Diaper rash – it is no fun for baby and no fun for you! Luckily it’s not a major medical problem but more of a common discomfort. Now you don’t need to be a pediatrician to recognize diaper rash on your baby – if she has a red, sore, hot looking little bottom when you remove her diaper, you can be pretty sure she’s got diaper rash .
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to get rid of this rash , and if you’re careful in the future, you may be able to rid your baby of it forever by following some simple steps. Here are some tried and true methods I’ve used with my own children to get rid of a diaper rash once it shows up , as well as to prevent them from coming back.
Leave your baby naked – Air drying if at all possible as much as possible is a good thing ! Take off that diaper and let their skin breathe. Diapers today, especially the disposable kind are made to keep moisture in , and while they are supposed to keep it away from the skin, that’s not possible as the diaper environment creates almost a condensation. Babies love to be naked too, so if you can brave the possible accidents, let their bottoms air dry.
Change your baby’s diaper often Having stool or urine in contact with an already sore bottom will make the rash and your baby worse. Try to make sure your baby’s bottom stays as clean and dry as possible at all times. Wet areas on skin can become breeding grounds for infection.
Look at your commercial baby wipes Many brands of store bought baby wipes, while convenient, can contain chemicals and alcohol that can irritate and dry out your baby’s skin. Infants’ are especially susceptible to outside contaminants so you may want to try different brands until you find one that works – avoid the perfumed kind, or just stick with plain soap and water on a clean cloth.
Find an ointment that works and use it regularly even if your baby doesn’t have a rash at the moment , it will prevent it. You may need to try a few to find one you are happy with. The ones with zinc oxide seem to work best. ( Desitin, Zincofax )Some are very thick and hard to spread on and you may find your wiggly baby not impressed. Others go on smoothly, but don’t stay put. Ask other moms for their recommendations !
Keep an eye on what your baby is eating Sometimes as you introduce new foods your baby can develop more of an acidic poop ( strawberries did that for mine) so if you find there are some foods that result in a rash , try to avoid them. Diarrhea almost always will result in the start of a diaper rash so keep your eye out.
Check out your baby shampoo, soap, bubble bath etc. Usually the cheaper the brand, the more chemical additives and preservatives, one commonly used is Quaternium 15 and can cause skin flare ups in those with sensitive skin. Try to only use natural products on your baby’s skin or plain water if you can.
Check your diaper brand If you find you are changing diapers often , letting baby air dry and a rash is still appearing, it may be the diapers you are using. Consider switching brands, stay away from perfumed ones and possibly switch to cloth diapers.
Be aware of yeast infections Occasionally, what appears to be a diaper rash is really a yeast infection called Candida Albicans. It looks more like a red rash with little white dots and tends to have a defined outline. Sometimes your baby will get this if they have been prescribed anti-biotics , and sometimes you’re not sure why! If the rash is not going away with the regular diaper cream and the above mentioned methods, see your pediatrician for an over the counter anti-yeast medication, and use it at every diaper change. It will generally clear up the rash in a few days.
If all else fails, don’t hesitate to give your doctor a call. A diaper rash can cause misery to both you and your baby and can worsen if left untreated. Monitor your baby for two to three days and if there is no sign of improvement, head for your pediatrician.