May 22 , 2020
Like fevers and teething, diaper rashes are an inconvenient but sometimes unavoidable part of a baby’s life. It’s a condition that can and will strike any baby at some point in their lives no matter how careful or fussy their parents are. You don’t need to worry too much, though. Diaper rash is perfectly treatable and preventable. With enough love, patience, and care, you can put an end to your baby’s diaper woes in no time.
What Is A Diaper Rash?
Diaper rashes are red and itchy patches that appear on a baby’s skin. They occur mainly along the genitals, waist, and bottom.
As a rule of thumb, you really shouldn’t let your baby sleep in a soiled diaper. Urine and stool can irritate the skin and cause diaper rashes to form. Diaper rash can also develop due to bacterial infections and watery stool caused by certain food.
Allergies are also a common cause of diaper rash. Babies can develop itchy rashes when they are allergic to certain diaper brands. Diaper rashes are also very common in babies who have sensitive skin.
How To Avoid A Diaper Rash
1. Don’t Be Careless With Diapers
The best way to avoid a diaper rash is to change your baby’s diaper not long after it’s been soiled. That way, your baby doesn’t risk suffering from infections due to urine and stool. You can also let your baby go diaper-less for a few minutes after changing so that their skin has time to dry.
Babies who use cloth diapers can still develop itchy rashes. When washing a cloth diaper, be sure to use soap and detergent that’s safe for your baby’s skin. You should also make sure that the diaper is completely rinsed free of soap and detergent. Damp or soapy cloth diapers will only do more harm than good for your baby’s sensitive skin.
Diapers that are way too tight are another common cause of diaper rash. The tighter a diaper is, the easier it becomes for bacteria to thrive and irritate the skin. Too much tightness can also cause the diaper to chafe against a baby’s tummy, thighs, and waist.
2. Use Warm Water For A Diaper Change
Warm water can keep your baby’s skin clean without causing any irritation. You can use spray bottles and soft baby washcloths to gently wash your baby’s skin during a diaper change. On the other hand, if you need to remove poop from your baby’s bottom, feel free to use baby wipes as extra tools. Just make sure to select wipes that are alcohol and fragrance-free to avoid irritating your baby’s sensitive skin.
3. Keep Your Hands Clean
Infectious bacteria can pass on from your hands to your baby’s skin. They can also spread from the hands of other caretakers and eager siblings. Washing your hands before and after a diaper change should prevent the spread of nasty bacteria and keep your baby’s skin free of any rashes.
Using Powders, Creams, And Ointments For Diaper Rash
Creams and ointments are the most common and effective ways to treat diaper rash. They not only soothe itchy and painful rashes on the skin, but also create a powerful barrier against germs and bacteria. Most of these creams use zinc oxide as an ingredient, and they can be found at your nearest pharmacy.
Petroleum jelly is another great tool to use for diaper rash. It’s usually cheaper and sometimes much easier to find. However, it’s not always easy to wash off of a cloth diaper. If your jelly keeps sticking to your baby’s nappies, you might want to trade it in for some cream instead.
You should put creams and ointments only when your baby's bottom is clean and dry. You should also avoid using steroid creams since they can irritate the skin even further. If you’re using powder, be sure to keep it away from your baby’s face. Otherwise, it could irritate your baby’s lungs and eyes.
When To Call The Doctor
Don’t hesitate to call the doctor if:
- Your baby’s rash hasn’t improved at all after 2 or 3 days of treatment.
- Your baby starts to suffer from a yeast infection.
- Sores, crusts, and pus-filled bumps appear on the skin.
- Your baby becomes grumpy or fussy due to a fever.