Diaper rash is a common, yet concerning baby skin irritation that troubles both new and experienced parents. This problem is often caused by excessive moisture coming into contact with the sensitive skin in the baby's diaper region, usually from the baby's stool and urine. Diaper rash can become especially prevelant when baby first begins to eat solid foods.
Even while practicing preventative caring, most parents will still see their fair share of diaper rashes. A mild case of diaper rash may involve a basic, red rash, although sometimes more serious cases can include bleeding, blistering and open sores.
Fortunately even severe cases are treatable. Here are a few tips on treating diaper rash:
- First and foremost the obvious first defense against a rash developing is to So the best way to keep your baby's sensitive bottom as clean and dry as possible, practicing a steady routine of frequent diaper changes. Remember to remove soiled diapers immediately, and if you use cloth diapers than will need to be changed on a more frequent basis than disposable diapers.
- If your baby seems to be prone to developing diaper rash, try to avoid baby is using wet wipes, including the kind that claim to be alcohol free (especially the types with heavy perfumes). Instead, it may be best to use nothing more than warm water and a paper towel to cleanse the diaper area.
- Dry the skin around the diaper area a few times during the day using a hair dryer. This will help to thoroughly dry out the skin, but it is very important to only use the dryer on the lowest setting with a minimum distance of about 18" inches to avoid overheating your baby's skin.
- Allow your baby go without a diaper for extended periods whenever possible. Fresh air on the affected skin will help improve the condition greatly, even if it's only for a few minutes a day.
- If you are utilizing cloth diapers, wash them in a mild detergent the contains no added perfumes or bleach. If you use the disposable type and have persistent rashes try changing brands to see if that brings about an improvement.
- Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the diaper area during diaper changes or after your baby is given a bath. If your child seems particularly susceptible to diaper rash, it may be recommended to apply this during all changes.
- Many parents recommend sprinkling corn starch over the affected areas before putting on a new diaper.
- If the irritation spreads beyond the diaper area down to the legs and appears red and shiny, it is possible that it may actually be a yeast infection. The recommended treatment for yeast infections that occur in the diaper area is the application of an anti-fungal cream which is applied 3-4 times per day for 7-10 days.
Contact your baby's pediatrician if your child's rash lasts longer than three days and if there is no sign of improvement. Also, call your baby's health care professional if he or she develops a fever, or if you notice that the rash is spreading.