How to heal an ammonia burn and terrible diaper rash


We have been dealing with this NEVER ENDING diaper rash in our house! I started to REALLY research what else could be wrong. I thought it was a yeast rash. It wasn’t. Not only did I treat my diapers for yeast twice, but my dear daughter’s (DD) bum tested negative for yeast when the pediatrician swabbed it for a culture. So what the heck was causing this blistery rash that looks WAY too much like a burn? I mean, I was AFRAID to take DD to the doctor the first time because this rash was SO BAD!

So, what have I learned? I have learned that it probably was a burn. Apparently, if ammonia builds up in your cloth diapers, it can cause a burn. Ouch. Ammonia build up sucks. I will write a blog on how I got rid of the ammonia at a later time, once I have made sure that it is really GONE FOR GOOD. I am waiting for my DD and DS’s little bottoms to completely heal before I attempt to write about how to fix the problem.

What I do want to write about is how to help heal this burn. The first thing is to get them out of those diapers while they are healing and treat the diapers. We have been using a biodegradable, disposable inserts in our GroVia AI2s as well as GroVia biodiapers. Second, get some Ching Wan Hung Soothing Herbal Balm. I was telling my acupuncturist about this ammonia burn rash and she said, “I have this great burn balm!” Great? You can say that again! I have applied half a pea sized dab on my daughter’s ammonia burn area 4 times now. As of the third application she was 50% healed over most of the worst area and almost 100% healed on the less affected areas. Wow. Ok, so that’s not all I’ve done, but I give the herbal balm most of the credit. I also started using GroVia’s Magic Stick and Aveeno’s Soothing Relief Bath Treatment. I also read somewhere along this blog-o-rific journey, that you can make your own soothing bath treatment. Um, yes please! I’d love to save some money!

Homemade soothing bath soak for diaper rash, burns, and skin irritations:

1/2 cup whole oats, 1 Chamomile tea bag or spoon full of loose tea, wrap in a small square of cheese cloth and tie off.

Use a new bag with each bath. Do not reuse the soak!

Place in a warm (not hot) bath and swish around to release oat milk and tea. My DD’s hair and skin has been super soft as an added bonus!

So, to recap, I have been applying the Herbal balm when the twins wake, before nap, and before bed (after the bath soak). Because they have been in disposable inserts, I have covered the balm in either Aquaphor or Magic Stick (remember that you shouldn’t use Aquaphor in cloth because it can decrease absorbency of your diapers), and use the Magic Stick alone for all other diaper changes. This is the quickest this type of rash has EVER healed, and I am super excited to give you another option for those of you that are dealing with similar problems!

For those mom’s that dealt with burns from some of the chemicals in overnight disposable diapers, I would think that this concoction would greatly help you as well!

I’d love to hear your feedback in a comment on this post!

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13 Responses to “How to heal an ammonia burn and terrible diaper rash”

  1. Jen says:

    Can you at least hint at what you did to get rid of ammonia build-up? ;) Great post! Might just need to find this herbal balm. Where did you find it?

    • janice says:

      I have posted a couple links on my FB page with directions on how to fix the ammonia buildup. I’ve tried the boiling and stripping method. There is a link in the post to my acupuncturist’s website. You can purchase the balm there! You might look up your local acupuncturist/Chinese herbalist to see if they have it in stock to save on shipping but it’s well priced. $5.99 in the office. Hope this helps you as much as it helped me!

  2. Great blog Janice! Thnx for sharing the info! I am glad it is healing up for your DD! ;) You are a beautiful writer! :)

  3. Olusola says:

    Random question- what do you use for nighttime diapering? The grovias?

    • janice says:

      When we are in cloth we use GroVia AIOs with a gCloth insert on top (love the fleece top layer to keep the kids feeling dry). They have been great for us. When we are in disposable inserts I double up 2 gDiaper disposable inserts in a GroVia AI2 or a GroVia Biodiaper with a small gDiaper insert for a doubler. I can’t use a GroVia bio-insert as a doubler because it has a waterproof backing. I have also used a Bio-insert with a gDiaper for a doubler in a AI2. If this is “Greek” to anyone please let me know. Reading the GroVia blogs should clarify but I’m here to answer any questions!

  4. [...] bad the rash was, I thought “this looks like a burn!”. DD had blistered! (See the post HERE for how we quickly healed the ammonia burn/rash.) I then had some specific information to look up. [...]

  5. [...] bad the rash was, I thought “this looks like a burn!”. DD had blistered! (See the post HERE for how we quickly healed the ammonia burn/rash.) I then had some specific information to look up. [...]

  6. Rachel says:

    I found this blog by searching for an ammonia burn healing process. Can you only get the ointment on the internet? I would love to be able to pick it up TODAY to try. Also, I was reading online that the ointment should not be applied to the genital area or an open wound. Is that just a general warning and to be taken with a grain of salt? My daughter’s burn pretty much is an open sore. :( Thanks for this post!

    • janice says:

      Rachel, If you are in Ventura you can contact Krystal to see when you can pick some up. My DD’s ammonia burn was blistered and not open sores so I would be careful. It may be too far for this ointment. If you explain that it is an ammonia burn your doctor may be able to give you a cream. It will probably not be cloth safe so you may have to use a fleece liner and wash them separately from your diapers or use a disposable insert for a few days. Best of luck, I hope your daughter heals up quickly!

  7. Jacqueline says:


    Did you ever write that post about how you got rid of ammonia? We’ve had it for a long time and I just can’t get rid of it. I’ve done everything I can possibly think of!!


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