Diaper rash is a normal, albeit uncomfortable, part of being a baby. It may appear as slight redness to raised redness on the skin, and babies who have the condition can seem irritated, especially during diaper changes. There are ways to help prevent this rash, and also signs you should look for to be certain the rash doesn’t become a yeast infection, which requires medical attention. Further, should a rash be very red and raised and seem to be causing a great deal of discomfort, and normal methods for clearing up the rash don’t work, you should see your child’s doctor.
Diaper rash is skin irritation, often from exposure to urine or feces for long periods of time. Babies may also have a semi-allergic response to foods breastfeeding moms eat, or they may show sensitivity to different types of diapers, baby wipes or detergents. If a particular wipe or diaper brand or type seems to be causing the problem, switching to a different type of diaper or wipe may do the trick. When you use cloth diapers, you should wash them in the simplest soaps possible, since rash can be associated with using detergents with fragrances.
In warm weather, the plastic covering of disposable diapers may cause sweating and heat rash. Cloth diapers may be the better choice, since they are more “breathable,” but if you can’t change baby immediately, disposable diapers may be the way to go. Generally, if baby continues to get diaper rash the condition may be resolved with a switch from cloth to disposable or disposable to cloth diapers. If you must use disposables, consider at least switching brands to see if this proves helpful.
When a baby has diaper rash, rash cream usually helps resolve the condition. Ointments and cream help provide a barrier from the skin, and normally contain zinc oxide. Many, like Desitin®, also have fish oil. If a baby is prone to diaper rash, you may want to use diaper cream several times a day to prevent incidence of the condition.
Baby wipes, normally a useful tool for parents, can be a problem for children with rashes. The soaps or chemicals present in the wipes can further irritate a chapped and sore bottom. When you can, you should consider using soft cloths and cleaning baby’s bottom with water and a soft cloth only. Use another cloth to pat baby’s bottom dry, or allow baby to be exposed for a few minutes to dry the area.
If you find that diaper rash is not improving after a few days of home treatment, consider seeing your child’s physician. Sometimes, diaper rash turns into yeast infections, especially since warm urine can easily provide a culture for yeast. Yeast infections tend to need antifungal creams to resolve properly, but these should be used only under a doctor’s guidance.
In most cases, the following steps can be used to help prevent or cure diaper rash:
- 1. Keep babies in diapers that seem to least provoke their skin
2. Change babies frequently
3. Use diaper cream if rashes happen often
4. Change diaper brands or types when rashes occur
5. Use soft cloths with warm water only instead of baby wipes
6. Give baby’s bottom a couple of airing out sessions each day