Every new parent has to deal with diaper rash. Whether you use cloth or disposable diapers, diaper rash is going to happen. The main cause is constant contact with urine and feces in the diaper so it’s natural that newborns and infants aged four weeks and up are the most affected.
Diaper rash is hard to miss. You’ll unwrap the diaper and be confronted with a red, tender looking bottom. The skin will look inflamed and there may be areas that are dry or moist and look pimply and shiny. A rash with red, raised, patchy sharp borders, mostly over the genitalia can indicate a yeast rash. A red ring around baby’s anus is an allergic reaction to food. If there are raise patches or coin-sized blisters oozing a honey-colored pus, the skin is infected and your baby will need antibiotic ointment.
Diaper rash can happen due to a number of different factors that include:
- Staying in a dirty diaper too long. Prolonged contact with the acid in urine and bacteria in feces can create a skin infection.
- Diapers that are too tight and rub against baby’s sensitive skin causing irritations.
- Allergic reactions to diaper, detergent, soap or baby wipes can make the skin more irritated.
- A change in food or formula can create an allergic reaction
- Hot, humid, wet diapers create the perfect conditions for a rash.
- If a breastfeeding mom or the baby is taking antibiotics, there may be an outbreak of the Candida fungus that causes irritation.
The best treatment is a barrier type of cream such as zine oxide or petroleum jelly that coats the skin to prevent contact with the diaper. Pure lanolin ointment is excellent for soothing sore bottoms. For stubborn yeast rashes a clotrimazole anti-fungal cream is recommended and for inflamed skin a 1% Hydrocortisone cream is effective.
Other effective treatments include:
- Changing the diaper more often
- Airing out sore bottoms for several hours
- Use ultra-absorbent diapers to keep the skin extra dry
- Stop using any baby wipes with any alcohol or perfume
- Change the laundry detergent
- Wash your hands before and after changing the diaper.
- Eliminate any food from the breastfeeding mom that causes allergic reaction
Avoid using use talcum powder, as it can hurt your baby's lungs. Choose a natural diaper rash cream with no alcohol or perfumes. They are easier on the skin and promote faster healing.
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