Diaper rash can be caused by a lot of things. It can be brought about by a reaction to the baby’s own stool and urine or the soap used in washing the baby’s diapers. But regardless of what might have really brought on the condition, the fact remains that diaper rash can cause a significant amount of discomfort for you and your baby. To treat diaper rash effectively and to say goodbye to it permanently, read the following tips:
1. Say goodbye to diapers (well, at least temporarily)! What causes diaper rash? The answer? What else but diapers! When your baby’s bottom is sore from all those uncomfortable rashes, it is best to take his or her diapers off frequently. This will prevent the baby’s stool and urine from making contact with the already sore skin and aggravating the condition some more. If you are worried about making a mess once the baby’s diapers are off, you can keep him (or her) on a rubber mat covered with a washable cloth while you air his (or her) bottom.
2. Stay clean and dry. The most effective way to prevent diaper rash or to treat an existing one is to make sure that your baby is always clean and dry. The microorganisms that cause skin infections just love the moist and warm environment under those diapers!
3. Steer clear of commercial baby wipes. Most commercially available baby wipes contain irritating ingredients such as alcohol and other chemicals. These can further irritate the rash. The best way to go is still by using the traditional hypoallergenic soap and water in cleaning up your baby’s bottom.
4. Air it out. When you change your baby’s diapers, make sure that you dry out his (or her) bottom completely with a clean towel. It will also be of great help if you will leave the skin exposed to air for a few minutes before putting on a new diaper.
5. Ointment helps. Using a pediatrician-recommended diaper rash cream or ointment helps create a protective barrier in the skin. Among the most widely prescribed diaper rash creams/ointments are A and D ointment, Diaparene, Desitin and zinc oxide. Be sure to dry the skin before applying these.
6. Powder magic. Dusting the baby’s bottom with powder also helps a lot in protecting your baby’s skin from irritants. Just be careful when you apply powder since it can be a possible health hazard, especially if the baby accidentally inhales it. As a safety precaution, sprinkle a small amount of powder on your hand first before you apply it on your baby’s skin. Go for cornstarch-based powders.
7. Hang them out to dry. Why not try an old wives’ tale trick? It was said that if you hang your baby’s diapers to dry out in the open air, diaper rash can be prevented. Well, there is nothing to lose if you give it a try!
8. A little vinegar might do the trick. Your baby’s urine can be very alkaline in nature that it can irritate and burn the skin as much as an acid can. So, the next time you wash your baby’s diapers, add a little vinegar to your rinse water (about half a cup will do the trick!). This will counterbalance the alkalinity of your baby’s urine and prevent further damage.
9. Throw those plastic pants away! Wearing plastic pants is a big no-no! It tends to keep the moisture locked in and worsen an existing infection. The rule of thumb in treating a diaper rash – let it dry!
10. Make a change. If you have tried almost anything and the rash still does not clear up, try changing your detergent. It might just be the culprit.
However, if you notice that the rashes have become very red, raw or sore looking or if you notice blisters, pus or crusty patches, it is best to have your baby examined by your pediatrician.