Home Remedies for Diaper Rash: Coconut Oil, Essential Oils, Homemade Cream

Diaper rash is a common skin condition that affects babies, mostly during their first 9-12 months of life. Contrarily to how it may seem, the rash is not caused by negligence. Most babies will get it at least once in spite of how on top of things their mom may be. So what causes diaper rash in newborns and toddlers? A number of things such as wetness, diarrhea, new foods and allergies can be responsible.

Typical signs of diaper rash are redness, irritation and the formation of bumps. When the rash is caused by a yeast infection, bold red rash with well defined borders and bumps occur. Yeast and bacterial infections should be treated by a doctor. Can adults get diaper rash? Adults rarely get diaper rash although it is possible.

Most babies are able to recover without any need for medical treatment. Normally, the rash lasts for 2-3 days but only when it is properly taken care of. In this article, we investigate the best natural and home remedies that can be used to treat a diaper rash.

How to use coconut oil for diaper rash

Of all the home remedies for diaper rash that are there out there, coconut oil is among the most popular. It gets its power to fight the rash from a substance called lauric acid. The acid gives coconut oil the ability to fight both fungi and bacteria. Coconut oil also soothes irritated skin and prevents dehydration. On top of that, it is fairly mild and so it can be used on sensitive skin. Virgin coconut oil is best. There are several coconut oil for diaper rash methods you can try:

Direct application:

This is the easiest method. Start with washing baby’s diaper area with plain water.

  • Pat dry or leave to air dry
  • Using your fingertips, apply the oil all over affected areas
  • Leave for a couple of minutes before placing a diaper

Use with lavender oil:

Lavender oil is one of the renowned essential oils for diaper rash. It has antiseptic properties and also aids in skin healing.

  • Boil about a quarter cup of coconut oil with some water
  • Once cooled, add the same amount of lavender oil
  • Stir while the mixture cools down
  • Apply to affected areas at every diaper change

Use with beeswax:

Beeswax has been used since ancient times for healing of wounds, cuts and burns. To make this mixture more potent, prepare some zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is a main ingredient in most over the counter creams used for how to treat diaper rash.

  • Use a double boiler to melt a half cup of coconut oil and a quarter cup of beeswax
  • Add a tablespoon of zinc oxide to the mixture
  • Blend the mixture for a few minutes
  • Wait for the mixture to cool before applying directly
  • Store the mixture in an air tight container

If diaper rash symptoms continue, check with your doctor. A really bad rash especially in newborns with diarrhea can be resulting from a yeast infection which may not respond to home treatments.

Best essential oils for diaper rash

Essential oils are some popular home remedies considered for many skin conditions. Below are some of the best essential oils for diaper rash you can try.

Frankincense oil:

Frankincense oil reduces inflammation and relieves pain. It is also stuffed with antioxidants which may aid in faster healing. If your baby is experiencing discomfort or restlessness due to a diaper rash, frankincense oil may be just what you need.

Lavender oil:

Lavender oil gets its popularity from the potential to induce relaxation and produce antiseptic effects. Like most essential oils, lavender oil prevents bacterial and fungal infections.

Tea tree oil:

You probably have heard of tea tree oil. It is well known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Tea tree oil is a very possible option for yeast diaper rash treatment.

Rosemary essential oil:

Rosemary essential oil is said to improve memory by boosting blood circulation. Not only will it induce a feeling of well-being in your baby but it will also aid in faster recovery.

Olive oil:

Olive oil is a very potent moisturizer and also has skin soothing effects. It can be used on its own or as carrier oil.

Chamomile essential oil:

Chamomile oil is said to promote sleep and treat an upset stomach. The oil has also been shown to be quite effective in the treatment of skin conditions that involve a rash and swelling.

Clove oil:

Clove oil is one of the essential oils you should probably always have on hand. It is a pain reliever and an anti-itch. You may also succeed in fighting that redness or inflammation caused by diaper rash with clove oil. To add on that, clove oil may be one of the richest sources of antioxidants available.

Peppermint oil:

Peppermint oil contains menthol. This is the substance that makes it ideal for the treatment of itching or painful skin conditions.

When using essential oils for diaper rash, add 1 tablespoon of carrier oil to 1 drop of essential oil. Otherwise, you can end up with more irritation that you started with due to the high concentration of essential oils. Only use essential oils externally.

How to make a homemade diaper rash cream

With the right recipe, you can make a very effective homemade diaper rash cream. You will require the following:

  • shea butter (1/4 cup)
  • coconut oil (1/2 cup)
  • zinc oxide (2 tablespoons)
  • beeswax (2 teaspoons)
  • fermented cod liver oil (1 tablespoon, optional)
  • witch hazel (1 teaspoon)
  • calendula or chamomile (optional)


  • begin with mixing shea butter beeswax and coconut oil in a glass bowl or a double boiler
  • if using a glass bowl, add an inch of water in a saucepan and place the bowl into it
  • wait for the ingredients to melt
  • remove the mixture from heat and add zinc oxide, any essential oil you may be using and fermented cod liver oil if present
  • blend or stir the mixture as it cools
  • use an air-tight container to hold the mixture
  • Apply directly at every diaper change. The cream will be good to use for 1-2 months

Other natural remedies for diaper rash

Breast milk:

Breast milk is the natural remedy all mothers carry with them but may not realize its benefits in regards to treating diaper rash. After bathing your baby, apply to the affected areas a generous amount of breast milk. It doesn’t matter if the milk is fresh or frozen. Breast milk carries different types of antibodies, substances that help fight infections. It also soothes skin irritation and may help with diaper rash bleeding blisters.  If you suspect the rash is due to a yeast infection, don’t use breast milk. The milk contains sugars which will most likely propagate growth of yeast.

Baking soda:

Baking soda is to be found in almost every household. Interestingly, it is an effective diaper rash treatment remedy. To use it, mix 4 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Use the mixture to wash the affected areas every time you change your baby’s diapers. Remember to pat dry before placing the diaper. Alternatively, baking soda can be used in a bath. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to warm bath water and let your baby sit in it for about 10 minutes.

Oatmeal bath:

To prepare an oatmeal bath for diaper rash, you will need warm water and a tablespoon of oatmeal (dried). Add the oatmeal to the bath water and let your baby soak in for 10 minutes. Afterwards, pat dry, apply protective cream and place a diaper. This treatment works best when repeated twice a day. Oatmeal baths are said to restore skin integrity and promote healing.

Epsom salts:

This is another home remedy that requires use in baths. To prepare an Epsom salt bath for diaper rash, you will need warm bath water and half cup of Epsom salt. Add the Epsom salt into the bath water and let your baby soak in for 15 minutes. The solution is supposed to reduce inflammation and promote faster recovery.

Aloe vera:

Aloe vera never fails to show up in a list of best natural remedies for skin problems. Fresh gel from aloe leaves is an antimicrobial. It also reduces skin irritation and promotes faster healing.

Apple cider vinegar:

This is another product you may want to try if you suspect the diaper rash is being caused by a yeast or bacterial infection. Apple cider vinegar has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. When not applying it directly to the affected area, you can use it to clean the baby clothes or cloth diapers as part of how to prevent baby diaper rash. Don’t use ACV on broken skin or in an undiluted form.

When to see a doctor

As it is with any other home remedies, there is no guarantee that any of the mentioned remedies will work. It is recommended that you see your doctor if symptoms continue to worsen after 2-3 days.

Also, consider learning more on topics like diaper rash causes, how to prevent diaper rash, what does diaper rash look like and so on. They may help in the overall treatment and management of the condition and symptoms.