Treating Diaper Rash Naturally


I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret of mine. One that I hate to admit with every fiber of my being, but sometimes the truth hurts. As much as I love the idea of natural products, and medicine free remedies 8 times out of 10 (and maybe even closer to 9) they haven’t been successful for me.

I think I have tried every natural prevention and cure for migraines that has ever been dreamed up, and thus far nothing has worked. Same goes for my seborrheic dermatitis. And don’t even get me started on natural deodorants. I have found one concoction with diluted magnesium oil that actually keeps the stink to a minimum, but even diluted the magnesium oil breaks my skin out if I use it more than 2 days consecutively (I alternate with just straight tea tree oil).

But, I refuse to believe that humans survived these everyday maladies for centuries before modern medicine and beauty products, but somehow we can’t. And I love my natural goods so much, that I just keep trying. So most of the time I try a number of different recommendations (and some of the same ones I’ve tried over and over again without success – what’s the definition of crazy again?), ultimately decide they don’t work, and then suffer through whatever problem I’m having until it either finally goes away on its own, or gets so bad there is no other choice but to let medicine intervene. Maybe all those people over the centuries just did better with dealing with pain on a daily basis that we are?

So when Aubrey had her first bout of diaper rash, as always I searched for a natural remedy. And while I can’t say which thing specifically did the trick, the combination actually worked for once. In fact, I kind of think the combination IS the trick. So here’s what worked for us to cure some really nasty diaper rash.

  1. Air It Out – Air is a diaper rash’s worst enemy. Let your little one go diaper free as much as possible. Luckily it was warm enough for Aubrey to play outside on the patio while this went on. We put her down on a beach towel, and when there was a mess we just hosed the patio down and cleaned her up. She did have poop-splosion inside one day, which made me extremely grateful to have all tile floors and a steam mop that kills 99% of bacteria 🙂
  2. Oil It Up – I mixed together some coconut oil with lavender and tea tree essential oils (we only use Young Living oils these days, click here to learn about getting started with YL, or feel free to send me any questions to learn more about them!), and applied it at every diaper change. I’ve also read melrose is a great oil to use as well, but we didn’t have it on hand at the time. 
    • Coconut oil has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties, while also helping hydrate and nourish the skin.
    • Lavender known as the swiss army knife of essential oils, it is antiseptic, antifungal, an analgesic (helps with the pain), and helps to regenerate and heal skin tissue.
    • Tea Tree Oil is an antiviral and antifungal, and encourages blood flow to the area applied helping the healing process. 
  3. Take A Break From Cloth – It hurts me to write that one, but as much as I love our cloth diapers, they not only kept Aubrey’s rash from healing, they made it worse once the original area had started healing. I don’t think this was a yeast rash, but if it was, yeast can live in your cloth diapers and has to be killed. I’m going to treat ours for yeast anyway just to be on the safe side. The other issue is that the cloth, whether cotton or microfiber, still holds moisture against the skin, versus disposables that absorb it into some sort of gel and generally keep babies bums a lot dryer. So we switched disposables in till the rash healed.
  4. Oatmeal Baths – I read you can also use epsom salts for this, but we had oatmeal on hand so that’s what we went with. Just put some in an old sock (make use of those lonely pairs hanging out in your laundry room) and toss it in when it’s bath time. The oats release a milky like substance that helps heal and soothe. 
And that’s it! Thankfully, even though it looked absolutely terrible (redness, blistery looking skin, and peeling), Aubrey never really acted like it hurt her at all. But after putting the above actions into place it was almost completely gone within a couple of days. I had already made a doctor’s appointment because we were leaving for our big trip through Europe soon and I didn’t want to have to deal with a bad rash while we were gone. We kept the appointment even though the rash was almost gone, and the doctor looked at it almost surprised and told me we had done had great job treating it. She gave us a prescription to have on hand just in case, but said if the oils and air worked to just stick with that, especially since the medicine is so strong and can only be used minimally. 

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