Bath for Diaper Rash: Baking Soda, Oatmeal, Epsom Salt

Diaper rash is a very common skin condition that mostly occurs in babies between 9 and 12 months of age. Several things can cause the rash. These include chafing, diarrhea, use of antibiotics, bacterial infection, chemical irritation and the introduction of new foods. A diaper rash due to a yeast (candida) infection is more serious and persistent.

Typical signs include skin redness, irritation and swelling. Pain may also be present. Normally, the rash appears on areas covered by diapers. A severe rash may extend to adjacent areas.

Most babies are able to recover without complications or need for medical treatment. But if the rash persists for several days without improvement even with home treatments, parents are advised to check with their doctors. Baths are one of the commonly used home remedies for diaper rash treatment. This article investigates the use of diaper rash bath for treatment.

How to use baking soda bath for diaper rash

Baking soda is commonly used to treat different skin conditions such as eczema, sunburns, yeast infections and psoriasis. There are various ways in which you can use baking soda bath for diaper rash.

Use with warm water:

This is perhaps the easiest method. You will need 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda and 4 cups of warm water. Mix the two and soak a clean wash cloth in the water. Wash your baby’s diaper area with the cloth and pat dry. The solution will protect your baby from acidity.

Use in baths:

  • Add 3 teaspoons of baking soda to warm bath water
  • Let your baby soak in the solution for about 15 minutes
  • Pat dry. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing to avoid further irritation
  • Repeat the process 3 times a day

Use with oatmeal:

Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda, ¼ cup of blended oatmeal and a teaspoon of milk to warm bath water. Bath your baby in the mixture for 15 minutes and pat dry. Repeat this process 2 times a day.

Use with lard:

You will need 2 teaspoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons lard, 2 drops vitamin E oil and 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel. Begin with adding vitamin E oil or aloe vera gel to lard. After that, wash the affected areas, preferably with warm water, and pat dry. Apply the lard mixture you have prepared to the affected areas and follow it up with baking powder. Place a clean diaper on or if you have the time, let your baby stay diaper free for a couple of minutes.

Use with olive oil:

You will need few drops of olive oil, 2 tablespoons yogurt and 2 teaspoons baking soda. Begin with applying the yogurt to baby’s diaper area. Allow a couple of minutes to pass before rinsing off and patting dry. Now, apply baking soda directly, and then wait for about 45 minutes before applying olive oil.

Use in baking soda sitz:

A sitz bath helps soothe the bottom and genital area. A baking soda sitz bath is not much different from the way you would use baking soda with warm bath water.

If your baby has broken skin, sores or blisters, avoid baking soda baths. A recipe for homemade cream with baking soda would be a better idea.  Try not to overuse baking soda for it can cause skin irritation. Always remember to rinse with clean water after baths. If the condition doesn’t improve, check with your doctor.

How to use oatmeal bath for diaper rash

Oatmeal bath for diaper rash is inexpensive and also effective. In fact, the treatment can also be used for skin condition such as eczema. Oatmeal has skin hydrating properties and also promotes skin healing. You can buy oatmeal or blend at home. Colloidal oatmeal is the best to use in baths.

To make a natural diaper rash treatment with oatmeal bath, begin by finely blending the oatmeal so that it easily absorbs water. Add a tablespoon of the fine oatmeal to bath water and let your baby soak in the mixture for 15 minutes. Repeat the treatment 2 times a day.

Another way to make an oatmeal bath for diaper rash involves sprinkling a cup of oatmeal under running water until a bath tub fills. From there, repeat the 15 minutes soaking and pat dry. Apply a moisturizer afterwards. Ensure not to soak in for too long because the bath can dry out the skin, causing more irritation.

How to use Epsom salt bath for diaper rash

Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate. This is the substance that promotes skin softness and reduces irritation. To make an Epsom salt bath for diaper rash, add ¼ cup of Epsom salt to a baby’s tub filled with warm bath water. Ensure the salt is completely dissolved in the water before letting your baby soak in it for 15 minutes.

Alternatively, you can add half Epsom salt and half sea salt to the bath water and repeat the 15 minutes soak. Be careful not to overuse Epsom salt baths because they can also result in skin dryness.

Care measures after diaper rash bath

You may have noticed that the period recommended for a diaper rash bath is 10-20 minutes. Soaking in the bath for too long promotes skin dryness. Dry skin is prone to different forms of injuries which may ultimately result in diaper rash.

After patting dry, mums are advised to apply a diaper rash cream containing zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is a skin soother. It also promotes skin healing.

In case you do not have diaper rash cream, you can use petroleum jelly. It provides a protective layer that keeps diaper wastes from coming into direct contact with baby’s skin.

Nowadays, use of powders during diaper changes is going out of favor. Powders that contain talc are associated with breathing problems since the tiny particles can easily find their way into the baby’s lungs. If you decide to use powders, choose ones that contain cornstarch. Is cornstarch good for diaper rash? Cornstarch is not as airborne as talc since it has larger particles. However, there is no compelling evidence that its use promotes faster recovery from diaper rash. Ensure to keep some distance between you and baby when shaking the powder into your hand.

You can also try treating diaper rash with breast milk. Breast milk has soothing effects and contains antibodies which may help with diaper rash bleeding treatment. But be careful not to use breast milk on diaper rash caused by yeast infection.

Many parents find over the counter products such as aquaphor diaper rash ointment and aveeno products helpful. They work by producing relief to pain, inflammation, redness and other symptoms of diaper rash.

Other preventive measures include:

  • Frequent diaper changes – the main cause of diaper rash is wetness in the diaper region. Moisture causes skin fragility. Prolonged contact with fecal matter and urine results in irritation due to presence of ammonia. Wetness also promotes the wet conditions that favor yeast overgrowth.
  • Take it easy with solids – most babies develop diaper at the end of their first year of life. This is when they are learning to take solid foods and to sit. As a result, diarrhea or production loose and acidic stools may occur. If diaper rash is being caused by new foods, skip citrus fruits, fruit juices and wheat cereals and lean more on BRAT diet. BRAT diet can also be used as teething diaper rash treatment.
  • Wash your hands before and after – to prevent candida or strep diaper rash contagious infections, ensure to wash your hands before and after changing baby’s diapers.
  • Check with your doctor – if the rash doesn’t improve with home treatments after 5 days, check with your doctor. It could be resulting from yeast or bacterial infections. These require medical diaper rash treatment for babies.