Baking soda is something that everyone should keep around the house. This incredibly versatile substance can be used for a huge range of different applications, from cleaning drains to offering a range of health benefits.
And as it turns out, one of these health benefits is the ability to treat rashes. So, whether you are struggling with a nasty bout of eczema, a sting from a nettle or a rash of unknown origin, this might be a potential solution. In particular, a baking soda bath for rashes can be a quick way to soothe itching and discomfort and to treat the rash itself.
Why does a baking soda bath work as well as it does?
Firstly, baking soda can be very effective when it comes to addressing imbalances in your pH. You might remember from science at school that acidity is measured using the pH scale. 1 is very acidic, 14 is very alkaline and then you have all of the numbers on the spectrum in between. 7 is entirely neutral.
The pH level of your skin should be around 4.5-5, while your blood should be 7.
This is where the benefit of baking soda comes in. The problem is that we often have skin that is too acidic and this can be one of the reasons that it gets damaged and forms rashes. Applying a little baking soda to the skin can fix this because baking soda is alkaline – specifically, it has a pH value of around 9, which is ideal for counteracting acids that can cause your skin to look angry and feel sore.
At the same time, baking soda also has other benefits. For one, baking soda is a great anti-inflammatory substance, meaning that it can prevent inflammation that we associate with a rash. Baking soda will combat the redness and swelling that accompanies many rashes, once again alleviating discomfort and helping to ease any pain.
Finally, because baking soda is a powder, this makes it excellent for absorbing moisture in a way that is soothing and won’t get ‘claggy’. If you’ve ever experienced ‘swamp crotch’, then you’ll know that that this can lead to rashes and other problems and that applying any kind of powder can help to absorb said moisture to prevent discomfort.
If you suffer from rashes, then one way you can solve this problem is to take 1 part baking soda and 3 parts water and stir them in a bowl. This will create a paste, which you can then apply directly to the rash. Allow this to sit for a few minutes and then rinse it thoroughly. Repeat for a few days and you should notice the rash starting to subside.
This is a particularly effective treatment for shingles and hives.
Another option that is very popular is to mix the baking soda with coconut oil. Coconut oil has a lot of excellent nutritional properties of its own and by applying it to the skin, you can help to reduce the appearance of rashes while simultaneously nourishing the skin.
To make the baking soda bath for rashes meanwhile, take one cup of baking soda and add it to a bath filled with lukewarm water. Stir said water and then allow it to sit for roughly 10-15 minutes.
Following this, you can then add a little anti-prickly heat powder which will help to prevent and treat heat rashes. Bathe like this on a daily basis until the rash subsides.
One thing to keep in mind though, is that baking soda should only be used in the short term in order to treat rashes. Some people and bloggers will recommend using baking soda on a daily basis in order to generally improve the skin.
This is a mistake, as remember – baking soda is a good 4-5 pH more alkaline than your skin. If you use this on a regular basis then, it is not going to fix or neutralize your skin’s pH level but rather make it too alkaline. If you make your skin too alkaline, then you can damage the ‘skin barrier’. The skin barrier is a defensive layer that helps to keep unwanted bacteria and other things out from the body and works by using lipids among other ingredients. If you remove this, then you can actually cause your skin to become more easily irritated and prone to infection. You also risk losing more water, which in turn can cause the skin to appear flaky and dehydrated.
Many of the skin products we use are designed to protect and fortify the skin barrier. Remember: baking soda is not a skin product. While it might be beneficial, it can be harmful if used incorrectly.
This is also why it’s a good idea to discuss with your doctor before attempting any type of home remedy. But with that said, a little baking soda bath for rashes can be a useful way to soothe in the short term as long as you aren’t making a habit of it.
And remember, baking soda can have many other benefits too that go beyond treating rashes. Place just a little baking soda on your toothbrush along with your toothpaste and you can help to whiten your teeth. Do it for a few days but remember once again that this is a short-term trick and can strip your teeth of their natural enamel if you do it for too long. Likewise, you can use baking soda to treat stained or yellow nails!
The take-home lesson from this is that baking soda is a pretty amazing substance that you can use for all kinds of health treatments from home. Just make sure that you use it sparingly and with guidance from your doctor because it still amounts to using a household product on your skin that you also use to clean the bath and the sink.