Natural remedies for diaper rash, such as lanolin, will not only help to cure the problem, they can also prevent it from reoccurring.
You may well know lanolin as a skin protectant for nipples for breastfeeding mothers. However, a little know secret is that lanolin also makes a fabulous diaper rash ointment and is perfect for your little one’s sensitive skin.
This is part of our series on natural treatments and home remedies for diaper rashes.
What is Lanolin?
Lanolin is a natural substance found secreted by sheep’s sebaceous glands. It makes their wool water-resistant and also helps to keep the skin from becoming irritated when in wet surroundings.
Sheep’s sebaceous glands secrete lanolin, which keeps their wool smooth, moisturized, and protected from the weather. Lanolin possesses characteristics comparable to the sebum generated by our skin.
Lanoline is harvested by washing wool with a sodium hydroxide solution or diluted acids. The substance is then refined, bleached, and deodorized before it is used as a medicinal salve.
How Does Lanolin Work?
Raw wool is either treated with a soap solution or kneaded in hot water to remove lanolin for industrial usage. The lanolin is then isolated using a centrifuge. Bleaching, deodorizing, and drying are all steps in the process.
When applied to the skin, it acts as a protective barrier against moisture. Applied topically, it is also an excellent moisturizer for dry cracked skin. It helps keep your baby’s bottom moisturized and protected from the irritants that cause diaper rash and diaper dermatitis
If you want to truly heal your baby’s bottom naturally, lanolin is a safe and inexpensive remedy that really works.
How To Use Lanolin for Diaper Rash
First, cleanse the area with water and then pat dry. Apply diaper ointment liberally to the affected area. Reapply whenever the diaper is changed, or after every bowel movement if possible. Diaper ointment containing zinc oxide will help to protect the skin from further irritation
Some people also find that applying a small amount of lanolin at nighttime reduces the frequency of diaper rash episodes.
Lanolin is naturally derived and not associated with any potential side effects when used on your baby’s bottom. Lanolin is also a great remedy for older children and adults to treat dry itchy skin on the inside of the elbows, or on hands that crack from frequent washing or exposure to harsh soaps.
If you have a bottle of lanolin in your home already, add this inexpensive remedy to your diaper rash treatment repertoire.
Is Lanolin Safe for use on Babies?
Lanolin is a form of wool grease. Once purified, it is safe for application to human skin because it does not contain any lanolin from the sheep’s wool itself. Thus, lanolin from the pharmacy or health food store has been cleaned and processed to remove potential allergens. Always perform a small skin patch test prior to first time usage just to be sure.
It is important to make sure the lanolin has been purified.
What are the possible side effects of lanolin ?
Lanolin is associated with very few side effects. If you or your baby experience any irritation, discontinue use.
What Can You Use Lanolin For?
Lanolin can be used for a wide range of skin complaints including:
- Diaper rash
- Cracked or dry skin
- Sunburn; and,
- Wind burn (see below for how to use)
- Moisturizes lips and skin around the mouth during chemotherapy (talk to your oncologist first)
- Cracked nipples when breastfeeding
- Dribble rashes
- Radiation therapy skin burns after radiation treatment
- Any other skin irritation
Lanolin contains both hydrophilic and lipophilic properties as well as a natural antioxidant, which is why it works as both a moisturizer and an antibacterial. In fact, lanolin has been shown to prevent the growth of bacteria which cause skin infections
It also helps to heal small wounds or cracked skin by forming a protective barrier between the affected area on the baby’s skin and the outside environment. This is why it can be used for both diaper rashes as well as general skincare.
Lanolin Healing Benefits
We’ve already mentioned that lanolin contains some intrinsic antibacterial properties, but did you know that it also helps to heal small wounds or cracks by forming a protective barrier between the affected area and the outside environment?
Lanolin is also an excellent moisturizer for dry, chapped skin. It’s even used by many people on their cuticles.
Topical application of lanolin can help to prevent diaper rash by creating a waterproof barrier on the skin surface. This may be due to its occlusive properties, which means it forms a protective film on the skin surface to prevent loss of moisture.
Lanolin is also rich in nutrients that aid in tissue regeneration, making it an excellent choice for people who suffer from erythema (redness)
Lanolin is similarly effective at healing small wounds because its occlusive properties prevent moisture from escaping and its nutrient content promotes skin regeneration and healing. By forming a waterproof barrier on the surface of your skin, lanolin can also help to prevent windburn or sunburn.
Is Lanolin Safe for Cloth Diapers?
Yes, lanolin is safe to use on your baby’s bottom when cloth diapering. Lanolin is a natural product and it should not cause any issues if it gets into a wet or damp diaper. Bear in mind that once lanolin has been purified, the wool wax alcohols have been removed as well as some other trace elements.
Lanolin is also used in wool wraps to relanolise them to make them waterproof again.
How to Use Lanolin on Babies?
The simplest way to use lanolin is directly from the tube onto your baby’s bottom or other affected area of skin. To be sure you are using an unadulterated version of lanolin, try to buy it from a reputable source.
Alternatively, you can mix the lanolin with coconut oil or shea butter before applying to make a diaper cream.
Mixed with Shea Butter for Diaper Rash Creams
Mix 5 parts shea butter with 1 part lanolin to make a diaper cream. Melt the shea butter over low heat and add the lanolin, stirring thoroughly to ensure it mixes evenly. Pour into a sealable jar and allow to cool before use. Shea butter is amazing for diaper rash.
Mixed with Coconut Oil Helps Prevent Diaper Rash
Mix 3 parts coconut oil with 1 part lanolin to make a diaper cream. Melt the coconut oil over low heat and add the lanolin, stirring thoroughly. Pour into a sealable jar and allow to cool before use.
This is a really soothing balm but it is always important to remember to changed soiled diapers promptly. A diaper change should be done as soon as your child has soiled their nappy or when it is wet. Coconut oil is very beneficial for diaper rashes.
You can swap out the coconut oil for aloe vera which is very healing in the diaper area.
Mixed with Zinc Oxide Powder
Mixed 1 part zinc oxide powder with 2 parts lanolin to make a home made diaper rash cream. Mix the zinc oxide and lanolin together thoroughly then spoon into a clean tub or jar. Apply as needed.
Lanolin is not only safe for your baby, but it also provides natural relief from irritated skin or broken skin during diaper changes. Lanolin, an oily substance found in wool and sheep’s milk fat is combined with zinc oxide to create a moisturizing barrier for your baby’s delicate skin. This protects them from wet diapers which can cause irritation or soreness – but lanolin will help heal all of these problems!
What Precautions Should You Take?
As with any substance you put on your skin, it’s advisable to do a small patch test first to ensure that you don’t have an adverse reaction to the lanolin. Simply apply a small amount of the cream or ointment to the inside of your arm and watch for signs of redness or irritation.
If you’ve done a patch test and experienced no negative reactions, then proceed to use it as needed on your baby’s bottom. Remember that even natural products can cause an allergic reaction in some people so do another small patch test if necessary. Also be sure notto use any type of lanolin product on open wounds or bleeding areas.
Does Lanolin work on Yeast Infections?
Whilst lanolin may help with easing some of the symptoms of a yeast infection, you will need an antifungal treatment to kill the yeast spores. You should always seek medical advice if your baby experiences any allergic reactions and tell any of your health care providers.
Breast feeding mothers are often prescribed lanolin for cracked nipples by their healthcare providers. It is safe enough to put on the nipples even when they have a nursing baby.
The Bottom Line
Lanolin is a natural substance that helps heal irritated skin from broken skin during diaper changes to protect them from wet diapers which can cause irritation or soreness. Lanolin is a natural way to protect your baby’s skin during diaper changes. It is also great for keeping nipples from becoming dry when breastfeeding. It has been used for years because it works, but if you are unsure always check with your doctor.