How to Naturally Treat Baby Skin Rashes
Preventing and Treating Baby Rashes Naturally
Rashes are perhaps one of the more common ailments faced by babies. Sitting in a wet diaper or on plastic-lined mattresses can bring moisture and temperature levels to ideal conditions for the formation of rashes of all types. This article will highlight key steps you can take to prevent and treat baby rashes.
Preventing baby skin rashes
Folk wisdom and ancient techniques often prove to be the most effective means by which to treat baby skin rashes of all types. Prevention has long been believed to be the best medicine and can help reduce skin rash troubles. Plus, you’ll likely invest in fewer costly products for treatment by stopping problems before they start, using the following techniques:
- Air baby out: Allowing your baby to lie naked or with a loosely-fitted cloth diaper on a blanket or towel for extended periods of time will help them to dry off naturally. A technique used by proponents of the elimination communication method, this is a great way to keep baby’s skin dry and rash-free.
- Avoid conventional baby wipes: Made with perfumes and chemicals that can irritate baby’s skin, commercial baby wipes often do more harm than good. Use water and cloth wipes instead to clean baby between diaper changes. Check out our natural wipes article.
- Use natural detergents: Like commercial baby wipes, conventional laundry detergents often contain strong perfumes and chems that are irritating (for adults and babies alike!).
- Frequent diaper changes: At the first signs of a diaper rash, consider changing your baby more frequently to keep urine and stool from irritating the skin.
Treating baby rashes naturally with creams and powders
If your baby’s rash gets away from you, however, you may want to turn to a topical cream or powder to treat the problem. Unfortunately, though there are strict laws regulating the use of chemicals in foods (in the US and Canada), the laws regulating the personal care industry are far from adequate. Many ingredients have never been tested and pose a whole host of human health concerns, yet are used in abundance.
In particular, you’ll want to avoid the following ingredients when looking for products to treat baby rashes:
- Boric acid: This is an inorganic ingredient that is added to personal care products as a denaturant, an antimicrobial agent, and a biocide, but has been linked to both reproductive and developmental problems as well as cancer.
- Diethanolamine (DEA): This is a surfactant that is used in things like baby washes and shampoos and is considered a toxic substance.
- Parabens: This class of chemicals is used to preserve many personal care products, but have been linked to hormone disruption and other human health problems.
- Phthalates: Used to help products maintain their fragrances, phthalates are known testicular toxins and hormone disruptors.
- Sodium borate: This inorganic salt is the main ingredient used to make cockroach poison. It is used in personal care products as a pH adjuster and has been linked to developmental and reproductive problems as well as cancer.
- Talc: Talc is a natural mined mineral (mining is not an eco-friendly industry) that can come out of the ground naturally-infused with asbestos, a known carcinogen. Though talc has been used for decades by parents trying to control moisture and odor, it’s not recommended for your baby. Choose ingredients like baking soda and cornstarch instead.
Natural baby rash creams
There are, however, many natural, plant-derived, effective ingredients used in healthier, more eco-friendly baby skin care products. These are the most commonly used natural ingredients added to baby rash creams and powders:
- Calendula: Taken from pot marigold flowers, calendula officinalis is great for skin irritations and rashes, including diaper rash.
- Zinc oxide: This inert, opaque compound is a safe treatment for things like diaper rashes in zinc oxide creams.
- Evening primrose oil: This gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is a natural fatty acid and works as an anti-inflammatory agent, making it a great option for skin conditions.
If you want natural products for treating diaper rash, then try out the following reliable brands of natural baby care products:
Of course, Ecolife will always recommend that you purchase cruelty-free skin care products, whether they’re for baby or for you. Look for the Certified Vegan or Leaping Bunny logos to assure that your chosen products don’t come at the pain of other creatures.
1 Boric Acid. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2010, from Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Saftey Database: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=700799
2 Sodium Borate. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2010, from Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Saftey Database: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=705996
3 Calendula. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2010, from Dr. Weil: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/REM00003
4 Evening Primrose Oil. (n.d.). Retrieved Spril 13, 2010, from Dr. Weil: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/ART00354