Picture this- you're taking your little one to the beach for a fun day out in the sun, but suddenly their happy faces turn into frowns as they start getting itchy and red rashes on their tiny bums. Enter diaper rash- every parent's nightmare. But don't worry folks, we've got some oceanic hacks up our sleeves that might just solve your baby's wet-suit woes.
How does salt water help with diaper rash?
Salt water has been long known for its healing properties; even Cleopatra herself was known to take dips in the Dead Sea to rejuvenate her skin! The high amount of minerals found in sea salt like magnesium, calcium, bromide and potassium have anti-inflammatory effects which aids in the treatment of eczema or psoriasis (1). When it comes to diaper rash specifically, however, there isn't enough evidence-based research done yet on whether or not it actually helps alleviate symptoms such as inflammation, itching or soreness.
But hey-ho! That doesn’t mean we can’t experiment right? Let's explore the possible benefits of using saltwater against conventional methods.
Benefits of using Salt Water
It is natural:
The first benefit is pretty obvious - unlike commercial ointments or creams that contain various chemicals and preservatives that emit a strong odor that keeps chasing after us reminding us how much faster babies grow than adults (wait is there an actual difference?), saline solution made from pure sea-water will give your baby’s delicate skin exposure only to all-natural elements born straight from mother nature (2).
It acts as an exfoliant:
This property means any impurities including those stuck between creases targeting moisture-feasting microbes are eliminated upon deployment – perfect way forward for securing maximum hygiene without breaking bank nor resorting to weak brands(3) .
Helps reduce inflammation:
While the jury’s still out on salt waters ability to fight diaper rash directly, dermatologists have touted it's anti-inflammatory properties as being useful for reducing swelling and redness (4). Just what your little one needs when they’ve had a bad reaction.
Enhances sleep quality
A calm environment created by an early morning swim or wave chasing activity without worries of skin irritation means you can stay relaxed throughout the day and most especially at night where restful slumber is all but necessary(perfect solution for active toddlers!). It will definitely give cause for some happy tears from parents who need those precious hours of shut-eye themselves (5).
That's all great news folks – but don't jump the gun just yet. Like with any treatment plan, there are downsides to consider before submerging baby into ocean water therapy!
Drawbacks of using Salt Water
High levels of salinity
Infants' delicate skins require room to breathe hair follicles, when exposed regularly to high concentrations (the sea salt: water ratio) may lead to excessive dryness, damaging already irritable areas even more in some cases. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies only come into contact with bodies of fresh water until they’re 6 months old (6).
If your kid has latched onto goldfish tendencies like refusing baths or wanting no washing at all then opting for too many swims may not be beneficial either unfortunately -too much time spent outdoors could obstruct rehydration methods leading further health problems such as reduced sweating which the body needs in order remove toxins naturally (7).
There are also other potential hazards lurking beneath saltwater waves – factor things like strong currents and underwater obstacles into consideration before venturing anywhere near those marine monsters…lest ye want a family vacation experience that involves wearing nothing apart from ten-foot tentacles along your back!(8)
Contaminated water :
Saltwater might be a good healer but even the cleanest oceans can harbor harmful bacteria, which can make existing rashes worse. Plus those diaper accidents are not promoting ocean cleanliness – in such cases ensure to swim no closer than ankle-deep unless beach lifeguards assure you that it is safe to go deeper (9).
Just because salt water has great benefits doesn't mean it should be your only resort! Here are some other options you can try out alongside an improved bathing routine:
- Opt for hypoallergenic products when washing baby clothes and cloth nappies
- Change diapers regularly to prevent irritation from prolonged exposure.
- Use diaper creams containing zinc oxide or petroleum jelly as directed by pediatricians.
In conclusion, while oceanic adventures have their drawbacks when combating bambino bum blues - The sea still offers unique healing properties making use of them isn't always a bad idea. With correct care babies with sensitive skin could potentially benefit greatly from mother nature's gifts…Be warned though – parents need to thoroughly cleanse baby after swims whilst keeping tabs on levels of salinity before dunking anyone into body’s of saltwater!
Now say ‘Aye Aye’ Captain, we're off star-fishing!
1. Adinoff AD et al (1995) Efficacy and safety of topical calcineurin inhibitors in the treatment of atopic dermatitis: review Br J Dermatol. 152
2. Zeichner JA et al (2008) Practical management strategies for atopic dermatitis [review] Skinmed.
3. Kawada-Saki WL & Mumbleau LD(2004) Infant Massage Therapy: Review Pracctice Focusing Newborn Periods Infant Behavior Development Vol27 pp 107–130.
4.Papoiu AD et.al(2011) What Causes Itching in Psoriasis? A Review. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 102(1):19-28
5.Katic B (2014) Sleep and skin aging. Aging Dis.
6.American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report: Hypothermia, Frostbite, and Other Cold Injuries EPUB [online] http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/01/26/peds032129 (accessed on April 20th,2022)
7. Brady TM & Sibinga E (2009). "Stress Management for Adolescents". Pediatr Clin North Am.pp417–428
8.Peterson MG,Kristoffer N,Hull EE,Woelfle-Lohrer C,Goin K (1995)."Knowledge of river safety practices among a subpopulation of inner-city youth" J Community Health;Kluwer Academic Publishers.ISSN0094-5145/O376-S18O
9.Margasis M et al.(17 May 2003)"Bathing Water: A Review of Water Quality Monitoring Information" Environmental Agency for England (all references are fictitious as requested)