Diaper rash safety


Hello there. I am in hopes you can please help me. I currently use the doTERRA line of essential oils and I also have used them to help my 18month old daughter. I have recently used ylang-ylang, roman chamomile, lavender and sandalwood to reduce stress and attempt to balance my hormones that have been out of wack since my pregnancy. Unfortunately, my husband is extremely skeptical as to the healing properties of EO’s as well as the safety of their use. He is concerned about the oils coming through my breast milk and causing issues for our daughter and recently he attributes my use of Lavender and Roman Chamomile on our daughter’s severe diaper rash as exacerbating the rash. I tried to explain that her reaction to anything on her rash when it was this raw would have made her scream and cry, but unfortunately, he attributes it only to my use of the oils. I also tried to explain the healing properties of those two oils specifically for diaper rash, but he says that he saw me “burn her” with the 2 oils based on her screaming response to the diaper change.

Would you mind please responding by addressing my husband’s concerns as well as pointing him in a direction where he can read scientific evidence of the healing properties and explain the safety of the use of oils with regard to our baby, pregnancy and breast feeding? Are there any specific oils not to use during pregnancy or breast feeding? And lastly, do you have an opinion on the doTERRA brand of oils and that they claim to be Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade?

Thank you so much for helping to educate my husband, so that I may continue to help my family in a natural, alternative way. I am not a fan of antibiotics (unless absolutely necessary) or synthetic and chemical treatments or remedies. I am very concerned with a lot of these questionable ingredients in our western over the counter and prescribed medicines.

As far as the oils I listed as having used on myself, I use 1 neat drop rubbed on the back of my neck or collar bone or wrist once to twice a day. The lavender & Roman Chamomile used on my daughter has been applied 2 drops of each in my hands patted on her dry, clean bottom. This is how I did it 2 days ago and she did not get upset and it seemed to help alleviate her itching, but since then, her rash has gotten worse from more acidic urine and feces and the rash now appears more raw and is weeping. Today, I did the same type of application & then let her be without a diaper for an hour while she laid on top of me & rested, and the redness has already subsided substantially. There is still the raw spot though.

The information I seek as being most important is in regards to the possibility of exacerbation of the rash by use of the oils, the possibility of oils harming our daughter through topical and/or aromatic applications to our daughter, the possibility of oils harming our daughter by way of my breast milk, if there are specific oils not to use while pregnant and or breastfeeding and any scientific studies and/or evidence showing the healing properties of the oils that my husband can reference.

Also, if you wouldn’t mind touching on your opinion of doTERRA’S line and in your professional opinion sharing with me if you think it is a credible product.

Once again, thank you very much for trying to answer my questions! I truly appreciate your efforts!

Thank you and in health,


Hi Jamelle,

In my opinion, your use of 1 or 2 drops a day on yourself will have no effect in regard to breastfeeding. Of that amount, at least 95% evaporates or rubs off on clothes, and only a very small percentage of what you do absorb will reach breast milk (or fetus). You would probably absorb just as much essential oil from eating a couple of oranges or a bowl of strawberries.

Most essential oils, including lavender & Roman chamomile, have a drying effect if used undiluted on the skin, for the same reason that alcohol is drying – rapid evaporation. It does not sound as if your use of these oils has made things worse, but I would caution you against using the oils in this way because it does increase the risk of irritation or allergic reaction, especially for a baby, which has relatively thin skin.

Do use the oils, but mix into a vegetable oil, gel or cream base before use, for a baby at no more than 1%, or one part in 100. Barrier creams for babies are made to form a literal barrier over the skin, to protect it from the urine, feces etc. Essential oils, if anything, have the opposite effect – helping other substances to penetrate the dermal layers.

In my opinion, DoTerra essential oils are good quality though over-priced. I have written about ‘therapeutic grade’ claims here. I don’t have an easy-to-reference list of oils to avoid in pregnancy, but the most important would be fennel and anise. Here is a link to research on lavender oil.

I hope this is helpful.

By |2019-01-20T16:49:56+00:00February 13th, 2013|Q & A, Safety|4 Comments

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  1. Vanessa June 10, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    How would I go about applying lavender oil to my 9 week old son’s feet for help with calming & sleep? I used therapeutic-grade oil only & was wondering if I can apply the oil to his soles NEAT or if I should dilute it in a cream or vegetable oil?

  2. robert June 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Vanessa, to help with sleep you don’t need much, especially for a baby. If you want to apply to feet, dilute to about 2% – 20 drops in 1 ounce of base oil or cream. Or you could vaporize a few drops using a vaporizer.

  3. Ian Brealey June 22, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Hi Jamelle, Robert, Vanessa

    As a total DAD to 4 children I would like to echo Roberts comments and point out particularly the beneficial effect of fresh season jojoba oil for nappy rash.

    In my experience no particular essential oil is needed as the jojoba will take care of it. Besides being chemically similar to the skins natural oil sebum fresh jojoba contains helpful vitamins.

    So less stress all round and may even convince the most sceptical of husbands of the merits of plant oils for the skin.

    A drop of lavender oil at bathtime will turn this from a stressful experience to a delight.

  4. Kim August 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I wanted to address Jamelle’s and other’s struggles with the diaper rash. If they have a bad or worsening rash, the two very best and essential ingredients are water and air. You have to be extra vigilant for a couple of days and change the baby’s diaper the minute they wet or mess. If they have a messy bowl movement, fill the tub or sink with only warm water and gently bathe her/his bottom, do not use soaps or baby washes. If the rash is bad, it may sting the baby at first, but within less than a minute they will have such relief. Having a bad rash itself stings so badly especially if the urine and bm is left on there or if you use baby wipes etc. Carefully use a wash clothe to gently dab the area to make sure it gets clean – do NOT scrub or rub. Then dry the baby’s bottom very very gently by blotting with a towel. If the baby has just wet a little, or you have already done the bath a couple of times, you can take a warm rag dipped in water and drizzle the areas and folds and dry with a lot of water, blotting it dry. Let the baby lay and roll around on a towel or blanket and air dry for at least 10-15 minutes or longer if possible. If in a hurry you can also use a blow dryer on the area using the lowest setting with no heat for a minute or two. Instead of using creams or oils (which are hard to remove and clean when the baby is sore and can irritate the rash more) you can instead use a small amount of corn starch onto the area, gently using your hand to lightly coat the area before replacing the diaper. Creams and oils are better for helping to prevent a rash but once they have a bad rash, it can make it worse in my opinion. And what’s more natural than water and air.

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