Diaper Rash

A common, yet frustrating baby skin problem is diaper rash. Diaper rash is a skin irritation typically caused by irritants or excessive moisture in the diaper area. Diaper rash is especially common when baby starts eating solid foods, is teething, or is taking antibiotics.

A mild case of diaper rash involves a simple, red rash, while more serious cases can actually include blistering, bleeding and open sores. There are several steps you can take to avoid diaper rash or to treat a mild case:

~ Change baby frequently — it is important to keep baby dry and clean.   Cloth  diapers need to be changed more frequently than disposables. Remove soiled diapers immediately.

~ Avoid using diaper wipes, especially those with heavy perfumes and alcohol. Instead, use lukewarm water and a washcloth to cleanse the diaper area. Pat dry or allow to air dry completely before putting another diaper on.

~ If using  cloth  diapers, wash in a mild detergent – again, without perfume or bleach. If using disposables, try changing brands for persistent rashes.

~ Apply a thin layer of diaper rash ointment or petroleum jelly on baby’s dry bottom during diaper changes and after bath. If baby is particularly sensitive and prone to diaper rash, you may want to get into the habit of doing this at all diaper changes to prevent further outbreaks.

~ Allow baby to go diaperless whenever possible. The fresh air will keep baby’s bottom dry and if he’s recovering from a case of diaper rash, it will feel wonderful to his tender skin. Just a few minutes of fresh air can make a difference.

~ If the rash does not clear up within a few days, if there is bleeding, blisters or open sores, or the rash is primarily in the folds of baby’s skin, contact your pediatrician. The rash may actually be a yeast infection, or may be serious enough to require preion medication to aid the healing process.

Few babies are fortunate enough to avoid this pesky condition altogether during their diaper days. However, by keeping baby’s bottom clean, dry, and away from known irritants, you can lessen the chances and severity of an outbreak.