There are a lot of diaper rash creams, ointments, gels, and even medications out there, but a lot of them contain nasty, dangerous, or even irritating chemicals.
Diaper rashes can be tricky, since every baby is different, and there can be many, many causes of rashes, from food allergies and acidity to a yeast infection or even viruses.
Whether you decide to buy a product or use things you have in the house, there's a lot of ways to treat rashes without ever letting something toxic touch your precious baby's booty.
Here's a guide on what to buy and what to avoid.
Skip anything with BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole). On the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being the most dangerous, this ingredient rates a 10 for being a known toxicant, hormone disruptor, carcinogen, causing changes on a cellular level, and for being bio-accumulative, meaning its toxins build up and stay in the body. Yikes. This is in one of the most popular brands of diaper rash ointment, sadly. Check to see if it's in yours. Skip dimethicone as well, which is also noted as a toxic carcinogen.
If you do decide you want to buy a diaper rash product, there are some great, safe ones out there, such as Motherlove's Diaper Rash and Thrush Cream ($10.39 on Amazon), Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm ($14.95 at Target), or Sweet Knee's Bun Glaze ($10.95 on SweetKnee.com) all of which score a refreshing 0 on the Cosmetics Database.
One of the cheapest and most popular green options is simply to use single ingredients found in your own kitchen. You can use them individually or combine to cheaply make your own natural balm. You've got lots of options to choose from:
- Water. One of the things that can often cause rashes is constant wiping from wipes and even the chemicals in baby wipes. Rinsing your baby with water and then patting dry or allowing to air dry can head off and help heal a lot of issues.
- Extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed coconut oil. My personal favorite, and the jar has lasted me well over a year. It has healed every single rash or irritation except for yeast, but even helped soothe the skin for that. Just scoop a tiny bit out with your fingers and rub on the skin.
- Corn starch. For moisture-related issues, skip the baby powder and just add some corn starch on baby's hiney before rediapering.
- Yogurt and probiotics. For babies who are already eating solids, a good low-sugar, no fruit yogurt with active bacteria or a powdered live probiotic mixed into food can help kill off any yeast, often even faster or better than a prescription ointment can. You can also apply it straight to the butt. Yes, seriously.
- Calendula. Mixed in with something like olive oil or even plantain, it's soothing to the skin.
- Lavender or tea tree oil in a carrier oil. A couple drops of these essential oils (medical/pharmacy grade) into some of the oils I mentioned above help add a little antimicrobical properties to an already-good method.
- Air. The cheapest solution of all is letting baby go naked. Air does a baby's skin a lot of good. Especially when they're not mobile, keeping a towel under a naked baby as often as possible is the best prevention and easiest treatment, along with prompt changes -- no letting the diaper "fill up" before changing. If it's dirty or wet, change it immediately.
What was your favorite, chemical-free way to treat diaper rash?
Image via Lorel Hartley of Nurturing Notions