Milk of Magnesia for Diaper Rash

  • By: Ashley
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Your baby’s bottom is red, irritated and inflamed. You’ve tried everything – diaper cream, petroleum jelly, corn starch – but nothing seems to be working 

It’s hard to see your little one in pain, especially when you don’t know how to make it better. Diaper rash can be so frustrating because it seems like it comes out of nowhere and there’s no clear solution.

Will milk of magnesia help? We dive into this and see what the science behind using milk of magnesia on diaper rash. This is part of our series of home remedies for diaper rash.

What is Milk of Magnesia?

Milk of magnesia is a suspension of magnesium hydroxide in water. It’s available over the counter and has been used for decades as an antacid, laxative and stool softener.

What does milk of magnesia do to relieve diaper rash?

Diaper rash is caused by skin irritation that results from numerous factors:

  • Diapers that are left on too long
  • Chafing from urine and/or feces
  • Introducing new foods to a baby’s diet.
  • Acidic poops caused by foods with too much acid. (Think citric foods, blueberries, strawberries, kiwis, oranges etc).
  • Yeast rash
  • Alleries
  • Skin irritants next to baby’s skin (baby wipes, lotions, diapers etc)

It seems strange to think that a laxative could help as for bad diaper rash then?

However, milk of magnesia works by neutralising acidity and relieve the pH balance on your baby’s skin, which will restore it back to health and reduce redness and inflammation.

So if your baby has a rash caused by acidic poop putting milk of magnesia in the affected area should really help the skin deal with it.

Can milk of magnesia be used on baby skin?

It is safe to give milk of magnesia topically as a diaper rash cream however you should never give milk of magnesia internally to a child under six years old unless prescribed by your pediatrician.

Is magnesium good for diaper rash?

If the diaper rash is caused by acidic poop then yes it can work very well. At the next diaper change just coat the diaper area and then allow it to air dry before you put the next diaper on. If you are not sure what type of diaper rash your baby is suffering from, read our guide to the different types of diaper rash.

You can put milk of magnesia in a spray bottle and spray the terrible rash. You should continue doing this treatment until the diaper rash has completely healed, to heal the skin you can also use vitamin e to heal irritated skin from diaper rash..

Once the magnesia has dried you can then cover it in a baby powder (not talcum powder). A natural baby powder or cornstarch (corn starch works on diaper rash) would work (or try browned flour for diaper rash which can also work).

Another alternative home remedy with magnesia is to make a butt paste with baking soda shea butter (shea butter is great on diaper rash). Mix all the ingredients then smother on the poor baby in the diaper area. Most moms found relief on their babies skin with a few applications. You can keep this paste in a small container until you are ready to use it.

As ever, with any topical treatment to a skin patch test first and if you find it has made things worse stop the treatment and take your child to the doctor.

What are the benefits of using milk of magnesia on diaper rash?

If it’s done correctly, the benefits of using milk of magnesia on a diaper rash include:

  • Fast relief from itching and pain
  • Eases inflammation and promotes healing.
  • Neutralises PH on skin

Are there any risks associated with using milk of magnesia on diaper rash?

The action of magnesium hydroxide is to bind with water and form a soap. This means that it will also remove the oil from your baby’s skin, so using it internally or on a diaper rash can dry out a baby’s skin which will make their irritation worse. This is why it can be good to make a butt paste with shea butter.

Is milk of magnesia safe to use with cloth diapers?

Yes, if you are cloth diapering it is safe to use as a diaper cream with your cloth diapers. We’ve done a whole guide to using cloth diapers and diaper creams here.

Is milk of magnesia good for yeast rash?

Whilst it may help ease some of the symptoms of a yeast rash in the affected area, it will not kill the yeast spores so you can use this in conjunction with an ointment or something like apple cider vinegar to kill yeast rash. Apple cider vinegar works to kill yeast in two ways. Firstly because it’s acidic (like your baby’s poop), and then secondly because the lactobacillus bacteria in apple cider vinegar is actually what kills yeast.

What are the side effects of using milk of magnesia for diaper rash?

For using this topically there are little known side effects. However, if your child suffers an adverse reaction then stop using it immediately.

When changing your child diapers, make sure that the diaper area is completely clean (and rinsed in cold water) before putting this on then allow it to fully air dry before putting the fresh nappy on. This works great when used in conjunction with other diaper rash remedies like soothing healing baths (baths heal diaper rash quickly!).

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, there are a lot of ways you can use milk of magnesia on your baby’s skin. The most common way is to put it in a spray bottle and then just coat the area with this magical concoction before gently patting dry. This will help heal diaper rashes quickly while also moisturizing their delicate skin from long-term damage caused by acidic poop which causes many cases of diaper rash.

You should continue treating until the condition has gone away completely for the best results.

Cloth Diapers x
Cloth Diapers