Treating Diaper Rash
Most babies will have diaper rash at some point in their babyhood. While it can flare up at anytime, it commonly begins after the start of solid foods. You may also notice a rash if your child is taking antibiotics. Diaper rash can be a cause for concern, but most cases respond well to home treatment and will clear up in a few days.
Diaper rash may appear as red, puffy skin in areas covered by a diaper. Your baby may be fussier than usual, and perhaps cry when the area is cared for.
Diaper rash can be caused by:
- Leaving the baby in soiled diapers for an extended period of time. Urine and feces are irritating to the skin.
- Using plastic diaper covers. They trap moisture and increase the chances of diaper rash.
- Bouts of diarrhea. Diarrhea is especially irritating to baby's skin.
- New foods. The introduction of solid foods often triggers diaper rash. The composition of your baby's stool changes as well as the frequency of stools. Breastfed babies may develop a rash in response to something that you have eaten, as well.
- Reaction to a new product. If you have recently changed the type of diapers, wipes, lotions, powders, creams or soaps that you use for baby, he may be having irritation as a result of the product change.
- Infection. A diaper is warm and moist, making it a great place for a bacterial or yeast infection to take hold.
- Sensitive skin. Your baby may just be very sensitive to any skin irritation. Change your baby often and use the least amount of products as possible. Avoid any products with perfumes.
- Too small diapers. Diapers that are too tight can chafe the skin and result in diaper rash.
- Antibiotics. Antibiotics are great at killing the bad bacteria, but unfortunately they kill the good bacteria too. When the balance of the bacteria is upset, yeast infections can take hold. A yeast infection caused by candida albicans may appear bright red, be surrounded by spots, cover a large area and look raw. Your pediatrician can prescribe a special cream to cure this type of rash.
Diaper rash usually responds well to home treatment. Here are a few tips:
- Start with changing your baby immediately after he soils his diaper.
- Keep your baby's butt as clean and dry as you possibly can. Let the area get some air by leaving the diaper off for a period of time each day.
- Rinse your baby's bottom with warm water after each diaper change.
- Do not rub the skin; pat it dry with a soft towel.
- Make sure that your baby's diapers are not too tight.
- Try using calendula oil as a preventative.
- Talk with your pediatrician to see if he recommends an ointment or cream.
If the condition does not improve after a few days of home treatment, contact your doctor. The rash may require medication. Call the doctor if your baby has:
- A rash accompanied by a fever.
- A rash that is not just in the diaper area.
- A rash that looks more like blisters or boils.
- Discharge from the rash.
For more information about diaper rash, check out this page full of diaper rash information!