When it comes to home remedies for diaper rash, the mom groups online are always overflowing with suggestions. You’ll find a million home remedies from breastmilk to cornstarch to apple cider vinegar to help soothe a bad rash on your baby’s bottom. The one I rarely see mentioned, however, is the one that worked wonders for our baby. Yes, it sounds a little crazy, but Maalox for diaper rash is really a thing.
When our little guy was around 8 months old we went through this very thing. We had tried all different types of over-the-counter creams, home remedies, and even a prescription antibiotic/antifungal cream called Viaderm (a medication is used to treat skin rashes that have become infected by certain bacteria or fungi).
But nothing seemed to help. When I took him back to the clinic where we were prescribed the Viaderm, the doctor suggested using Maalox or Milk of Magnesia for his diaper rash.
I guess from the look on my face, he could tell I had never heard of such a thing. He said, “I know it sounds crazy, but, my brother is actually a pediatrician and he totally recommends it”. At first, I thought, what witchery is this? And then, since we were at our wit’s end I thought, Ok…why not?
It is important to note that the first thing you should do if you are concerned about a diaper rash is to see your pediatrician who will determine if it is a yeast or fungal rash. If it is, he or she will likely prescribe you a prescription cream to try.
Always follow your health professional’s advice. This article is written based on our personal experience as parents and not intended to be taken as a substitute for medical advice.
What Causes Diaper Rash?
Most diaper rashes are caused by your baby’s sensitive skin reacting to the enzymes in their poop. In other words, the acidity of the urine and the poop can be extremely irritating.
Other causes that could be the be the culprit include:
- Skin staying wet or soiled too long (remember to change diapers often)
- Friction from the diaper rubbing on your baby’s wet skin
- Yeast or bacterial infection (staph or strep)
- Reaction from dye in disposable diapers
- Diarrhea caused by a change in diet, formula, allergies, breastmilk (remember, if you are breastfeeding, even a small change in your diet or any medications you take can affect your breastmilk)
Diarrhea is quite common in babies as their little tummies and digestive systems figure everything out but don’t let it go on for more than 24 hours before seeing your doctor or pediatrician. Little babies can get dehydrated really quickly and we don’t want that.
After 6 months of age, when you start feeding your baby new foods they may have a reaction that could cause tummy trouble. It’s important to introduce new foods one at a time, so you know if something disagrees with them.
When you see a bad diaper rash on your little one, it is honestly heartbreaking. We all know as moms how much it hurts us to see our little people in any kind of pain!
The truth is, diaper rashes are very common. So, try not to fret too much don’t let any mom guilt creep into your mind. Your main concern now is to help your little one however you can and get this painful problem resolved quickly.
But How Can Maalox Work For Diaper Rash? I Don’t Get It!
So, you might be wondering, how can a product used for stomach trouble work for diaper rash?
You’re not alone, we were too. But it’s quite a simple concept, actually.
As I mentioned earlier when babies get a bad diaper rash with broken skin or bleeding it may be caused by the acidic properties of the poop. So basically, the anti-acid properties in Maalox will neutralize the acid in the poop. Therefore, the skin will be less irritated.
Sounds crazy, I know. But it really works. And it works quickly! We saw an improvement almost immediately.
How Quickly Will Maalox Work For Diaper Rash?
When we discovered this magic home remedy, it was the answer to our prayers. We saw an improvement within the first few hours and in a matter of around 2-3 days it was completely healed.
So if you feel like you’ve tried everything under the sun as far as store-bought diaper creams and ointments, but nothing seems to be working, give this home remedy a go. Every mom I have talked to that has tried it has had great success. Even pediatric nurses recommend it!
The rash should clear up in a few days. If you do not see any improvement after 2-3 days, consult your doctor. You shouldn’t use this remedy for an extended period of time or as a daily routine. But in our experience, you really won’t need to use it for more than a few days.
Make a Magic Butt Paste with Aquaphor and Maalox
Here’s what you’ll need to make it.
The first thing you need to start off is a good barrier cream.
A barrier cream does exactly what the name implies. It creates a barrier between your baby’s skin and all that yucky moisture and bacteria.
Plenty of moms I’ve talked to swear by Aquaphor to make this magic butt paste, but you can use Desitin or any generic brand that is 40% zinc oxide.
Mix in a small container with a lid:
- 1 part Maalox
- 1 part 40% zinc oxide (Aquaphor, Desitin or any generic brand that is 40% is fine)
- Add 1 part A&D ointment (substitute antifungal cream for A&D if your doctor has determined it is a yeast rash)
- Start with a freshly cleaned baby bottom, air-dry or pat very gently with a soft, dry baby washcloth
- Apply mixture at each diaper change
- The mixture is a little runny at first, so keep an extra towel on had. Consistency will be better on the second day.
Alternatively, you can just soak a cotton ball with the Maalox, dab on the affected area, and let dry, then mix the diaper cream and ointment right in your palm at each diaper change.
It’s important to give your baby as much diaper-free time as you can.
Exposure to fresh air prevents build-up of moisture and bacteria and is one of the best ways to help heal that awful diaper rash. Yes, you must be prepared for a few accidents, but that’s a small price to pay for keeping your baby comfortable and happy.
Cover your furniture with towels, changing pads, or waterproof sheet protectors, and let your baby air out that bottom. It really makes a huge difference in speeding up the healing.
If your baby is in daycare or with a sitter and can’t do a lot of diaper-free time be sure to let your care providers know your baby’s dilemma and that he or she needs to be changed frequently. If they will not accept your DIY butt paste (most daycare centers won’t), ask your local pharmacist if they can make it for you and put it in a labelled container. That should solve the problem.
Is Mylanta the Same as Maalox?
Both brands contain the same active ingredients, so whichever is available to you can be used to make the DIY magic butt paste. Do NOT use any flavored kind, especially mint-flavored.
Mylanta and Maalox both contain 200 mg aluminum hydroxide, 200 mg magnesium hydroxide, and 20 mg simethicone per 5 ml.
If Maalox is unavailable where you live, you can use Milk of Magnesia or a generic brand of liquid antacid. We actually did use a generic brand. Just be sure to ask the pharmacist to make sure it has the same ingredients as Maalox.
Believe me, I know it sounds like an off the wall idea to use Maalox for diaper rash. I get that! But from one mom to another, I want to let you know how amazing a remedy it was for us.
Our little guy was as good as new in no time flat after we tried this magic butt paste. As much I thought it was an off the wall idea, when the doctor recommended it I was willing to give it a try and I’m so happy I did.
So, if you are at your wit’s end as we were, have tried every diaper cream out there and nothing is helping, I highly suggest giving it a shot.
Your baby will thank you (well, if they could talk, they would) and be so much more comfortable with a rash-free bottom. As moms, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a happy, healthy baby is a joy to behold. And when baby is happy, everyone is happy.