Diaper rashes are one of those problems that the baby industry tells us that the only remedy is to slap some ointment on your baby’s bottom and hope for the best. A lot of times the creams don’t work very well- or they are so full of toxins that I wouldn’t have them in my home. Sara Chana Silverstein, a New York based, international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC), classical homeopath, herbalist, lecturer, author, wife and mother of seven children (yes, she really is superwoman!), wrote an article for us on some of the surprising causes of diaper rash and natural remedies to get rid of them.
Diaper Rash By Sara Chana Silverstein
When a baby is first born I usually advise the caregiver not use any creams or powders on the baby’s bottom because newborn babies should not get diaper rashes. The usual causes for diaper rash are yeast infections, food allergies, digestion problems, sensitivity to the diaper, and diarrhea. Therefore, if a baby does suffer from a diaper rash, it is the caregiver’s job to play the detective and try to determine its cause. Finding and getting rid of the irritant that is causing the rash is the top priority in preventing future diaper rashes—which is always our goal.
Often babies will get yeasty rashes after the mother or baby has ingested antibiotics—as is commonly the case when an antibiotic was taken to control strep B during delivery. However, if the rash is due to a food allergy, which can happen if the mother is breastfeeding, then the mother will need to figure out which foods she needs to stay away from. Because this is very difficult to determine, unless you’re willing to starve yourself and add only necessary foods slowly back into your diet, I will advise a mom to eat according to her blood type, which usually helps with this condition. If the baby is formula-feeding, which can also be the cause of an allergic diaper rash, then the mother will need to change formula brands in order to clear up her child’s rash. Another, often over-looked cause of diaper rash is sensitivity to the disposable diaper itself. Most of these diapers are filled with a gel that expands as the baby urinates, which can also be the source of an irritated bottom. Since different companies use different gels and perfumes, babies might get rashes from one diaper brand and not from another. Mothers are always surprised to see that if they change brands, often the rash resolves without any further intervention.
French green clay-which is often sold as a facial mask, is remarkably helpful for the yeasty variety of diaper rash. To accomplish this, the green clay is sprinkled over the rash during every diaper change. The green clay works to smother the yeast, preventing it from proliferating, while at the same time healing the skin.
Calendula Ointment- helps to heal diaper rash resulting from food allergies, digestive problems or diarrhea. Your goal with this treatment is to put a thick layer of the ointment between the skin and the offending stool—while the ointment creates a needed barrier, the calendula aids in healing the skin. It is important to note that calendula ointment is what is specifically needed and not calendula in the cream form.
Plantain oil- is particularly useful for a diaper rash that resulted from an allergic reaction. The plantain plant has anti-allergic properties and it will soothe and relive the inflammation associated with a rash. In addition to its use in alleviating diaper rash, plantain oil is also useful for mosquito bites and chaffed skin, so you will get plenty of use for this product. Unfortunately, plantain oil will not be found in your local health food store, so you will need to order this extraordinary product on-line. The best companies to order from, for the purity and potency of their herbal mixtures, are http://www.healingspiritsherbfarm.com/ and www.woodlandessence.com.
Homeopathic remedy Sulpher 6c- is good to use if the child’s bottom is very red and inflamed, and the topical remedies are not helping enough. The remedy Sulpher 6c is extremely curative in this matter, when taken three times daily, until the baby’s bottom is visibly healed. The homeopathic remedy is administered in the baby’s mouth and many homeopathic companies make the homeopathic granules the size of sand so it can safely be ingested by newborns.
The old statement “soft as a baby’s bottom,” should be experienced without the soreness of a red itchy diaper rash, swathed in powder—which does not begin to get at the cause of the irritation. Instead it should be our goal to clear up this problem for good, so that we can look at our babies’ bottoms with pride and joy—and perhaps a pinch or a nip!
Sara Chana Silverstein is a Brooklyn-based, international board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC), classical homeopath, herbalist, businesswoman, wife and mother of seven children. Sara is your teacher and guide as you navigate the challenging worlds of working mom and/or breastfeeding mother, revealing the secrets to taking charge of your own health for the wellbeing of both you and your child. She is a highly sought-after public speaker, presenting an array of topics in an intelligent, compelling, funny, provocative, and exciting way.