Aloe Vera does wonders for just about any type of skin irritation, thanks to an anti-inflammatory component called B-sitosterol, infection-fighting properties, and skin-friendly vitamin E. Aloe’s ability to multitask and offer quick relief makes it a great home remedy for rashes whether the cause is bacterial, fungal, viral, or a big fat mystery.
Beyond treating irritation, Aloe Vera can keep skin healthy by maintaining moisture levels, elasticity, proper circulation, and cellular turnover. It’s gentle enough to be used on delicate tissue (it’s a common ingredient in eye and ear drops), and is suitable for gentle baby skin to prevent diaper rash and other common irritations.
Diaper Rash is characterized by red, tender, swollen skin, usually warm to the touch. Very common in infants, it’s usually caused by prolonged contact with the moist, enclosed environment of a soiled diaper. Diaper rash is often accompanied by a yeast or bacterial infection and exacerbated by skin allergies. It’s sometimes confused with heat rash (see our post, Aloe can help with that too), which the diaper wearing set are also prone to.
Tips to treat diaper rash
- Frequent changing, thorough drying, and giving your baby lots of diaper-free time helps by increasing air flow to the area.
- Experiment with eliminating possible irritants like fragrance in scented diapers, lotions, powders, or even scented dryer sheets if you’re going the cloth route.
- Disposable diapers are often to blame for frequent diaper rash. Cloth is more breathable than plastic, and a switch might clear up the problem.
- Whatever the cause, Aloe Vera can offer relief from symptoms and, in most cases, prevent their recurrence with regular use.
Adding Aloe to your diapering routine
Apply Aloe gel, the purer the better, a few times a day and allow it to dry completely before re-diapering. Aloe straight from the plant is 96% water and allows the skin to breath while fighting infection (both bacterial and fungal), as well as reducing pain and inflammation.
Making your own Aloe baby wipes is another great way to treat diaper rash. Baby wipes are easy to make using thick paper towels, and much cheaper than the store-bought variety, especially when you buy ingredients in bulk. Going the home-made route also allows you to control ingredients if allergies are an issue. Check out Hillbilly Housewife for a reusable flannel version.
Here’s what you’ll need for the solution:
- 1/2 cup Aloe Vera gel (store bought or fresh. If using the fresh stuff, use a blender or food processor to liquify)
- 2 cups Water, boiled and cooled to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons baby oil (substitute tea tree oil if fungal infection is a problem. Olive, almond, or vitamin E oil also make good substitutions)
- 2 tablespoons gentle soap or baby shampoo (optional)
Mix ingredients together or shake up in a container with a lid and store in a spray bottle. When you’re ready to use it, just spray it on the cloth/paper sheets, moistened with warm water. Aloe is quickly absorbed by the skin and you should notice changes in swelling, redness, and discomfort within a few applications. Most rashes will take no more than a few days to heal.