How to Use Coconut Oil for Diaper Rash

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Coconut oil can be very useful for curing painful and irritating diaper rash in babies, as a result of its possibly moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and immune system-boosting properties. The fatty acids found in this versatile oil are also able to create a shield against infection, and specifically targets many of the sources that can cause diaper rash.

Diaper rash if primarily caused by ammonia in the urine, yeast infections, irritation from the diaper’s components, or acid in the stool. This will result in a red, inflamed area on your child’s buttocks and cheeks, ranging from a small irritated area to a large patch of fiery-red bumps and blotches. Your infant’s skin is extremely sensitive, so these harsh, abrasive substances and acids can easily cause pain and discomfort. As a parent, it can be extremely difficult to see your child in pain, particularly from their diaper, which is such a necessary part of child-rearing. Fortunately, coconut oil can quickly soothe the pain and irritation, while also protecting against any secondary infections or further instances of this painful condition. [1]

The irritated area on your baby’s bum is not only painful but also a prime location for bacteria and other infections to attack the already weakened and inflamed area. According to the USDA, coconut oil contains vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that are all known to be beneficial for health. For that reason, coconut oil’s natural potentially antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties can help protect your child from further discomfort, and also possibly neutralize any underlying infections or irritants that may be causing the rash in the first place. The moisturizing nature of coconut oil can penetrate the skin and prevent excessive dryness and flaking or blistering. Furthermore, the lauric acid in this oil is well known to counteract yeast infections, if that is the cause of the rash. [2] [3]

A happy mother hugging a smiling baby

You can use coconut oil for diaper rash relief. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How to Use Coconut Oil for Diaper Rash?

You can use coconut oil by itself as a healthy shield for your baby’s bottom, or you can prepare a diaper cream with the oil, along with Shea butter, corn starch, and some essential oils, if you want to prevent further outbreaks of diaper rash. Follow these simple directions to give your little one comfort and a pain-free diaper experience! [4]

Coconut Oil Treatment

Thoroughly wash your baby’s bottom and pat it dry gently, to not further irritate the rash.

Scoop out 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (solid form) and warm it between your hands or apply it directly to the affected area.

Gently rub the oil onto the inflamed skin and allow it to dry before putting on a new diaper.

Repeat this every time you change your baby’s diaper until the diaper rash is gone.

Coconut Oil Diaper Cream


Mix the coconut oil and Shea butter in a pot and heat it on the stove until it becomes a liquid.

Turn down the heat and continue stirring as you slowly mix in the corn starch to thicken the mixture.

Once it is thoroughly mixed, add the drops of essential oil, which are mainly included for fragrance.

You can store this cream in a mason jar (for jams or jellies), as this will keep it fresh for at least six months. You can also use a smaller jar or bottle if you make a small batch, which can fit conveniently into your diaper bag!

Note: When using this diaper cream, be sure to thoroughly clean your baby’s bottom with a damp washcloth. Let your baby’s bum air-dry, as the flow of air, can be soothing, and any time spent without being in contact with fabrics or materials is a good thing to increase healing. When you do apply the cream, be generous, both on the inflamed area, as well as in the folds of the legs, genitals, and other areas where fecal matter or urine may move in the diaper. The diaper will likely absorb some of the creams immediately, so don’t be stingy – you can always make more! [5]

What Kind of Coconut Oil to Use for Diaper Rash?

The best coconut oil to use is probably organic virgin coconut oil, as it is completely pure and unrefined, meaning that it hasn’t come into contact with any other chemicals, so it is an all-natural solution for your baby’s precious skin. Also, cold-pressed coconut oil is preferable to expeller-pressed varieties, as it may retain slightly more nutrients and be more effective against inflammation. [6]

As a general rule, avoid refined coconut oil, as it has been highly processed and bleached to remove the odor and flavor, but it also loses many of the antioxidants in the process that can speed the healing process. Organic coconut oil, pure coconut oil, and virgin coconut oil are all good options, and less expensive than the high-quality organic virgin coconut oil. Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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