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Skin on my son's penis is peeling - what could be the causes?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

The skin on my 11-month cloth-diapered son has been peeling, and I'm wondering what could be causing this?


I mainly use prefolds on him and Motherease cloth diapers once a day. I launder with soap nuts exclusively, with a a few drops of tea trea oil. I never had any issues of rashes, etc. when he was exclusively breastfed, but now he's on a more varied diet.


This is quite distressing, to say the least!


Thank you!

post #2 of 7

It might be the tea tree oil. When are you adding them? WAsh cycle or rinse cycle? And, how many are a "few"? I'm sure you'd be perfectly fine using 1 drop only, but a few might be a bit too much. Especially since it is oil, and does not infuse into water very well. The oil might be clinging onto the diapers, they get put on your son...voila, irritated penis. The thing about Essential Oils is typically they need to be diluted first in a carrier oil. Adding them to water actually makes them MORE potent.


You might also want to a consider a lesser-volatile essential oil for sanitizing the diapers...such as Lemongrass. I LOVE Lemongrass. It makes an awesome cleaner, bug repellent, an awesome...everything. But it's a lot less vigorous than Tea Tree.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Oh, thank you so much for your answer, EchoSoul!


I just put more than a few drops of TTO in my load this morning - along with GSE (thinking this could be yeast from a quick online search). I'll be sure to run a full cycle with nothing else before I dry them.


I just started using silk liners, which I hand wash with olive oil soap, so that except for the Motherease diaper, he won't be in direct contact with the diapers for now... And I'm slathering him with a healing homemade salve.


Thank you for the tip on Lemongrass oil. I'll be sure to get some!

post #4 of 7
I never used tea tree to clean my diapers...but my son had the peeling of the skin on the penis. It once got soooooo bad it was bleeding. It made me cry...well, us.

The pediatrician wasn't helpful, the dermatologist was a waste of time. After two years I followed my gut. I had him tested for allergies.

Dairy (casein proved to be the worst), egg, almonds. Removed them from his diet, got my jr epipen (doubt I'll need it) and our lives are much calmer.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

When I changed his diaper an hour ago, it was bleeding. Broke my heart...


He's been having quite a bit of dairy lately, in the form of sips of raw milk kefir and some cheese... Maybe I'll go easy on the dairy as well as cut out the tto, with the hope that it all resolves soon!

post #6 of 7
It didn't end for us until I cut all dairy. There was dairy in the soy yogurt.

We found using an 8 oz peribottle with 2-3 oz of olive oil, 10 drops lavender oil but not always, 5-6 oz of water instead of wipes helped. When it's cold, we filled a cup with hot water and then put the bottle in (shake a couple times to cut the time helped.

A&D, calendula cream, and emu oil to be the most helpful. At night, I would put on so much a&d it was funny (and change at night key).

Most insurance covers allergy testing. Although, he's young enough to out grow it, it might be worth the piece of mind.

Good luck
post #7 of 7

Oh man my son has had a spot on the tip of his that sits right up against the diaper and bleeds sometimes.  I tried all sorts of creams and letting him run naked and peeing on the floor etc lol, and finally tried lanolin at every diaper change (used a flushable liner with my cloth, IDK if lanolin is ok on cloth?), but that allowed it to heal within about 24 hours the spot is much smaller and less red and not bleeding!!  I am thrilled!  I also started changing him in the middle of the night so that there was no wetness against his skin ever.  I think the lanolin protects it better than the other creams so it can heal under it.  I got NOW foods brand, it doesnt smell very good but its worth it lol.  I think it is partly this horribly dry cold weather we've been having too!!

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