Just what causes a diaper rash? Is it yeast? Teething? Diet? Something in your diapers or diaper cream? Use this handy checklist to see what might be causing your little one’s rashy bum, and to find out what you can do about it!
1. Is baby clean? CHECK! Make sure the baby is clean! Sometimes if your baby has a particularly impressive poop, it's hard to really get all the nooks and folds without actually giving your baby a bath, so make sure all the tender parts are clean AND dried before applying any balm.
2. Safe wipes? CHECK! Speaking of wiping, make sure your wipes aren't a part of the problem. It’s easy to make sure they are part of the solution instead (pardon the pun). While store-bought wipes can be very convenient, the solution they swim in has to be preserved. Most artificial preservatives contain ingredients known to cause skin irritation. Very often, wipe solutions contain artificial fragrance and other worrisome toxins too. When in doubt, make your own wipes, it’s easy and you’ll know just what’s in there! Click here to find out how!
3. Non-toxic Diaper Cream? CHECK! Is the diaper cream you’re using actually causing or contributing to the rash? Many contain the same worrisome ingredients as wipes: artificial preservatives, artificial fragrance, petroleum based ingredients and more toxic chemicals. Butt (!) it’s worse, since irritating balms stay on baby’s skin, which can really up the owie factor. Since many also contain a moisture barrier, little parts don’t get much chance to breathe. Choose a balm that doesn’t have irritating chemicals, and something that will heal raw, injured skin while preventing yeast/bacterial infections.
4. New food? CHECK! Has there been a recent addition to the diet? Something might not be agreeing with your little one's delicate digestive system! We hear lots of stories of well-intentioned friends and relations thinking it was good idea to give your baby a “treat.” Sometimes a new addition to the diet can be more of a trick than a treat, so if diaper rash is a problem, make a mental note of diet changes in the past few days.
5. Teeth? CHECK! Teething can cause what we refer to as “battery acid poop.” Theories abound as to why teething babies tend to have diarrhea, but whatever the cause, it can be miserable. The best remedy is to make sure your baby is changed immediately – baby skin is no match for battery acid poop. Make sure baby is wiped clean, and the area is dry. It’s the perfect time for naked minutes to make sure the area is well cleaned and aired! Then before re-diapering apply a good slathering of a safe, non-toxic, protective, preventative balm to guard the skin from coming in contact with the inevitable next poop.
6. Is it the diaper? CHECK! Here’s what cloth diapering expert Shari Criso has to say: Babies get diaper rashes for many reasons, but the reason or cause that is least identified or considered is the actual diaper itself! That’s right, disposable diapers are a leading cause of skin irritation in babies who wear them. It is the number one cause that I see in newborns (like 3 or 4 day olds) with red, irritated bottoms. The reason for this is that all the chemicals that are used in making the diaper are against your baby’s skin 24 hours a day! Some babies are more sensitive than others, and this chemical burn or reaction can range from redness everywhere the disposable diaper is touching, to severe burns and even systemic reactions like rashes and eczema all over the baby’s body! Your baby’s skin should not be a different color where the diaper touches than the rest of his/her body. This may seem obvious, but we can get so used to seeing it a certain way that we just assume it is “normal.” It is not. All disposable diapers are made of plastic and have harmful chemicals in them. It is just a fact. Some brands have more than others, but they all have it! Some will cause more of a reaction in your baby. The best way to avoid ALL chemical exposure from diapers is to use cloth diapers for all or at least some of the time. Remember your child will be coming in contact with this diaper 24 hours per day for at least 3 years!!
7. Is it yeast? CHECK! Certified Herbalist Karin Parramore has this to say: Most diaper rash is caused by Candida, a common fungus that lives on our skin, especially in warm and moist places like skin folds. Normally a healthy body is able to keep in check. Offer the right conditions, though, and Candida fungal infections can arise quite easily. A wet diaper is the perfect environment to encourage yeast infections — warm, moist, and relatively low in oxygen, as most diapers are designed to create a seal around chubby little baby legs. If mom or baby is taking antibiotics the likelihood of developing a fungal infection rapidly increases, as the antibiotics reduce beneficial bacteria that could help control fungal overgrowth. In order to know if what you are seeing is a fungal infection, look for deep red (often scaly) patches with well-defined borders. Usually there will be little patches developing near the main rash. As fungal infections tend to be harder to clear up, the sooner the rash is treated the better. The ingredients found in Organic Diaper Balm are fantastic against fungal infections. As a bonus, many of these same ingredients are wound healers that will help baby's bottom get back to a healthy, balanced state.
8. Looking for a pure, safe diaper cream? CHECK! Organic Diaper Balm (formerly Angel Baby Bottom Balm) is Earth Mama's #1 best selling salve. Clinically tested, safe for cloth diapers, and safely battles existing diaper rash and protects against flare-ups. The only balm made with organic olive oil infused with a proprietary blend of naturally antibacterial and antifungal organic herbs, shea butter and pure essential oils, soothes thrush, itchy bug bites, scrapes, chicken pox, minor rashes, and burns. Allergy tested, non-irritating Organic Diaper Balm is smooth and soothing, and works as the perfect first aid balm for the whole family!