37 answers

Natural Remedies for Red, Itchy Rash

My 21 month old boy has this large red rash on his bum/lower back. It started out small and didn't bother him and it was getting better but just this morning I got him out of bed and it is much worse and he is itching it now. The red areas are slightly raised and some areas are peeling. We are letting him run around with out his diaper as much as possible and we use Seventh Generation diapers so I know it isn't a sensitivity to his diaper. So, far we have just been using Earth's Best diaper rash onitment. I am wondering if any one has any all natural remedies I can use for this rash and the itching. Maybe someone might know what kind of rash this is? I originally thought it was a teething rash as he is working on his 2-year molars but this seems much worse than the teething rashes in the past.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I got so much good advice and I learned quite a bit as well. We went to the doctor and it turns out he has contact dermatitis. I think it was my friend's HIGHLY fragrant wipes we used while visiting her. So, we have to keep it very well moisturized and only use water until it clears up. I have been using Coconut Oil and it already looks so much better. Thank you again! This website is such an amazing tool for us Moms!

More Answers

Kudos to you for trying to keep things safe and natural. It can be difficult sometimes, but worth it. I hate to say it, but DON'T TRUST 7th GENERATION DIAPERS TO BE WHAT THEY SOUND LIKE THEY ARE! I love and use most 7th Generation products, and while I can't say whether or not the diapers actively caused your son's rash, I can tell you that they are just like any other disposable diaper you get at Kmart or the Grocery Store etc, and I can tell you that during the times that we used them, my daughter did get rashes. While white, many other diapers including Huggies don't use chlorine for the bleaching process either, yet that is one of 7th Generation's big ad claims about their product. Additionally, while their other cleaning products etc. are biodegradable, their diapers and wipes are not. They are exactly the same as all the other diapers in your regular store. They are made from the same materials and are just as bad in the landfill. The main difference is that they COST MORE than the diapers and wipes they pretend to be so different from. Aside from reading and checking out and using the products myself a few times, I have gone head to head with 7th Generation representatives at the Green Festivals, and they admit that this is all true of their diapers, but say "We can only try to fix one thing at a time." or "We plan to address that in the future." but they never do and they won't until enough people call them on it! I've been complaining at them for 5 years now! (Sorry for the rant, but disposable diapers are a "hot button" with me, and it irritates me that 7th Generation is so misleading about this product.) :) Anyway, some companies to check into if you really want an alternative diaper are 1.) Nature Boy and Girl if you can find any. At the start, the company underestimated their demand, weren't able to fill it, and had to close. But there have been rumors here and there that it will be restarted. Nature Boy and Girl diapers were terrific. My daughter never got rashes, they had no bleach or gel in them and they were made from Bio-film and absorbent wood-pulp fiber so they were 100% compostable (if only urine) and 100% biodegradable. 2.) G-diapers were great! (www.gdiapers.com or Elephant Pharm. Don't know if Whole Foods still has them. They went full on for 7th Generation to be their "keystone" despite the fact that some of their employees know the problem with them too.) G-diapers come in cute colors. They are comprised out of a totally washable, cotton outer diaper with washable snap-in nylon liners. You keep the diapers and liners and buy absorbent inserts that are totally natural, 100% flushable, compostable and biodegradable. We loved them. Initially a small investment to get the diapers and liners, but by the time you've purchased several packs of inserts you are saving money. 3.) Tushies are unbleached and use the absorbent wood-pulp for the filling. The outer shell is like any other diaper and not biodegradable, but they are a "lesser-evil" compared to some of the rest.

As for the rash, I'd have a doctor double check it if it's really persistent. Baby powders with talc aren't great, and can cause irritation for some kids. On the flip side, the natural cornstarch based powder can help harbor bacteria against his skin if his diaper is moist, thus causing a bacterial rash, or he could have a sensitivity to a plant extract in the product although that would be a less common problem. Many natural remedies can work, but it's important to be sure of what you are treating. I can't recall if I've read a label for Earth's Best, but I've generally been happy with their products. Burt's Bees products have really gone down-hill so I can't recommend them anymore. Letting him run around in dry air will help no matter what, so you are doing good there. You can also try giving him a couple of warm baths with baking soda and letting him sit in it for 5-10 minutes. Baking soda can sometimes help. If you have an Elephant Pharm near you, you might stop in to see what they currently have. I've found them to be much more knowledgeable than Whole Foods and they can probably help you in picking a new product if it's determined that there needs to be a change in what you are using, or recommend something to help with the rash if a doctor doesn't feel it needs more serious attention. Hope this helped. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

It makes my heart sing when mom's are learning about natural products!!! Oftentimes, the best things to use are those we have in our kitchen!

I'd recommend a baking soda bath for the rash. You can also take some oatmeal, grind it up in a coffee grinder or mortal/pestle and throw it in for the itching. Another way to use these things is to make them into a paste (with water) and dab on the bumps directly. Lastly, even though it is not a diaper rash creme... ARBORDOUN's abundantly herbal calendula cream is a must have for your herbal apothecary!!! Check out www.arbordoun.com.

The cream contains: olive oil, aloe gel (!!!! cooling, ahhh) purified water, herbal extracts of calendula, oregon grape and comfrey, beeswax, vegetable glycerin, lecithin, vitamin e, citrus seed extract, lavender oil.

Happy journeys on your natural path!

1 mom found this helpful

I use Arbonne's baby products - they are all natural, without chemicals or mineral oil or any animal by-products. Using the wash and lotion (and possibly the baby oil) I think would help. They also have a diaper rash cream. You can visit my website at www.everydaycounts.myarbonne.com or call me with any questions at ###-###-####. Good luck.


1 mom found this helpful

As for causes, what about the size of the dipe? Is it too big and rubbing when he moves? Too small? Have you tried a cloth diaper for a few days? While 7th Gen. are processed w/o chlorine, the diaper itself still contains many chemicals which could be causing irritation. Paper has to go thru intense processing to turn into the quasi-cloth that makes up the disposable diaper. Even if he's not affected by the detergents in his clothes, the chemicals in the diaper combined w/ acidic urine could cause a rash. That, and they still have a polymer gel for the absorbant material in the crotch area & contain some petroleum based products as most disposabled do, which is the cause of many of the allergies experienced by sposie sensitive babies. (Here's a thread on them I found on Diaperswappers-- http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2979... )
Maybe you could try a diaper cover (Gerber at Babies R Us are cheap, tho not pretty ;) and stuff it w/ a trifolded prefold (also at BRU) or the G-Diapers inserts sold at Whole Foods for a week just to see if the disposable dipe is the culprit?
As for a remedy, calendula ointment (not the gel which has a lot of other ingredients) found at Whole Foods (by Boiron) is an effective and natural soother for irritated skin. It's our go-to ointment for just about everything.
For more intensive rash treatment, check out this thread:
http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2398...# I made a list of a bunch of natural rash remedies that we use.
As for your diaper cream, take a look at the ingredients:
Zinc oxide, lavender extract, caprylic/caprictriglyceride, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, sorbitan isostearate, sorbitan sesquioleate, purified water, ethylhexyl palmitate, calcium starch octenylsuccinate, ethyl macadamiate, stearalkonium hectorite, glyceryl laurate, oat kernel oil, tocopheryl acetate (Vit E), beta glucan, chamomile flower extract*, marigold flower extract*, propylenecarbonate, magnesium sulfate, benzyl alcohol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate

See the alcohol in there? Alcohol can be very drying. You might be better off w/ a 100% natural cream for protecting that skin from diaper area moisture (Earth's Best is 70% natural). My fave local cream is from Naturally Luxe made by WAHM Whitney in Auburn, CA-- http://hyenacart.com/naturallyluxe/index.php?c=0&p=72288
Ingredients: grapeseed oil, beeswax, meadowfoam oil, organic jojoba oil, shea oil, organic rosehip oil, vitamin E, calendula oil, a proprietary blend of organic essential oils (including lavender and chamomile).
It's all-natural and made from many organic ingredients--lots of moisturizing oils and butters. It also comes in a roll-up stick (like a deodorant does) which is an added bonus.
If you find this doesn't block enough of the moisure, maybe try Burt's Bees Diaper Cream--it's 98% natural and doesn't contain alcohol or anything.
Also, try switching to an alcohol-free, natural wipe, or just dunk a baby washcloth in water (or better yet, water w/ a drizzle of Burt's Bees Apricot Oil--smells yummy and further moisturizes skin) for wiping, then allow the area to fully dry before applying diaper.
Hopefully eliminating those hidden irritants will help. If not, maybe research eczema a bit and consider those treatments.
My daycare baby had it on his lower back and chin area (diaper area moisture and drooling) and it cleared up wonderfully w/ that Naturally Luxe cream used as a barrier cream. I used their Organic Healing Balm for the first few days to really get rid of the rash, and he's been rash free ever since: http://hyenacart.com/naturallyluxe/index.php?c=0&p=44481
Hope that helps (sry so long). Let me know if I can help you any further :) --E.

1 mom found this helpful

I work with a company that promotes non-toxic products that are concentrated and less expensive than traditionally store bought products. There are over 350 products in the catalog, including some great lotions and oils that will heal any rash quickly and without scarring. Check out my website to see if these are products you use and then contact me for more information. I would be glad to help you purchase low cost, natural products to use for your family and home. http://www.healthyfamilybiz.com\survey.htm
You can contact me through the website or by calling me at ###-###-####.

1 mom found this helpful

Congrats on your choice to go organic/natural, it is so important to do the best within our means for our family's heath and well being!

Has your son ever had excema? The reason I ask is that my son has had small areas of excema since he was born. About the time I switched him into pull-ups a few weeks back, I noticed a small, reddish, raised bump rash on one side of his bottom. It seemed to start in an area that was being rubbed by the pull-up. But then it started to spread and within a couple of days it was over most of his body - poor little guy felt like a lizzard. I took him to the pediatrician and he confirmed it was excema that was aggravated probably by something he was environmentally allergic to (fresh cut grass, trees or flowers that are in bloom). I had already stopped using any kind of bubbles in his bath and lotions with fragrances. My Ped reccomended to reduce the frequecy of his baths and to use the Aveeno Oatmeal Baths. He also reccomended to use Aquaphor to lubricate his body. It definitely did the trick and the rash went away. But because I don't really know what caused the rash in the first place, I removed know allergens from his diet, including peanuts, citrus, eggs and dairy. I thought switching from organic milk to organic soy would be a hard sell because he is such a fan of his bottle, but he didn't seem to notice a difference!

Good luck!

Two things I forgot to say:

My ped reccomended benadryl also, for his rash, but I opted not to medicate. so that is something you can try if you don't have luck helping it with natural remedies.

And the other, I have heard really great things about the Arbonne, but I have not tried it.

1 mom found this helpful

The nipple cream by MotherLove found in Whole Foods stores did wonders for my sons' diaper rash. It is completely natural, no preservatives of any type, based on olive oil and beeswax -- this staff WORKS! We got it for my sore nipples when I started breastfeeding, but used it with out twin boys for the rashes, and it always helps. Just put a generous layer on the irritated skin, you can air a bit, and put a new diaper on and it will be gone in a couple of hours. If rash is very bad, just keeping putting the cream on after every change.

This sounds like a Thrush (yeast) problem to me, S.. When my children were small, I, too, made every effort to use natural/organic products as much as possible. I 'googled' your problem and found a Natural Remedy website that had this advise:

"Treat thrush (yeast infection)
Thrush is a common cause of diaper rash. Following the above tips will help, but if it persists, talk to your Pediatrician. S/he may recommend an antifungal medication safe for baby. You can also try Gentian Violet, available at many drugstores. Ask your Doctor for recommendations. A baking soda wash (one Tablespoon dissolved in a half cup of water) may help also. Pat it on baby's bum with cotton balls after each change.

Acidophilus is safe for babies and can help combat yeast, especially a rash that may appear after baby has taken antibiotics. Ask a health care provider to recommend a brand and dose." From http://naturemoms.com/natural-remedies-for-diaper-rash.html

That Gentian Violet stuff is pretty messy and can stain, from what I remember. Whatever you decide to do, be proactive about this. Oh! Expose the affected parts to the sun when you can, too (not for too long, though; you don't want to have to deal with sunburn on top of everything else). I'm not sure if it's the Sun's rays or the heat, but it seems to help clear the problem up a bit more quickly.

Ugh, that sound painful! Poor little guy! Two things come to mind, first, if the rash doesn't seem to improve, even the slightest, then call your doctor. Also check askdrsears.com, incredibly helpful for diagnosising. One thought that comes to mind is that it could be a yeast infection, I know my infant niece had one & it miserable while it lasted.

Now regarding the thought that all natural means allergy free, that's simply not true. Think about how many things that are natural that people are allergic too. If you're allergic to peanut butter, it doesn't matter if it's all natural or full of preservatives. A friend's son was allergic to breast milk and another's son is allergic to soy.... I am allergic to wool, it has to be incredibly refined for me to have it next to my skin. Yes, I've primarily mentioned food allergies, but those are just the first examples that come to mind. I have tried sooo many hypo-allergenic products, natural & not natural, only to find that I am one of the unlucky few....

Hi S.,

Burts Bees Diaper Rash cream is amazing for all kinds of rashes. You can get it at Whole Foods and I have even seen it at Walgreens.

Have a wonderful day!

This isn't a natural remedy, but if it is a yeast infection, my pediatrician recommended that at each diaper change to apply Lotrimin AF (for athlete's foot), Neosporin (for any open sores), and a HEAVY HEAVY layer of regular Desitin. For some reason, my son gets a yeast infection after his vaccinations, and this remedy is always on hand and always works. I'm interested to try the garlic cloves and olive oil, though...

If it is just a diaper rash, you can use cornstarch, you know from the food isle in the yellow box. Just put it on like powder. It's natural and it worked wonders for my children.

burts bees diaper ointment worked really well for us.

When my kids were young, I would use corn starch- it seemed to make the rash calm; now, however, I would recommend Arbonne's Diaper Rash Cream. My friends swear by it on ANY rash; it's botanically based, it doesn't have mineral oil in it and is Pure, Safe & Beneficial.

Here is the link if you want to learn more about it.

If you are interested, I can show you how to get it at a discount!


S., it sounds like your son has a mild yeast infection (which is very common in kids and babies in diapers). With both of my girls the pediatrican always told me that "bright red" rash means yeast infection. Keeping his diaper off is great so that the area will stay dry and the yeast will not continue to grow but I would suggest using a topical yeast cream (monistat or some other generic one) two-three times a day for a few days. Good luck!

We have this problem too, altho for us it was diagnosed as excema for both our kids. One fortunately outgrew most of it by about 3 yrs. The other child, under 3, still has rash all over. It could be food allergies, as in our case. We too found problems w/ the diapers and switched to cloth, which helped, but didn't solve the problem. We use 7th gen diapers at night too still. and the Earth Best products are great. We try not to use the steroid creams. The only thing that seems to help are creams that have zinc oxide in it for the itching, such as Weleda (also all natural). Good luck to you, I hope your problems turn out to be lesser than ours. If not, a good organization is the National Eczema Association. They have a conference coming up in July in S. Ca. Best to you,

You may want to check with his doctor to see if it's eczema. It sounds like the kind of rash my boys get, sometimes eczema just shows up on certain spots and you may have to use an ointment every now and then to make it disappear. Our dermatologist told us not to use any dryer sheets with our laundry at all and also, since they are still fairly young and don't get very dirty, she recommended they only get a shower/bath every other day to prevent drying and she also recommended that we use Cetaphil soap and Lotion. I hope this helps.

I don't know if it will work on this type of rash, but I've used olive oil on dry, itchy skin with great success.

Get to the pediatrician now or a pediatric dermatologist. It is probably nothng but it could be a sign of so many other things. Don't wait. There is no such thing as a teething rash on a child's bum.

Good luck.

Hi S.,

Could be a food allergy. My mother gets itchy and red when she eats citrus. Just a thought. Good luck.

Have you tried Oatmeal and baking soda. That is a remedy the doctor told me to use on eczema on my sons legs. Cook oatmael like you were going to eat it but instead let it cool and place it along with 1-2 teasoons on her bottom and back to sooth her skin. good luck. M. petersen

It sounds like excema to me. The doctor would be able to tell you for sure what it is so I would take your son in to rule out anything else. my son gets excema around this time of year when it is warm and his skin is dry. The doctor recommended using a dove mosturizing body wash in the bath tub and then using eucerine lotion all over his body after he gets out of the tub. When the rash is really bad (at the flaky stage) we have to put a bit of cortisone cream on the bad areas.

good luck. if it is excema it will go away in a few weeks with really persistent treatment.

Hi first are you sure it is not poison oak?? it is rampant right now. other wise give organic apple cider vinegar a try. I used a diluted solution of it on a rash my son had on his testicles that would not go away. I did not want to use anything too chemical since it was his reproductive organs, and it worked. I just soaked a cotton ball in the solution and used it every time I changed diapers. I also like A&D ointment which is petroleum based, but does not have any preservatives and has worked well to heal stubborn rashes, and is also great for any dry skin issues
good luck

If it is diaper rash, Weleda Diaper Care Cream works really well. If it is just a rash, I like to use Bach Flower Essence Cream or Egyptian Magic. They are all very clean products.

When my son was first born he got a horrible diaper rash in the hospital that turned so bad it became a yeast infection. Now, whenever I see any redness on his bottom I put a little bit of bag balm and it clears it right up. You can buy it over the counter. Hope this helps.

If you want to cure a yeast infection the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to do so is by finely dicing a clove or two of garlic and mixing it with olive oil. Let it sit for a couple of hours and then apply to the area liberally like you would diaper rash cream. If it is a yeast infection it will be gone or looking much, much better in just a few hours.
I have used this many times, even for yeast infections that I have suffered from and I will never use yeast infection ointment or suppositories again. If this doesn't work your son might be developing an allergy to the diapers you are currently using. There is another good brand of organic diapers I just can't think of the name right now. I think the brand is called wee wee or something. I wish I could be more help on that. Good Luck! C.

Sounds like the diaper isn't absorbing the moisture on his skin. I would blow dry his bottom with a hair dryer at the lowest setting and make sure he's completely dry and add cornstarch with some diaper cream (we use A&D diaper rash cream). You might try another diaper brand if it continues. If he is still with a rash using another brand of diapers, think about his diet and maybe something might be too acidic and causing the rash? Sometimes food allergies give bad yeast infections. My daughter had bad diaper rash as a baby and we found she was allergic to many fruits. Blow drying her bottom worked well, but taking away what caused the rash in the first place did the trick. Also, if Lotrimin doesn't work, you might need monistat. My daughter was on that cream for 2 years! But everytime she had a rash, it got rid of it pretty quickly. Good luck!

My daughter had what sounds to be the exact same thing. I took her into her Ped. and it turned out to be a skin fungus. It isnt contagious and I guess tends to be pretty common among children who have very sensitive skin. There is a medication that her Ped. prescribed and within one use it was reduced drastically. I would suggest taking him in to get it looked at. Best of luck

This is really strange! My daughter was just experiencing this same issue. Exactly same place and she said it hurt her. She is 23 months old and cutting her 2 yr old molars. Actually I am home today with her because of her high tempertaure over the last couple of days. The reason I am responding to you is that this also occured within 2 weeks of me switching to the same Seventh Generation pull ups you are using. I initially thought it may be from the wide elastic band that it has- which I happen to love- and then maybe thought it was symptoms of exzema (sp?). But it was only on one side of her hip area where the elastic was in contact with her skin, which confused me. So I started to use the Seventh Generation ones intermittently with the left over pampers and huggies I had. It didn't seem to go away. I started to use A&D ointment which relieved her but the redness was still there. I finally got some OTC hydrocortisone cream with aloe and oatmeal- generic Target brand. It seems to have relieved the itchiness and redness and it now has disappeared completely. My concern is that maybe this is a result of the new natural pull ups from Seventh Generation. A friend mentioned maybe its the latex in the elastic... but I checked, and there is no latex in the diaper at all. So I am not sure. Maybe it's the 2 year old molars causing this. Haven't heard of that though. I am trying to find the similarity between our scenarios and there are a few. I just find it interesting that the natural diapers are a primary common thread. Well, try the A&D and hydrocortisone. It seemed to help. She hasn't had another one. And I have returned to using the Seventh Generations. I think I will email the company just to inquire as well.

Dear S.:

I manage a medical spa in Redding, CA, and my husband and I run an organic farm where I produce a line of all natural essential oil products for people and pets. You can visit my site at www.mccluckfarms.com for online ordering, etc.

One of the products I make, Rash Relief, is a skin calming blend that has proven effective for every type of skin irritation including eczema, psoriasis, hives, insect bites and stings, cuts, burns, poison oak, yeast infections (under breasts, etc) and diaper rash. For pets it has also been effective in healing hot spots, fungal infections in their feet, ear mites and more.

The product is very affordable and I make it in an oil base as well as a lotion base. Please visit my site or email me if you are interested in trying some for your little one.

In spirit,

V. T

How long has he had this rash? I'd say you might want to take him to his ped so it can be properly diagnosed & recommend some treament. It's hard to stop kids this age from itching & it will probably get worse if he's scratching it. Let your ped know that you want to use a more natural remedy so he/she can recommend something or if they suggest something non-natural, go to a health food store w/the ped's script & see if a clerk there can help you find a similar product that's more to your liking.

I agree with many of the moms here that have said it is a yeast infection. The doctor told us that when a rash has lasted three days or more, it should be treated for a yeast infection. Waking up in the morning with a sudden "bloom" of increased redness and area is especially indicitive of yeast, as yeast thrives in wet and warm environments (you child has gotten very warm sleeping, and the diaper has sealed in the wet overnight). We would use yeast cream on the last diaper of the night and a diaper cream that contains zinc during the day. With a worse case of yeast, we use the yeast ceam (such as monistat) for each diaper change.
Good luck!

S., we had been using pampers and switched to the seventh generation diapers to be more environmentally conscience. However, within a few days of switching diapers, our 11 month old diaper started to get a rash from front to back. It was especially bad in the mornings if she had had a wet diaper for an extended period of time. We switched back to her original diaper, applied diaper rash cream and the rash vanished within 48 hours. We found that the seventh generation diaper did not do a good job of keeping the wetness away from the skin, which irritated the area. We agree with your natural approach and our family acts the same. However, this instance just did not turn out like we had hoped. Try using seventh generation during the day when changes are more frequent. Hope this helps.

buy some dried kombu seaweed. put a small piece(2 inches) in a small amount of water(1 cup). put it in your fridge overnight. the next day you will have some cooling soothing slime to put on his rash.you can use the same piece for awhile, or use the piece to rub the slime on. it works wonders.
good luck.

Poor baby, it sounds like diaper rash, maybe the type of diapers you're using. I know that any diaper crean with zinc is very effective, the higher the percentage, the better it works. Desatin Overnight works really well and you can see improvement withern hours. I hope your baby gets better!

I just wanted to point you in the direction of some better diapers. Seventh Generation aren't actually "green". They just aren't bleached. Try G Diapers, or Nature's Baby Care, or better yet, cloth. (Find them at Whole foods or diapers.com). Please please please don't go back to Pampers!
And I second the Weleda diaper cream- good stuff.
Good luck & hope your LO's rash clears up soon.

Hi S.,

First, I would make sure it is not some kind of yeast infection. What I have used for my kids in the past when they had rashes is Aquafor. Also when my son had red blotchy spots in his body I would rub extra virgin olive oil on him after his bath and I am happy to say he does not have those rash break outs anymore. Since you mentioned you are new to natural remedies I also suggest you chek out www.StudiesOnJuicePlus.com My kids have been taking this fruit and veggie whole food supplement for the past 4 years and have never been so healthy.
Good Luck!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.