous membrane (private areas).
Other helpful oils include:
• Calendula: Antiseptic & Soothing
• Chamomile: Soothing & Gentle
• Lavender: Anti-Inflammatory & Gentle
When using Essential Oils in their concentrated form, you'll need to add them to a base oil first (olive, jojoba or sweet almond work well). The oils in their natural concentrated form will be too strong for baby's delicate skin.
One of my favorite solutions other than those listed above is to give your infant a probiotic daily. This is especially helpful in times of weak immune function and or chronic diaper rash issues. One dose per day will help heal irritated areas and help to prevent issues in the future. Here are some good infant probiotics that you could try:
• Natren Life Start
• Jarrow Baby Jarro-dophilus
• UAS Labs DDS Junior
• Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri powder
Diaper rash formulas:
There are some great topical diaper rash formulas available at your local Vitamin Shoppe. Here are just a few to look for:
• Jason Naturals Earth's Best Diaper Relief
• Nature's Baby Organics Organic Diaper Ointment Fragrance Free
• Burt's Bees Baby Bee Diaper Ointment
• Avalon Natural Products Soothing Zinc Diaper Balm