Can Citrus Cause Diaper Rash? Things Every Parent Should Know

  • By: Gian
  • Date: March 18, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Citrus can be a delicious and healthy addition to your baby’s diet. They are packed full of vitamin C (crucial for the development of eyes and immune systems), fiber, and other essential vitamins and minerals. But can those same fruits also cause diaper rash?

In this blog post, we will discuss the potential link between citrus and diaper rash, as well as things every parent should know about preventing and treating diaper rash.

Are citrus fruits healthy for your little one?

Yes. Vitamin C is abundant in citrus, which supports a baby’s immune system and aids iron absorption from plant foods such as beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds.

Citrus also include B vitamins (including folate), beta carotene (which converts to vitamin A), and a variety of other plant components like carotenoids and phenols.

Most citrus’ pulp also contains fiber, antioxidants, and other plant compounds like beta-cryptoxanthin, which has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and other health advantages.

When can babies start eating citrus?

Citrus can be introduced around the age of six months which is when most babies are ready to start eating solid foods.

Some parents may choose to wait until their baby is a bit older, as citrus can cause diaper rash in a baby.

What are the potential dangers of consuming citrus?

There are no recognized dangers from consuming citrus. Citrus, on the other hand, are acidic and might cause diaper rash in some children because too much citrus can cause acidic poop which causes rash.

Most toddlers love citrus but these fruits should be avoided especially if they are prone to developing diaper rash. Citrus to avoid include oranges, grapefruit, lime and lemon. 

Does citrus cause diaper rash?

Although rare, citrus triggers diaper rash. Some diaper rash can be a result of excessive consumption of juice or eating specific citrus fruit or other acidic food. Certain acidic foods and citrus (including juices) are known for causing diaper rashes in most children who are sensitive.

Can little kids be allergic to citrus?

Citrus may appear to be a healthy food choice for babies and toddlers. They are high in Vitamin C but acidic fruits and certain foods tend to cause harm to your baby’s digestion. In extreme cases, it may cause or induce an allergic reaction especially to babies prone to allergies. So feed them other foods that are not acidic.

Wait until your baby is one year old before allowing her to eat citrus. Doing so allows her stomach and digestive system to mature which can help avoid bad allergic reactions to citrus fruits. 

How to tell if your baby is allergic to citrus?

Toddlers love fruit but sometimes if they come into contact with the peel of terribly acidic fruit like oranges, a baby who is allergic to citrus may get contact dermatitis.

After coming into contact with an allergen even in small amounts, the skin releases inflammatory molecules, causing allergic contact dermatitis. Among the signs and symptoms are:

  • Red inflamed skin
  • Diaper rash
  • Burning sensation of the skin
  • Itching and swelling of the skin
  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Skin blisters

When to contact a doctor?

In rare cases, a citrus allergy can lead to a systemic allergic reaction called anaphylaxis which ​is a medical emergency, serious pain and can be life-threatening. Other symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Swelling of the throat and mouth
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Serious pain
  • Hives and flushed skin
  • Sudden drop of blood pressure
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

How to treat diaper rash caused by citrus allergy?

If your infant develops a diaper rash caused by more acidic citrus fruits like orange juice or strawberries (although not the common cause), don’t fret; there are several home remedies you may take to treat diaper rashes. However, your child just may have a diaper rash for any number of reasons, so its worth checking the types of diaper rash and seeing what one your child has before you commence treatment.

Maintain a clean and dry environment

Keeping your baby’s diaper dry and clean is the most critical action you can take to avoid and treat a perpetual diaper rash. Clean the area gently with a soft cloth or a spritz of water from a bottle when changing the diaper. Wipes are acceptable; just be delicate when using them or skin irritation become worse.

Don’t scrub your skin too hard, and stay away from alcohol-based wipes. When your little one has a rash, it can also be beneficial to let them go without a diaper for a while.

To give your little one some diaper-free time, place towels or disposable waterproof pads on the floor. It is also good to know what is causing diaper rash.

Use a diaper rash cream or ointment after every diaper change.

Using rash creams (zinc oxide) and ointments every after diaper change helps. These creams create a barrier between the skin and urine/stool. They also lubricate the baby’s skin which becomes less irritated during movement. A barrier and less friction help the skin heal itself.

Frequent diaper changes

It might be an unpleasant event but it’s ideal if you change your child’s diaper right away. A small amount of trapped moisture is all it takes to irritate the skin of your child and induce a rash. That’s why, especially if your little one has an active diaper rash, even mildly damp diapers should be changed very away before it becomes worse.