Diaper rash is an all too common ailment that happens to babies of even the most diligent parents. The rash is most likely to occur within the first year of your child’s life and can cause your baby discomfort if not properly treated after it appears. The good news is that most cases can be remedied within a few days without a trip to the doctor.
What does diaper rash look like?
If your baby’s bottom looks irritated and red, it’s probably diaper rash. It may also appear slightly puffy and feel warm to the touch. The rash can range from just a small patch of skin to spreading towards baby’s stomach and thighs. If the rash appears infected with blisters, pus-filled pimples, oozing yellow patches, or open sores, the baby will need to be taken to the doctor for a prescription treatment to eliminate the irritation.
What causes diaper rash?
There are many causes of diaper rash. Leaving a wet or soiled diaper on for too long is one of the most common causes. When urine and stool mix, ammonia is created, which is then trapped in the diaper, causing irritation to the skin. However, even with regular diaper changes, the rash may still appear due to other causes.
Ill-fitting diapers may cause a rash to appear on the baby’s hips or stomach. A rash could also indicate your little one has a chemical sensitivity, whether from the perfumes of scented diapers or other component of the particular material, resulting in upset skin.
Antibiotics, a sudden change in your child’s diet, or a yeast infection are other possible causes. All these impact and compromise the good bacteria found in your baby’s digestive system, allowing bad bacteria to flourish in your child’s diaper, causing a rash.
Preventing and treating diaper rash
With the proper precautions and attention, diaper rash can be prevented. Ensure that the diapers fit properly and the baby does not have any sensitivities to materials or chemicals used in the diapers or wipes. If your baby has frequent bowel movements or has gone through a recent change in diet, monitor them carefully and change their diaper right away when soiled. Also, always be sure to dry the area thoroughly when changing diapers and after bath time prior to putting on the new diaper.
If your baby does develop diaper rash, don’t panic. Creams and ointments that contain zinc oxide can be used on the affected area to soothe the skin and prevent contact with stool and urine. Just be sure the area is dry before applying the ointment or cream to avoid locking in extra moisture. To avoid extra irritation, use fragrance-free diapers, wipes, and soaps on your baby at least until the rash clears.
If your baby’s diaper rash doesn’t clear or respond to treatment within three to four days, or appears to worsen, contact us for an evaluation, as a prescription may be required for treatment.