Trained in dentistry, Sree is currently studying lab sciences. She enjoys researching various health topics and writing about her findings.
Is cornstarch for diaper rash effective, or is it harmful to your baby? Diaper rash is one of the most common issues among mothers of infants and toddlers. One of the popular natural solutions to this issue is to apply cornstarch. However, there are those who say otherwise.
Here, you will find out practical tips on how to benefit from cornstarch as a solution to diaper rash.
Understanding Diaper Rash
Diaper rash is a skin condition that affects babies and normally occurs in the area just beneath their diapers. This skin problem brings discomfort to babies and worry to their parents.
You will know that your infant has diaper rash through the following:
- Presence of rashes or bright red skin irritation on the areas under the diaper including the following: penis and scrotum for baby boys and vagina and labia for baby girls
- The rashes typically come with sores, bumps, skin ulcers, blisters, and scales. They aggravate or trigger skin disorders such as seborrheic and atopic dermatitis.
- Your baby becomes irritable, especially during diaper changes and may scratch the area where the diaper rash is. In severe cases of diaper rash, your child may also cry wildly.
The causes are the following:
- Poor choice of diaper on the part of the parent
- Failure of the parent to change the diaper as necessary
- Bacteria build-up from over-wearing of the diaper
- Frequent pooping and peeing by the baby on the same diaper
- Failure of the parent to maintain good hygiene of the baby and to keep the area dry
How to Treat Diaper Rash
The basic treatment to prevent and avoid diaper rash is to make sure that the area is clean, hygienic, and dry. According to the Health Guide published by the New York Times, it is best that parents free their babies from diapers as much as possible. This will allow their babies’ skin to breathe which promotes good skin health and prevent irritations.
It is also best to choose the right diaper for your baby. Do not choose brands based on price, but instead base your choice on quality. Poor quality diapers may appear to be cheaper at first glance, yet in the end, they may cost you more not only in terms of money, but also in terms of the risk of diaper rash and other skin conditions that may affect your baby.
Other important things to remember to treat and prevent the rash are the following:
- Frequent changing of diapers is advisable. You need to change the diaper of your baby as much as possible, as soon as the baby poops and pees.
- Clean the diaper area regularly, especially during changing of diapers. Use cotton ball or a clean soft cloth for cleansing, and be sure to keep the area dry.
- Make sure that your baby is wearing a diaper that perfectly fits – not too loose and not too tight. This will prevent the diaper to irritate your baby’s ski from friction and rubbing.
- Use high quality diapers to make sure that the materials will not cause or trigger any allergic or adverse reaction. High quality diapers are ideal to keep your baby dry that will prevent bacterial and fungal infection.
The Benefits of Cornstarch for Diaper Rash
Cornstarch has several benefits to treat and prevent diaper rash, but only if you apply it correctly under strict supervision. Otherwise, it might not serve its purpose.
The following are arguments from those who are against the use of cornstarch as a treatment option for diaper rash:
- It can cause respiratory problems. However, this argument is valid only if the parent is careless in applying the cornstarch to the baby. This is why the parent should strictly supervise and make sure of the proper application of cornstarch during diaper change, or as necessary.
- Cornstarch can aggravate yeast infection. Yeasts need food to thrive, and cornstarch is one of their food sources. The solution to this is to make sure that your baby has no open wound or broken skin on the diaper area. It is also best to identify the cause of rash to rule out yeast as the culprit.
Apply Cornstarch for Diaper Rash
Here is how to apply cornstarch for diaper rash and benefit from it:
- Clean the diaper area using cotton balls or sterilized soft cloth. Make sure that you let the area dry. Wash your hands thoroughly and see to it that your hands are dry before you proceed with the next steps.
- Go several distances away from your baby, and have someone take care of your baby in the meantime. With the cornstarch container or dispenser far from your face but close to your body, sprinkle just the right amount for light dusting onto your clean hand.
- Wait for a minute or two to allow the cornstarch to settle on your hand. Upon settling, go back to your baby and apply the cornstarch evenly to the diaper area, making sure that no residue goes to the face, as your baby might inhale it.
Baby Playing in Diaper with New Toy
Another way to use the cornstarch without the risk of dust inhalation by your baby is to create a paste out of it. It is simple and easy. All you need to do is to combine cornstarch with petroleum jelly, and then apply the paste to your baby’s bottom to treat and prevent rashes.
Check the area from time to time. This will allow you to see if there are any adverse effects on your baby’s skin. You will have to discontinue use if the rash becomes worse. For instance, when you mistakenly apply the cornstarch to treat rashes caused by yeasts, the condition will worsen.
One way to identify if yeast is causing the rashes is to take note of the appearance. If what you have are red raised bumps, then most likely, the diaper rash is from yeast infection. However, to be sure and safe, consult your child’s pediatrician for diagnosis.
Note that the key to benefiting from cornstarch is your strict supervision. If you have children other than your baby, do not allow them to play with cornstarch. Keep it out of their sight and reach.
Natural Solution to Diaper Rash
The following are the benefits of using cornstarch as a natural solution to diaper rash:
- Health experts at University of Rochester Medical Center recommend the proper use of cornstarch over clean, unbroken, and dry skin of babies for the treatment and prevention of diaper rash.
The cornstarch works to minimize friction and irritation from the use of diapers. You can also use it to relieve irritations on other parts of the body provided you exercise care and caution to avoid inhalation by your baby.
- Cornstarch is one of the most effective natural methods to control or get rid of moisture. A moist environment is what bacteria and fungi need to thrive and multiply. This overgrowth of microorganisms leads to either bacterial or fungal infection that usually manifests through skin irritation, diaper rash, and other skin disorders.
As a responsible parent, you have to be diligent in performing your parental duties. Regardless if you have enlisted the services of others to care for your baby, you still have to supervise if only to ensure the complete safety and care for your baby.
A dutiful and diligent parent will be able to prevent even the most common conditions such as diaper rash. It is also best that you continue learning as much as you can on how to treat such condition, including the right way to apply cornstarch for diaper rash.
Bethany on July 12, 2019:
This is horrible! If I was a parent with a child with diaper rash I would feel so defeated! There are SO many reasons for diaper rash that isn’t “parent failure” antibiotics, summer heat, illness.....seriously consider rewording your article!!