Diaper rash takes many forms. So the first step will be figuring out what is causing the rash, as the different types require different natural therapies.
For example, an ammonia rash occurs mostly from cloth diaper usage and so, the diapers themselves need to be dealt with. The skin won’t have a chance to heal if the exposure to ammonia build-up doesn’t stop.
A yeast infection is a totally different animal and often requires dietary changes along with topical ointments. The following recommendations are for a standard diaper rash.
So what is a “standard” rash?
A rash is inflammation of the skin, appearing red (on light skin) and with raised bumps. It can be itchy, burn, or not be bothersome. These symptoms are important clues to determine with what you are dealing.
Diaper rash occurs on the genitals and buttocks and is most often triggered by the hot and moist environment created by diapers. A rash can be triggered by being in an overly wet or soiled diaper and then it can be tough to heal because the repeat of the same environment.
Diaper rashes can progress into infections if picked, scratched or otherwise opened so it is important to address it right away.
Here are some preventative measures to take:
~Common sense with frequency of diaper changes
~Naked time if possible, particularly outside
~Think cool and dry to resolve the rash
~Avoid soaps, scented products and synthetic balms or creams. Babies can be cleaned with a wet washcloth reserved for the purpose. They do not need to be washed with soap.
Herbal Approaches to Dealing with a Rash
Ingredients for making rash remedies: clays and witch hazel distillate. These can be found here..
A witch hazel decoction or astringent
For a decoction, just decoct (low simmer) witch hazel bark (one alternative is white oak bark), allow to cool, strain and either spray or apply with a cloth. Refrigerate this or mix it with distilled witch hazel to preserve. Using a pre-made, distilled witch hazel astringent is an option too, as these are multi-use bases. Essential oils like lavender, tea tree or chamomile can be added at 5 drops per ounce. Use these at every diaper change and allow to dry if possible.
Powders made from clays, powdered herbs, baking soda, and arrowroot powder can be used:
1. To make a paste for acute situations
2. As a dusting powder to keep area dry
A very basic powder recipe just uses clay and tea tree oil:
Clay – 1 cup
Tea tree oil – 20 drops
Directions: Mix these together very well and store in a cool dry place.
Here is an antimicrobial powder recipe for more stubborn rashes or infections:
Clay – 1 cup
Baking soda – ½ cup
Arrowroot powder – ½ cup
Yarrow powder – ¼ cup
Thyme powder – ¼ cup
Calendula flowers, powdered – ¼ cup
Marshmallow root powder – ¼ cup
Tea tree essential oil – 20 drops
Lavender essential oil – 10 drops
The herbs should all be powdered to a fine mesh. Mix in the other dry ingredients. Add in the essential oils, shake, and store in a cool, dry place.
To make a paste with either of these, just take about a tablespoon and mix with some water, enough to make a spreadable pasty consistency. These pastes are good to use when the rash is stubborn, red and irritated and not going away. Apply and let sit for 20 minutes, rinse off and apply a balm or oil.
Balms, Ointments and Salves
Straight coconut oil is used with great effects: it is antimicrobial and slightly drying.
Honey is another soothing, healing and antimicrobial topical remedy for rashes of all sorts.
If you are dealing with an infection, tend toward herbs like echinacea, thyme, yarrow, oregano, myrrh and calendula to make your salve or balm.
Here is a good base recipe for a diaper rash balm with antimicrobial ingredients:
Coconut oil infused with Echinacea root, thyme, and myrrh – 1 part
Honey – 1 part
Beeswax – 1 part
Follow the basic instructions for making a salve here.