May 19, 2008,
S.R. asks from Livermore, CA on May 11, 2008
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.
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!
J.M. answers from San Francisco on May 12, 2008
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!
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A.A. answers from San Francisco on May 12, 2008
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!
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K.M. answers from Sacramento on May 12, 2008
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.
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R.D. answers from San Francisco on May 12, 2008
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.
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J.E. answers from San Francisco on May 12, 2008
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 ###-###-####.
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G.B. answers from Sacramento on May 12, 2008
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!
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.
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E.L. answers from San Francisco on May 14, 2008
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.
S.T. answers from Bakersfield on May 12, 2008
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.