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Diaper Rash: Herbal First Aid

Diaper Rash: Herbal First Aid

Changing diapers is not a favorite part of any parent’s life but a bad case of diaper rash can turn this routine into a nightmare. A red bottom is the first sign of diaper rash. This irritation is the result of sitting too long in urine soaked diapers. It can worsen into open sores which become susceptible to bacterial infections if left untreated.

Some babies are more prone to diaper rash than others. Babies who react to high acid foods such as tomatoes or citrus are more likely to develop diaper rash. Nursing mothers of these children may notice  their child shows discomfort after they nurse if the mother has eaten high acid foods. Often, fair skinned babies are more susceptible to diaper rash than others. A good diaper wipe is often the best preventative care you can provide.

Commercial baby powder has a long list of ingredients. Any one of these items could trigger an allergic reaction in newborns. Fortunately, herbal baby powder is as easy to make as turning on a blender. Find a base you’re comfortable with, such as organic corn starch or rice powder, for a natural baby powder base.

Add other ingredients that soothe the skin, such as calendula or chamomile. Lavender is another good choice for babies who are allergic to plants in the sunflower family. Diaper rash that breaks out into open blisters can be soothed by adding oatmeal into the blend.

Most baby ointments are full of chemicals as well. Zinc is a good additive for skin protection, but the extra chemicals don’t help babies at all. A calendula cream in a botanical oil and beeswax base is all a parent needs to protect against the ravages of diaper rash.

Remember, the best protection is prevention. Diaper rash can be caused by something as simple as a change in laundry soap or as complicated as fungal infection. Keep baby clean and dry. Be aware that disposable diapers can be the cause of diaper rash for some babies as well. Introduce new foods carefully. Remember that breastfeeding when taking antibiotics can trigger a reaction in your child as well.

List of Herbal Allies for Treatment of Diaper Rash


Seek medical attention if the diaper rash worsens considerable despite home care. Diaper rash is a common childhood condition that’s usually handled at home, but if it’s accompanied by a fever, extends beyond the diaper area, has weepy discharge or erupts into blisters or boils, you need extra help from a qualified medical professional.



Sue Sierralupe

Sue Sierralupé is a Certified Master Herbalist, Master Gardener and Sustainable Landscape Specialist. She is the clinic manager and lead herbalist at Occupy Medical clinic. Sue is author of The Pocket Herbal: Medicinal Plants that Changed the World and co-author of The Practical Herbalist Herbal Folios series. Follow her blog at Herbalism Manifesto for commentary on herbs, parenting, nutrition and a whole lot more.

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