Baby skin is extremely delicate and easily prone to irritation. Their bottoms are especially affected by rashes because of diapers. Certain factors can also make it worse, but luckily, there are a few natural remedies that can help. The use of essential oils for diaper rash is one of them.
In this article, I’ll be talking about:
- The way essential oils can help with diaper rash, whether it’s new or recurring.
- The best Aromatherapy oils to use to soothe your baby’s discomfort. Besides their skin benefits, therapeutic oils can also change your baby’s mood. These same Aroma oils can be used for adults that need to use diapers too.
- How to use these oils safely.
- Simple essential oil blends for diaper rash that you can use right away. For babies and adults.
- A few words about carrier oils that can be used for diaper rash. I will focus mainly on Coconut oil and Shea butter, and you’ll see why.
- More details about diaper rashes (causes, symptoms, etc.) plus preventive tips.
Best Essential Oils for Diaper Rash Relief (Safe Use and Blends)
Within the first year of your baby’s life, diaper rash is a very common skin irritation. While it can happen from the first weeks after birth, it usually happens between 9 and 12 months. The longest span is 4 to 15 months.
As uncomfortable as it may be for your baby and your own peace of mind, diaper rash is easily treatable. What’s even better is that it can also be prevented. It takes just a few good practices and habits and good quality natural ingredients.
Your baby’s skin is not fully developed at that age, and neither is his immune system. Thus, an irritation or infection is very common. It does not necessarily mean a poor hygiene or child neglect.
It simply happens on the diaper-covered area because the skin doesn’t breathe enough. The buttocks of your baby are covered and moist almost all the time. It becomes very heated in there.
That’s why, in contact with the acidic urine and bacteria the sensitive skin reacts. It becomes red and sometimes painful to touch.
In a few days, unless treated, it can also allow yeast (Candida) to cause infections. They look like small blisters, filled with liquid.
You can prevent bacterial infections from diaper rashes. You can soothe your baby’s symptoms too. All these can be done with natural remedies.
How Can Essential Oils Help?
Diaper rash essential oils have antibacterial and antifungal properties. They’re also anti-inflammatory, anti-itching and burning and antiviral. These properties can protect the skin from yeast diaper rash infection. But they can also soothe the redness.
Essential oils are very concentrated plant extracts. Because of that, there are only a few select ones that are milder and accepted for baby use.
However, if your baby is under 3 months old, you should use only carrier oils like Coconut to prevent diaper rash. I will explain all this in more details as we go further into the topic.
Let’s see the pros and cons of some of the best essential oils for diaper rash relief. Make sure you read them well and consult with your pediatrician before using them. Babies are very sensitive!
1) Lavender Essential Oil for Diaper Rash
Botanical name: Lavandula angustifolia.
- Lavender oil is a great remedy for baby discomfort. It is soothing for the irritated skin, especially because it has mild sedating effects.
- It is also anti-inflammatory. This means that Lavender oil inhibits the inflammatory response of the skin.
- If the diaper rash is also painful, Lavender essential oil can soothe it. It can also deal with itchiness that may lead to blisters and infections.
- The oil contains certain constituents that may also cause irritation. Always test the oil (diluted with carrier oil) on a small area on your baby’s forearm. If there are allergic reactions, you will see them and be able to prevent further problems.
- If the baby has cardiovascular problems, avoid using Lavender to soothe diaper rash.
- Don’t confuse angustifolia with other types of Lavender oil. Their botanical/Latin names are what will help you set them apart.
Why I like it:
Lavender oil for diaper rash is ideal in speeding up the healing process of your baby’s rash. This oil has been proven efficient in relieving anxiety and nervousness too. In other words, Lavender will calm down the rash and your baby, and help him/her sleep.
2) Tea Tree Essential Oil for Diaper Rash
Botanical name: Melaleuca alternifolia.
- Tea Tree oil is a great antibacterial and antifungal remedy. Its effects against yeasts and mycoses have been tested and proven efficient. In an in vitro (lab) study, a ratio of 0.12% – 0.50% was able to kill Candida albicans. Candida is among the most common yeasts that live on human skin. Thus, Tea Tree oil is a good choice for diaper rash treatment. It can also prevent the beginning of an yeast diaper rash.
- Tea Tree oil can also strengthen your baby’s immune system. Its active molecules act on the white blood cells. This encourages a better antimicrobial response.
- This essential oil for diaper rash is also anti-inflammatory. It manages to stimulate the inflammatory mediators. Combined with Lavender oil, both can be even more effective.
- Tea Tree oil is not recommended for babies younger than 3 months old.
- It can also cause irritation or allergic reactions. Testing it before any widespread use would avoid making the rash worse.
- It may trigger seizures in babies prone to them. Seek medical approval before using it on a sensitive baby.
Why I like it:
The use of Tea Tree oil for diaper rash relief requires only a few (1 – 2) drops to be effective. As far as natural remedies go, a diaper rash yeast infection can be prevented or quickly relieved with Tea Tree. It can also relieve coughs and soothe insect bites.
3) Roman Chamomile Essential Oil for Diaper Rash
Botanical name: Chamaemelum nobile.
- Roman Chamomile oil is another non-toxic essential oil to use for diaper rash. It is very gentle and soothing to both the skin and nervous system. It promotes a good sleep and relieves stress. A baby with diaper rash may be under stress. A good sleep will also help his immune system fight the irritation or yeast infection better.
- Chamomile essential oil is especially good at relieving inflammation. It also improves the blood circulation.
- It can relieve pain felt at the site of the irritated skin.
- The oil is not for babies at 3 months old or less.
- Be careful not to use more than 2 drops for babies 6+ months – 2 years old. Too much of Roman Chamomile oil for diaper rash or anything else can cause vertigo or drowsiness.
- It can also induce seizures, so medical consent is needed if your baby is prone to them.
- Don’t diffuse more than 10 – 15% and always diluted. It’s better to mix it with a citrus oil like Orange or Mandarin.
- Make sure you use the Roman variety, as there are others out there. They each have their own set of benefits and risks.
Why I like it:
Roman Chamomile oil is very soothing. This quality, plus its anti-inflammatory effects make it great for diaper rash relief. Not to mention how much good it’ll do your baby’s nervous system!
How to Use Essential Oils for Diaper Rash
The best and safest way to use essential oils for diaper rash is diluted! Don’t ever apply “neat” essential oils on your baby’s skin. They can irritate or dry out the skin, or even sensitize it.
Unfortunately, skin sensitization will always react to the oil that caused it. Or it can react to the same chemical components.
Carrier oils are the best dilution environment as they are fatty. Essential oils are liposoluble (soluble in fat). They penetrate deep into the tissue through the pores. Carrier oils help spread them on wide skin areas.
For babies, Robert Tisserand recommends a maximum of 1% dilution for diaper rash blends.
Meaning, if you make a 30 ml (1 Oz.) blend, you’ll add a total of 3 drops of essential oils. They can be 1 drop of each (Lavender, Tea Tree & Chamomile) or 3 drops of a single essence.
You could also make a spray solution to use on your baby’s bottom. Let it dry well before putting on the diaper.
Other safe to use diaper rash remedies for babies are hydrosols. They are also known as floral waters. Hydrosols are byproducts of essential oil extraction. They contain only trace amounts of essential oil molecules as they’re water-based.
Hydrosols contain vitamins, minerals and other nourishing elements for the baby’s skin. These usually don’t make it into the essential oils because they’re water-soluble.
However, an adult that suffers from incontinence could also need diapers. Diaper rash is described as an irritation of the skin that is covered by a diaper, regardless of age.
Adults can use a higher dosage of essential oils of course. It needs to be carefully done though. Their skin may also react to high concentrations of aromatic oils.
Before getting recipe ideas, I must say a few words about using essential oils for diaper rash safely. Take these advices into consideration before making a blend or choosing an oil for a baby or adult.
- It is really not wise to use essential oils on newborn babies. It is possible to do it, in very small amounts and well diluted, after the age of 3 months.
- They should not be used without medical advice for babies and people with asthma or epilepsy. The same goes for those with cardiovascular problems.
- All oils must be tested for allergic reactions before widespread use.
- Avoid the use of essential oils around the eyes, nose, mouth or ears. Not too close to the anus either. They can hurt the mucus membranes.
- Avoid using Citrus essential oils followed by sun or UV light exposure. They can cause burns and further irritation.
- Refrain from adding boric acid or baking soda to your baby’s baths. They can be toxic and absorb fast into the baby skin.
- Avoid using talcum powder or cornstarch too. They will only stick to the moist skin and add to the general discomfort.
- Do an in-depth research about all natural remedies you want to use. There is a lot of information out there, just make sure you take it from well-reputed sources.
Essential Oil Diaper Rash Soothing Recipes
I’ve got a few baby blends that’ll help you soothe diaper rashes and prevent yeast infections. Pick one and make a small batch at first. Observe how the skin is behaving. But not before testing your essential oils for baby allergic reactions.
Mix a drop of EO with Sweet Almond oil for instance, and massage it into the forearm of your child or adult. Let it sit for a day and watch out for any signs of allergic reactions. If nothing happens, you’re good to use the blend without worrying.
Soothing Diaper Rash for Babies (1+ years)
- Coconut oil: 2 Oz. (60ml)
- Lavender essential oil: 6 drops
- Tea Tree essential oil: 4 drops
Place the bottle of Coconut oil in warm water and wait for it to melt. It happens very fast. Pour it in a new recipient, add essential oils and give the blend a good shake. Let the mixture harden. Coconut becomes solid at room temperature (25C/77F).
Apply this gentle essential oil diaper rash blend on the affected area. Use a very thin layer/small amount, 3 times a day, for a week.
Easy DIY Essential Oil Synergy for Diaper Rash Relief (3+ months)
- Shea butter: 1 Oz (30ml)
- Chamomile essential oil: 2 drops
- Tea Tree essential oil: 1 drop
Melt the Shea butter on a double boiler, add the essential oils and mix well. Apply 3 times a day, for a week.
Calendula Diaper Rash Relief for Adults
- Calendula oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
- Coconut oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
- Lavender essential oil: 6 drops
- Roman Chamomile essential oil: 6 drops
- Tea Tree essential oil: 6 drops
Apply the same way as recommended above.
Coconut oil and Diaper Rash (Benefits, Use and Tips)
Carrier oils are all gentle and safe to use on skin. They don’t need to be diluted either. Carriers are also known as vegetable oils because they’re extracted from seeds and kernels. Coconut oil is cold pressed or expressed from the coconut pulp or kernel.
Coconut oil (Cocos nucifera) is very good for diaper rash. Why? The answer and proof of its efficacy lies in many studies about its antibacterial effect.
The oil contains a very high amount of Lauric acid. Lauric acid is also found in breast milk, which helps building the baby’s immune system.
This fatty acid can kill bacteria, germs and fungi of all sorts. It is also anti-inflammatory and antiviral. The latter effect may prevent infections from spreading.
In other words, applying Coconut oil for diaper rash relief is soothing and efficient. It can be used on its own for sensitive babies or adults. Or it can be mixed with essential oils to make a potent blend. Such a blend can speed up recovery and tissue healing.
Butters can melt and become malleable carrier oils. Otherwise, they are solid by nature and can be used as ointments. In a way, they’re more practical because there’s no risk of spilling. A butter blend however, needs a bit more work.
You’ll have to first melt the butter to mix other ingredients with it. Luckily, it’s no big effort and it’s also well worth it.
Shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii) is very gentle with the sensitive skin of the baby. It is not known to cause allergic reactions or sensitize the skin. It soothes the affected skin very fast and helps the skin regenerate.
It also works great with Lavender, and both can repair the damaged tissue beautifully.
Shea butter for diaper rash can also hydrate the skin and create a protective film. Babies and adults alike need this protective barrier on their skin.
In fact, all carrier oils, Coconut included, make a great prevention tool by acting as barriers. Because of their high contents of fatty acids, they form a protective barrier on the surface of the skin.
That keeps the water inside and maintains the skin hydrated and elastic. But it also prevents other outside substances from penetrating the skin. Substances like urine or bacteria from the stool, etc.
Now, imagine this ability plus changing the diapers very often. This could prevent many diaper rash recurrences.
Shea butter and Coconut oil work well for diaper rash and they’re also cost-effective. They spread well on large skin areas and last a very long time. Being natural also, it’s no wonder they make great remedies for diaper rash.
But what about Aloe Vera gel? Is it good for diaper rash too? The answer is yes. Aloe Vera gel is good for diaper rash and skin care in general.
It is also mild and soothing, though it’s more appropriate for use in sprays. Aloe is water-based and so it doesn’t create that protective barrier on the skin like carriers do.
Diaper Rash Causes, Symptoms and Prevention
Now you know almost all there is to know about soothing a diaper rash with essential oils. I will also tell you a few things about the causes and symptoms of this affection.
It’ll help put your mind at ease and know when to go the doctor with your little one. Or if it’s about an adult, to call for medical support.
Diaper rash is actually a general term that refers to any kind of skin irritation in the diaper area. It is also known as nappy dermatitis, ammonia dermatitis or simply, diaper dermatitis. Dermatitis is the medical term for rash.
Diaper Rash Causes
- Urine and stool.
- Bacteria (staph and strep).
- Fungi (Candida).
- Other unusual infections.
- Hot water immersion.
- Poor hygiene.
- Enclosed skin by the diaper.
- Nutritional deficiencies (rare).
- Metabolic deficiencies (rare).
- Weak immune system (rare).
- Malignancies (rare).
The latter, though rare, can contribute at the forming and spreading of infections and skin reactions. Fortunately, we have Tea Tree among the best essential oils for yeast diaper rash. This yeast rash may develop 2 or 3 days after the initial rash began.
Diaper Rash Signs and Symptoms
- Sunburn-like redness.
- Erosion of the superficial skin layer.
- Discomfort and even pain.
Diaper Rash Preventive Tips
There aren’t many things you can do to prevent it, but the few that are can make all the difference. Your baby could be diaper rash-free for a very long time with a few good practices.
- Apply blends with essential oils for diaper rash daily, before putting a new diaper on. That’ll keep bacteria and acidic urine from damaging the skin.
- Keep your baby diaper-less for as long as you can, so the air may dry his bottom.
- Put him or her in warm water for 15 – 20 minutes a few times a day. Warm water cleans the skin and soothes it at the same time.
- Use baby skin care products that are as natural as possible.
Whether they are babies or adults who need them, diapers can cause skin rashes. If not treated as fast as possible, they can easily become infected.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent those and soothe any existent skin irritations. The best thing about it is that this prevention comes by natural means. Essential oils for diaper rash bring relief from itching and pain, calm down inflammation and prevent infections.
Plus, they also help the skin heal faster, which is always great. Have you ever used therapeutic oils for diaper rashes, or carrier oils? Which is your favorite and why? How did the baby feel afterwards?