skin care guide
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BABIES & skin rashes

Baby skin rashes Thinner, more fragile, less resistant to bacteria or harmful substances, your baby's skin is prone to rashes of all sorts. Some of them are easily manageable and just go away by their own. Other ones don't really disappear and natural treatments might be needed.




Minor skin conditions can appear the first weeks after birth, but they usually go away on their own. Keep in mind that your baby retains some of your hormones even after birth and may be prone to getting a skin rash. The skin problem usually goes away when these hormones disappear and no treatment is necessary.

Here are some examples of common skin rashes that are easily manageable:

  • pink pimples also called ‘neonatal acne'. This should go away on its own after a few months.
  • white bumps on the nose and on the face also called ‘milia'. Once your baby's oil glands open up, they should disappear.
  • Jaundice, which causes a yellow hue to the skin and eyes, usually goes away quickly.

Other common baby rashes are less easily manageable and you should see a doctor in some cases. Cradle cap, diaper rash, and thrush are the most common ones. Let's see how you could get rid of them naturally.

Cradle cap: what are the best natural options?

Cradle cap is a form of seborrheic dermatitis, which is very common among babies. This is an inflammatory skin disease that usually clears up by the time your baby reaches twelve months.

Cradle cap is caused by overactive oil glands and is characterized by thick greasy scales with yellow crusts, usually on the scalp. It is not itchy in comparison with dermatitis.

If your child has some signs of cradle cap, it is important to heal the lesions to prevent further stages of bacterial infection. If the flakes become itchy, flaky, and show signs of a local infection, please seek a doctor for advice.

Nutrition for cradle cap

When you are breastfeeding, keep in mind that everything you eat passes through your milk to your baby.

What to eat:
  • Choose sources of essential fatty acids (from fish or oil) instead of saturated animal fats
  • Eat foods made with live bacteria culture including cheese, yogurt, kefir, tempeh, miso, sauerkraut
  Not to eat:
  • Try to avoid refined sugar, as it feeds yeast and bacteria

Supplements for cradle cap

you could take probiotics as a supplement so that it goes through the breast milk directly to the baby. It is also safe to give probiotics directly to your baby.You can find probiotics for infants in most natural food stores. For a breastfed baby, it may be easier to put a small amount of yogurt on your nipple.

External treatments for cradle cap

Several alternatives can be used every day. You can massage your baby's scalp and alternate products with:

  • Calendula cream or vitamin E (helps heal lesions and soothes the skin)
  • Aloe vera gel (restores the skin)
  • Evening primrose oil (natural anti-inflammatory)
  • Almond oil (moisturizing)
  • Sage (anti-bacterial)

Let the oil or the cream be absorbed by the scalp for fifteen minutes. Then, shampoo to remove any excess oil and gently comb away dry skin. Don't try to remove flakes if they don't fall away naturally, as it may cause an infection.

Try to keep your child's scalp clean and dry in order to prevent cradle cap.

Homeopathic remedies for cradle cap

Sulphur or thuja are common homeopathic remedies for skin conditions.

Other links about cradle cap

How can I get rid of diaper rash naturally?

Diaper rash is quite common and can occur as long as your baby has diapers. There are two different kinds of rashes:

  • a contact diaper rash caused by a reaction to: disposable diapers, diarrhea, urine, soaps, etc. The skin is red and irritated, sometimes dry and scaling
  • a fungal diaper rash caused by yeast or candida in the intestinal tract. The skin tends to be bright red and shiny. If the origin is fungal, your baby might have thrush as well

You should ask your doctor for a diagnosis to insure the diaper rash is treated correctly and to be sure there isn't an infection.

Nutrition

If you are nursing your baby, some food should be eliminated from your diet, if possible.

What to eat:
  • foods made with live bacteria culture such as cheese, yogurt(plain, no sugar), kefir, tempeh, miso, and sauerkraut
  Not to eat:
  • Allergenic foods could be the cause of a diaper rash, which includes coffee, sugar, wheat, dairy, and citrus fruit.

It is important that you and your baby drink plenty of water. First, to dilute the irritating acids present in your baby's urine and stool, and secondly, to dilute any substances that come from you and pass through your breast milk on to your baby.

A new food that you just introduced in your baby's diet may be the culprit, and it might take a while for your baby to adapt to it. It might also be due to a food allergy.

Nutrients

If the origin of the rash is bacterial, you could take probiotics as a supplement so that it goes through the breast milk directly to the baby. It is also safe to give probiotics directly to your baby.You can find probiotics for infants in most natural food stores. For a breastfed baby, it may be easier to put a small amount of yogurt on your nipple.

External treatments

A warm water bath with calendula or chamomile helps soothe the skin. Calendula cream can be applied on the rash to help heal the skin. Evening primrose oil is also commonly used for its natural anti-inflammatory properties.

Gently clean your baby's skin with each diaper change, rinse well and keep the skin dry. Baking soda mixed with some water can also be applied to balance the acidity of urine and stool.

Homeopathic remedies

Homeopathic remedies, such as sulphur or thuja, might be worth a try. Sulphur can be taken when the rash is very red, irritated and sore. On the other hand, thuja might be a good choice for persistent diaper rash.

General recommendations

When your child has a diaper rash, he/she should go without a diaper as much as possible. Air and sunlight are helpful in preventing and healing a diaper rash. Cloth diapers are better than disposable diapers that irritate the skin. Commercial diaper wipes can also irritate the skin. It is advised to use witch hazel or calendula lotion on sensitive skin instead of chemical wipes.

Thrush: how to fight against a yeast infection?

Thrush is a yeast infection characterized by white patches in the mouth, on the tongue, and, sometimes the lips. It is usually seen in children under six months. This skin issue is different from cradle cap: the patches don't scrape off easily compared to milk curds, and thrush leaves a red, inflamed area under the patches. Don't try to scrape away the patches, you may hurt you child. Because thrush can be painful, it can cause your baby to lose their appetite and get insufficient feeding.

Thrush is caused by the growth of a yeast called candida albicans. This is why when a baby has thrush, the yeast can cause a diaper rash at the same time. Everyone has candida in their body, but babies' immune systems are weaker and not yet strong enough to control the growth of candida. Thrush can also result from the intake of certain medication like antibiotics, because they kill friendly bacteria and alter the flora balance.

If you are nursing your baby, there is a possibility that thrush spreads to your nipples. If there is an infection, nipples become red, swollen and even cracked or itching.

Nutrition

A change in your own diet is needed if you are nursing your baby :

What to eat:
  • Eat natural plain yogurt without sugar to maintain the friendly bacteria
  Limit your intake of:
  • Refined sugar (also sugar in fruit, maple syrup, or honey!).
  • Most fats, apart from cold-pressed, uncooked olive oil that can help inhibit the growth of candida
  • Alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate
  • Foods containing yeast such as bread, mushrooms, vinegar, or smoked foods

Supplements

If you are nursing your baby, you are probably the most important one to be taking supplements because everything passes through your milk. To reduce and kill the yeast in your intestinal tract, you can supplement your diet with:

  • Probiotics. Your baby can also take some in a lower dosage and a lactobacillus mouthwash may also be helpful.
  • Good antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, small amount of zinc, and selenium.
  • Caprylic acid from coconut.
  • Grapefruit seed extract.
  • Odorless garlic capsules.
  • Ginger tea with your meals
  • Aloe vera. You can apply it topically to your baby's thrush as well, several times a day.

Homeopathic remedies

  • Arsenicum album 9c
  • Sulphur 9c
  • Thuja 30c
  • Capsicum

General recommendations

Clean everything that comes in contact with your baby's mouth, that is to say your nipples between feedings, and any item that your baby puts in the mouth. You can use a little bit of hydrogen peroxide to clean the item and rinse it with water before giving it back to the baby.