From what I hear from other moms, “normal” babies deal with diaper rash every once in a while – some more than others. But my boys, and other protein intolerant children, deal with horrible skin-eating diarrhea on what seems like an almost-daily basis.
There have been times that my baby’s butt will be lily-white, and an hour later he’ll have pooed a liquidy, yeasty nightmare that seems to burn his flesh on contact. Despite an immediate diaper change, his skin will be raw and oftentimes bleeding.
After they eat offending foods their diaper rash is often immediate, and may go on for days and days. They also usually get the “red anus ring” (yeah, chew on the beauty of that phrase) sometimes called an “allergy ring.” Even when I changed them almost immediately, their flesh will be raw and oftentimes bleeding.
So, after dealing with this problem for five years, there are some things I have learned. My boys’ diaper rashes are usually caused by the yeast that is in their poo, which is worsened when they eat offending foods. I have discovered some very helpful treatments to stave off this horrible diaper rash. When obvious tricks like changing them often and using lots of butt paste aren’t working, try the following:
Bathe them often, or at least bathe their “privates” as we call them in my family.
- I know people who only bathe their children once a twice a week. I have found that when I try to do this, my kids’ diaper rashes are much harder to control.
- In fact, I wash Manimal’s privates just about every time he poos, at least if I am home. If I don’t, I end up using a lot more fungal creams and pastes.
Pour Apple cider vinegar in their bath water:
- Vinegar will make the pH level in their hinter-regions a hard place for yeast to survive. I use one to two cups per half-filled tub and let my baby play. When your baby is little like Manimal, he doesn’t care. Lil Z has caught on and can tell by the smell, so he refuses to take a bath in the stuff. What I do is simply clean the bathroom with white vinegar as he is bathing tell him he’s not smelling his bathwater, mama’s “just cleaning.” It works 50 percent of the time. Yeah, it’s a lie, but sometimes a moms gotta do what a moms gotta do.
- I use Heinz, but I’ve also used organic stuff. Because it’s going on their butts, I don’t really feel guilty about using non-organic.
- Beware: a lot of generic apple cider vinegar is really white vinegar made from corn, dyed and flavored. All the health-nut message boards insist it should be true apple-cider vinegar, so I’ve never tried any other kind on their yeast rashes. They make it sound like the world will end and yeast will start growing out of their ears, or something horrible like that.
- In the past, I would dilute apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle to apply on their butt after I changed them, but it was really cold for Lil Z and Manimal, and if I didn’t get the mix quite right it burned; This is why Lil Z now hates apple-cider vinegar baths, because he associates it with my failed spray method. Since then, I’ve discovered tea-tree oil.
- Tea-tree oil (a.k.a. melaleuca oil) is an essential oil from the tropical melaleuca plant. It is a natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-septic. It feels “minty” as Lil Z says, and the smell reminds me of eucalyptus. It’s pretty potent stuff.
- This stuff really works, and I wish I had gotten some when Lil Z was a baby. Back in the day, I had read on several message boards that this was good for diaper rashes, but I never bought it because it sounded hokey, and is expensive. Well, a little goes a long way. I use Walgreen’s Brand, which is about $10 per one ounce bottle.
- It can be toxic when ingested, so keep it away from your little ones.
Apply Clotrimazole Cream:
- When Manimal and Z have the tell-tale blisters of a yeast rash, I pull out Clotrimazole cream. This anti-fungal cream, also known as Lotrimin AF, is used for athletes foot, ringworm and jock itch. We buy this stuff like it is going out of style. Please talk to your doctor before using any medicine, and also to verify that your baby actually has a yeast rash. Also, when you use this cream, make sure you use it as the package directs to make sure you kill off the yeast. If you don’t, you could inadvertently create a super-yeast bug that is difficult to kill/treat.
- I used to pay anywhere between $3 and $7 per tube (even when I bought generic), but discovered that WalMart carries Nauterplex Brand for $.88 per tube. It works just as well as the name brand, so whenever I go to WalMart I buy five tubes or so, and get weird looks from the cashiers who must assume I have some really bad fungal issues… down there. But, you know what, I don’t care that it says “cures most jock itch” in big bold letters. I’m saving money, and that’s all I care about.
Apply butt paste regularly:
- This goes without saying, but butt paste is expensive, especially if you use the premium brands. We go through butt paste here like candy, so it was becoming a very expensive part of our budget.
- I used to use A&D, Desitin, and Boudreaux’s Butt Paste when I had a kick-rear lineup of coupons I could stack at Target. Still these were pretty expensive. And then I discovered the Boudreaux’s Butt Paste knock off sold at the Dollar Tree: Baby’s Butt Aide. It has the exact same ingredients as Boudreaux’s, but it is $1. 16% zinc oxide cream, for $1. No coupon-slaving needed.
Use unscented baby wipes.
- I really like the ALDI Brand wipes because they are thick like Huggies and Pampers wipes, but for $.99. They are the best generic wipes I have ever found, and I bet you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between them and the name-brand wipes.
- These are the “good bacteria” that fight off the yeast in your body. Several studies have shown that probiotics have many health benefits, including increasing your immune strength and regulating your GI tract.
- It is very hard to find ones that are soy free. I have found only one probiotic that is soy free, which is Phillips Colon Health. When we use it regularly, I see less diarrhea and diaper rash.
- Open the capsule and pour the probiotic powder into a cool drink. I did this once a day with the boys, but would do it 2-3 times a day when they were on antibiotics. The trick (I’ve heard) to taking probiotics while on antibiotics is to wait at least a half hour after taking your antibiotic before taking your probiotic.
- I am sure there are better ones you can buy at health food stores, but whenever I am at a one, I usually have a screaming child, and reading probiotic and vitamin labels is at the bottom of my list of things to do.
If you do all these things, especially in conjunction, you should definitely see major improvements in yeast diaper rashes, oftentimes overnight. However, if you have tried the above tips and cannot get your baby’s diaper rash under control, make sure you call your doctor.