Treating Diaper Rash
Babies can get diaper rash despite the caregivers’ best effort to prevent it. These are rashes on the baby’s genital area that appear as red scales or splotches. It thrives in warm, damp parts of the body. It is caused by sensitivity to new products and food, irritation from urine or stool, yeast or bacterial infection, a tight diaper or by an allergic reaction triggered by the diaper.
Diaper rash occurs more often when the baby is left to wear dirty diapers for too long. It is also common in older babies from 9 to 12 months of age and when they begin taking solid food. The risk is also higher when she has diarrhea, sleeps in soiled diapers or if you are taking antibiotics while nursing. It can be a source of great discomfort for the baby but there are remedies you can use to treat it.
Clean and dry
Fight diaper rash by depriving it of the warm, moist environment it loves by keeping the baby clean and dry. You should clean the infant baby’s bottom gently and thoroughly by using a soft cloth and water to wipe the area. Water is best for cleaning the baby’s genital area since wipes contain chemicals that can irritate the skin. At bath time, use mild baby soap and pat the area dry before you put a fresh diaper on. Never rub a baby’s sore bottom.
Leaving the baby without a diaper is even better for fighting diaper rash but when she wears one, make sure it’s clean and dry. Use a superabsorbent disposable diaper or well cleaned nappies. The nappies should be cleaned with mild unscented detergent and rinsed thoroughly so that harsh chemicals aren’t left behind. Change the diaper as soon as it is soiled. The diaper should be fitted loosely as a tight diaper would cause further irritation. Always wash your hands before and after changing diapers.
Barrier creams and jellies
Apply a cream or paste that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide on the baby’s bottom. This helps to soothe the baby’s skin and protect the skin from contact with irritants such as feces.
If the rash has developed into a secondary fungal infection with the skin appearing bright red and raw, applying an antifungal cream prescribed by your doctor can get rid of it. Over-the-counter creams containing Clotrimazole, Nystatin and Ketaconazole can also help but should be used with caution. Visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis when you notice these symptoms.
Soaking the rash in lukewarm bath water mixed with ¾ cup of finely blended oatmeal for 10 minutes helps soothe the stinging or itchiness of the rash.
Applying cornstarch on the bottom helps reduce friction and keep the area dry. This should however not be applied on rashes caused by yeast infection.
Other treatments such as Mylanta which contain antacids can also be used to treat the raw, wet bottom. These treatments can be applied on the baby’s skin and then covered by a your favorite diaper cream and a layer of sealant such as Vaseline. Disclaimer: Information on this website is not medical or dental advice, its for general information only. For more accurate medical and dental information please contact your pediatrician and dentist.