In simple terms, diaper rash is an irritation to baby’s diaper area. Diaper rash does not always appear the same, due to the variety of causes. No matter the type of diaper rash, it can be uncomfortable to a bay, so prompt treatment is necessary.
The most common symptom of diaper rash is obviously a rash in the diaper area. Diaper rash may also be accompanied by pain, itchiness, or discomfort by baby. In some cases, the skin also may become raw, which is painful.
The first and best treatment for diaper rash is prevention. Because diaper rash can be caused by many things, preventing diaper rash lies in understanding the main causes. The most common cause of diaper rash is diaper chafing. Diaper chafing can occur for various reasons, many of which link to excess moisture or skin irritants.
To prevent diaper rash from diaper chafing, keep the baby’s diaper clean with frequent changes. Also, make sure the diaper is not too tight or too loose. The materials should be 100% natural and if they are cloth diapers, should be cleaned only in mild detergents that do not contain chemicals, dyes, or fragrances. All natural detergents are best.
Never use bleach on cloth diapers or baby clothing and always use an extra rinse cycle. Other causes for diaper rash include infection and allergic reactions (from detergents, diaper fibers, clothing fibers, elastic, baby wipes, foods, etc…).
Treatment of diaper rash will depend on the cause. Aside from keeping baby changed frequently, heated, unbleached flour can be used to keep moisture away from the affected area. An oatmeal bath can also be given to baby. This will moisturize the skin and ease the discomfort from the itching and pain. Allow baby to air dry after each change, as well as after the oatmeal bath. Fresh air can help the healing. Also, keeping the skin dry can prevent excess moisture in the diaper area.
If the diaper rash is due to a yeast infection or other infection, the doctor will likely prescribe a topical treatment in an ointment form. Follow those guidelines as directed by a licensed medical professional. It is normal for babies to get a yeast infection in the diaper area, due to the possibility of excess moisture.
Any diaper rash that does not show improvement after a day or so should be followed up with an appointment at the pediatrician’s office. Only a licensed medical professional can diagnose an infection and make the recommended treatment. It is better to go and find out that it is a normal diaper rash than to avoid going and learn through your baby’s discomfort that you should have gone sooner.
- – – The author is not a licensed medical professional. She simply is an experienced parent, sharing knowledge she has gained through years of parenting and research. This guide is meant for informational purposes only. Always consult a licensed medical professional for medical advice.
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1) Personal Experience
2) American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); Diaper Rash