Cornstarch for diaper rash: Is it safe for your baby?

Aside from its wide culinary applications, cornstarch is also helpful in beauty and skincare and is an excellent remedy for diaper rash. That said, is cornstarch safe for your baby?

Cornstarch effectively clears off diaper rash in no time, and it poses little or no health risk to your baby compared to many baby powders.

Let’s go into a little more detail about cornstarch and your baby’s safety. Read on.

What is a diaper rash?

Diaper rashes are a common skin problem among infants, and they are characterized by red scales and patches in the genital area and on the baby’s bottom, and they sometimes spread to the child’s legs and stomach.

Baby with a diaper rash
Baby with a diaper rash

Diaper rashes often result from prolonged exposure to dirty (soiled) diapers irritating the baby’s skin. 

They can also be caused by too-tight diapers, antibiotics, sensitive skin, irritants (such as bath products, cleansers in baby wipes), and introduction to new foods.

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Can I use cornstarch for diaper rash?

Yes, you can use cornstarch for diaper rash. Over the years, cornstarch has been used to provide fast relief for babies’ diaper rash. It soothes rashes and stops the irritation almost immediately, and this starch also helps prevent future breakouts. 

Cornstarch effectively cures diaper rashes, including chafing, intertrigo, eczema, and impetigo.

Cornstarch for diaper rash – How does it work?

It creates a barrier on the skin

When applied on the baby’s bottom, cornstarch creates an excellent barrier between your baby’s skin and any waste on the diaper, thus protecting their skin from exposure to the moisture that causes diaper rash. 

It reduces friction

Like popular baby powders, raw cornstarch has a fine texture that can reduce the amount of friction between your baby’s skin and another surface (such as a diaper).

It has a neutral pH

Because cornstarch has a normal pH, it is gentle on the skin and will not irritate your baby’s skin or provoke an allergic reaction like some baby products.

This makes cornstarch a perfect choice for all babies, especially those with delicate skin.

It helps to keep the skin dry

On application, cornstarch soothes and cools your baby’s delicate skin while reducing any pain associated with diaper rash. Cornstarch also stops the further spread of rashes by drying up moisture on contact.

How to use cornstarch for diaper rash

You can apply cornstarch in several ways for your baby’s diaper rash. Here are some ways to use cornstarch for diaper rashes:

Apply cornstarch directly to your baby’s skin

To do this,

  • Soak a clean towel in a bowl of warm water. 
  • Squeeze out the extra moisture and clean your baby’s bottom with it. 
  • Allow your baby’s skin to dry and slowly sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch on it. 
  • Wait for about 5 minutes, and then make your baby wear a new diaper. 

Do this 2-3 times a day.

Mix with vaseline

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with one tablespoon of petroleum jelly to form a thick paste.
  • Apply the cream to the affected area. 
  • After about 10 minutes, wipe out the cream with a warm damp cloth. 
  • Apply this mixture twice a day for quick treatment of diaper rash.

Mix with oil

You can also mix cornstarch with coconut oil and vitamin E to cure diaper rash. 

  • Make a paste with ½ cup of cornstarch, ½ cup of coconut oil, and a vitamin e capsule.
  • Apply the mixture to the affected area. Leave for 10 minutes.
  • Finally, wash your baby’s skin with warm water and allow the area dry on its own. 
  • Afterwards, wear your baby a new diaper.

Concerns about using cornstarch for babies

Since cornstarch is made from corn, an organic food, it does not contain talc. Talc is harmful to babies. However, studies have shown that cornstarch could be dangerous for babies if inhaled.

So, if you’re using cornstarch for your baby’s diaper rash, keep it away from the infant’s face. Try not to let the starch spread too much into the air where your child can breathe it in.

Additionally, if yeast caused the rash, cornstarch may not provide much help. You will need to see a doctor for better treatment for your baby. 

Using cornstarch powder to treat a yeast infection will likely worsen the rash, and the yeast will feed on the cornstarch and further complicate the issue.

Symptoms of a yeast diaper rash are:

  • Cracked or very dry skin
  • Bumps or tiny fluid-filled pimples
  • Rash that appears shiny
  • Deep red or purple raised patch of skin.

Other home remedies for diaper rash

Ensure the diaper fits properly

If your baby’s diapers are too tight, it can cause a diaper rash. Purchase properly fitting diapers for your baby.

Allow the area to breathe

Undress your baby’s bottom for a while to dry the area and allow the skin to breathe.

Use diaper creams and ointments

Creams containing zinc oxide are also helpful in the treatment of diaper rashes.

Oatmeal bath

Colloidal oatmeal may also help reduce the pain and itching of a diaper rash.

Switch diaper brands or laundry detergents

If an infant develops a diaper rash frequently, their skin may be sensitive to a particular product. Consider changing diaper brands or detergents.

Avoid using baby wipes

If your child has a diaper rash, it is best to stick with non-scented wipes to pat the area dry. Scent-free soap and water can help improve the condition.

Avoid scrubbing the area

Scrubbing your baby’s diaper rash can worsen the situation and even damage their sensitive skin. Gentle cleaning is best for curing diaper rash. 

FAQs

Will cornstarch damage cloth diapers?

No. cornstarch isn’t water-soluble, meaning that it won’t find its way deep inside your diaper where it can cause trouble. Cornstarch is safe to use with cloth diapers, even without liners.

What causes diaper rash?

Diaper rashes generally occur because of wet or infrequently changed diapers. 

Conclusion 

Cornstarch is a safe and effective remedy for diaper rashes. It is also a better substitute for talc powders as it poses less health risk to your baby. 

Ensure you keep cornstarch away from your baby’s face when applying the powder; apply it by hand and not with a bottle that will make it airborne (like a baby powder bottle).

Precious is a vast researcher and has a knack for writing. She is also passionate about learning and personal development. She is a graduate of Human Anatomy and is given to helping people live a healthier and happier life.