I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Essential Oils - Lavender For Diaper Rash - Trial

My son has diaper rash. It is an unusual event in this house, but it does happen from time to time. In the past, I have used Desitin, with great success. In my attempt to remove chemicals from our personal and medical care products, I am attempting to use other diaper rash treatments this time. For a couple of days I have been putting Burt's Bees Diaper Ointment on the area. There wasn't much change until this afternoon - the rash appears to be spreading, it is much redder, and he is more uncomfortable. Yuk. Poor goober! So this time I turned to essential oils. It's an opportunity to try another one out. If it doesn't work, and pretty quickly, I'll once again turn to Desitin, but I'm giving it a shot. I have read and been told by dear Suzanne (see Hats Off to Suzanne!) that Lavender essential oil can be used for diaper rash, so that is what I am trying. I wasn't sure if it should got on "neat" or diluted, so I mixed a few drops with Sweet Almond oil, and put it on all over the behind area (note: EOs shouldn't be put on the genital areas, according to one book I have.) It didn't hurt or sting, so that's good. I'll report back at the next diaper change, and throughout today and tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

UPDATE: Ok. So last evening I changed DS's diaper, and his skin was still very irritated and red looking. Hubby put him in the bath, allowed him to run around without a diaper for a while, reapplied the oil blend, and put him in a disposable diaper. This morning he needed a #2 diaper change first thing. (That poor butt!!) Despite the "soil" his skin looked almost perfect!! He had two very small red areas - a great improvement from last night. Whether it's due to the oil blend, the bath, the air-dry time, or a combination, I don't know, but I was so happy to see his diaper area looking happier again. =) Once again, I gave him some air-dry time, and I've kept him in cloth diapers except overnight or when we're going to be out for a while. Today I increased the amount of lavender in the oil blend as per some information I got from Suzanne (see Hats Off To Suzanne!) I put it on after the first diaper change but haven't since. A friend forwarded an article focusing on a link between tea tree and lavender oil and hormonal disruption in boys, and though I'm not really concerned about it, I only intend to use the blend when really necessary. I think it's always better to let the body heal itself when possible anyhow. But .... it's possible the blend really helped, so I intend to use it again should the need arise.


  1. What chemicals are in Desitin? Have you tried Triple Paste? We used it a lot because PJ ate a lot of fruit and got a lot of very painful and nasty diaper rashes. I swore by it from then on and it's just zinc and beeswax and a few other (from what I can gather, natural) ingredients.

  2. Hm. Desitin ingredients are....zinc oxide, BHA (?), cod liver oil, fragrance, lanolin, methylparaben, petrolatum, talc and water. That's a lot of ingredients. I am disappointed that I didn't see much change this evening. My son went into the bath, had air-dry time, then had more lavender and sweet almond oil applied, then I changed him before bed, and applied more. The skin looks red and irritated. I'm thinking maybe I haven't added enough lavender (I am hesitant as I am just learning about EOs) but if I don't see an improvement in the a.m, he's getting Desitin until I find something more natural that works. I will look into Triple Paste. =) DS eats a lot of fruit, too. The Burt's Bees has more ingredients than I feel like typing, but it seems to be basically a blend of essential oils with zinc oxide, beeswax, and other good stuff. I should give it another try.

  3. EWG has a great website for looking into the potential toxicity of ingredients of baby products:


    Unfortunately, they don't have enough data on a lot of newer, natural ingredients, but it's amazing what they have on desitin, for example:


    The BHA and methyparaben (and fragrances) are ingredients to avoid, it sounds like.

    Triple Paste looks better depending on which ingredients yours has (the lanolin or the anhydrous liquid lanolin):




    Also, there's a study out -- my son ate lots of veggies when he was little, and pooped 5 times a day, so I looked into this :( -- on some potential problems with using tea tree oil and/or lavender essential oil with children. "Studies in human cell lines indicated that the two oils had estrogenic and antiandrogenic activities", and the article reports on three little boys who had developed feminine features that went away several months after they stopped using the balms, gels, shampoos, soaps, and lotions with tea tree and lavender EO's. I'll send it to you, Daisy, by email, and anyone who wants a copy can get it from you. (It's got a lot of medical jargon, so is not easy to understand.) It's called

    "Prepubertal Gynecomastia Linked to Lavender and Tea Tree Oils"
    by Derek V. Henley, Ph.D., Natasha Lipson, M.D., Kenneth S. Korach, Ph.D.,
    and Clifford A. Bloch, M.D. in The new england journal of medicine, volume 356, issue 5, from February 1st, 2007, on page 479.

    I threw out the only diaper cremes I had that worked when I read that :( So, I don't really know what to recommend. I had been using California Baby's diaper area wash


    but it has lavender and tee tree oil (and, looking back on it, I would not recommend spraying it -- just pour a little on a cloth, and use that).

    Now we (very rarely) use something we bought in Europe...hopefully it's not too bad...

    I think I'll try the triple paste next time we need it.

  4. It's now April, and I'm still using lavender EO on the occasional redness that my DS gets. It feel that it works very well. I have pretty much weaned from using anything else. I have found that I only need to apply it once or twice, and it does the trick. It works especially well if left on overnight. I am very pleased with the results.