The expression “smooth as a babies bottom” didn’t come out of thin air. There is nothing like the adorable fresh baby skin of those tiny twin tooshies. But when diaper rash strikes, those adorable baby bottoms can get red and inflamed in a hot second. Luckily, there are lots of options to nip a diaper rash in the bud.
Diaper rash, or diaper dermatitis, is inflammation on the outer layers of the skin of the area that is typically enclosed in the diaper. Usually there are flat legions of discolored and itchy skin. There are many causes of diaper rash and they range from infrequent changes, diarrhea or abrupt dietary changes (if breastfeeding, this includes changes to the mothers’ diet), a course of antibiotics, illness, friction from ill-fitting diapers, laundry detergents, bacterial or yeast infections, and even allergies.
Urine or fecal matter pressed up against the skin can break down the protective barrier. It is common for this to pop up around the nine to twelve month stage as new foods are rapidly introduced. Please set aside the parent guilt friends. You are doing the best you can and sometimes, itch happens!
Do remember, though, an untreated diaper rash can eventually become a yeast infection (candida overgrowth), so it’s best to act quickly and calm down those angry bottoms as best you can. Let’s talk about what you can do.
The best place to start when combatting diaper rash is frequent changes and air time. We know, we know, you may feel like you are already changing diapers a million times a day, but keeping wet diapers at a minimum is key. As your twinzies get older, changes may become less frequent, especially when you are not prompted by newborn cries. And if the skin barrier is broken down, a small amount of urine that normally wouldn’t cause a problem may trigger issues.
It is probably also a good idea to pay attention to the kind of wipes you are using, and choose something for sensitive skin. Simply using a soft cloth and a spray bottle of water to remove any feces is a great choice. So go ahead and throw a few extra changes in to keep their diapers as dry as possible.
In addition, warm summer weather is around the corner, which is the perfect time to let the little munchkins go commando. Set a blanket or towel up in the house or a sunny backyard and let those bottoms take a break from being all bound up. They’ll probably get a kick out of it! It may get a little messy, but nothing a quick bath can’t fix.
There is no lack of choices when it comes to diaper creams and everyone seems to have a favorite. As you are making a selection, try to avoid ones that contain too many harsh chemicals that can be absorbed in their sensitive skin. Look for ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax and calendula. Shea butter is great for diaper rash because it is both anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. You can even do a quick amazon search and buy pure shea butter that will store neatly in a small tin. Calendula is wonderful because it is soothing and anti-inflammatory. One of our faves in the commercial diaper cream category is Weleda’s Baby Diaper Rash Cream.
For choices that are a little more outside of the box, consider magnesium oil, Silver Shield, Medi-honey, and even coconut oil. Magnesium oil has wound healing properties and a study in a pediatric ward found it effective for the treatment of diaper dermatitis.
Some parents have had success clearing a suspected yeast diaper rash with Silver Shield gel. This gel is formulated in such a way as to pose no risk of heavy metal contamination. It could be a great option and a handy thing to have in the first aid cabinet nonetheless.
Medi-honey is used for wound care and infections, and might be another option to consider with a difficult diaper rash. Although it is honey, it is irradiated to prevent the chance of botulism and is frequently used on neonates. This is another versatile item to stock in your first aid stash.
Finally, coconut oil is always a good option for soothing an irritated bum. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal and acts as a great barrier to protect sensitive skin. Many people have also had luck combining it with tea tree oil, lavender oil, or grapefruit seed extract.
Okay this one might sound crazy, but it appears to be highly effective. Bentonite clay is a powdered rock substance of volcanic ash. It has lots of helpful uses and one of them might be for curing diaper rash. One study showed significant healing within hours. Due to its ability to absorb moisture and impurities, it can help dry up the area and fight bacteria. The best way to utilize the clay is to make a paste with water and let it dry before gently rinsing it off. This may be a good thing to try when you are doing your commando time! It also makes a wonderful facial mask, so you could beautify yourself while healing a bum. Score!
If you have diarrhea or suspect diaper rash due to changes in diet, consider doing a BRAT diet to get things under control. BRAT stands for bread, rice, applesauce and toast which are foods that can help end irritating diarrhea. Starches add bulk to the stools and are generally easy to digest. Fats and sugars can make the problems worse. If you suspect candida is a problem for your child, consider supplementing with clove tea to help control the candida overgrowth. Boil 3 cloves in 20 ounces of water and serve your child roughly one quarter of a cup of the water a day. It can be sweetened with stevia drops to make it more palatable, but most kids don’t mind the flavor too much.
As you can tell, there are plenty of ways to fight in the battle of the bums. Every child is different, and you are sure to find a way to get those chubby cherubs sitting happy in no time.
*This article provides suggestions by TwinGo Carrier, LLC for dealing with diaper rash and is in no way intended as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.