Overcoming the Problem of Diaper Rash

June 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Newborn Care

It is common for babies to get diaper rash, especially during the first two years of life while wearing diapers. Some babies will only get a mild case while others get a severe case. Not only is the genital area affected, some babies will also experience redness, swelling, and pain on the legs and buttocks. In fact, many babies will have skin warm to the touch from the irritation.

Keep in mind that while diaper wearing is one cause, a baby can get this type of rash from anything irritating the skin. After all, babies have very delicate and sensitive skin.

Dirty diapers, whether dirtied or wet are notorious for causing diaper rash. While pure urine is not an infectious liquid, it does mix with various organisms and thus, the rash. For feces, bacteria are common so if a baby has a dirty diaper for any extended length of time, diaper rash would again be likely.

Although there are different forms of bacteria that could be a problem for diaper rash, one in particular causes the most issue, yeast. Yeast is a fungus that grows any place that is warm and moist such as a wet diaper. Of course, the diaper does not have to be wet for yeast to grow. All it needs is a place with high humidity and in the case of babies it grows in the folds of the skin where moisture is common.

However, diaper rash can be the result of other things.

For example, if you have recently changed your baby’s diet, he or she may have more bowel movements, which increases the risk of irritation. Even using new laundry soap can be a culprit. Just as adults have sensitivity to certain things, so do babies so if you have recently started laundering his or her diapers and clothing in a new soap or you are using a different fabric softener and you notice diaper rash, this might be the problem.

By nature, some babies tend to be sensitive to things in general. For instance, if your baby’s diaper is too tight, chaffing could develop.

Although you could spend a lot of money buying high priced products from the drug store, you will be amazed at how many home remedies actually work better for getting rid of diaper rash.

We suggest you start by washing off your baby using mild soap and water, followed by drying the skin completely. Additionally, change the baby’s diapers more often. Then during every change, use a clean, warm washcloth to wipe off the genital area to get rid of any leftover feces or urine, dry, and diaper.

One thing you never want to do even if you have been advised to is use alcohol on your baby’s skin. This is very strong and it can lead to irritation and dryness. Instead, after washing your baby after diapering, use a clean, soft cloth to dry or allow your baby to air dry for a few minutes.

If you have a baby that is prone to diaper rash breakouts, we also recommend that you look at the type of diapers being used. In this case, you want to stay away from diapers with elastic bands around the legs or waist and for toddlers, training or outer pants with elastic as this will not allow any ventilation and the tightness causes chaffing.

If necessary, you can talk to your doctor or the pharmacist about buying an antifungal cream. Most of these ointments can be purchased over the counter but your doctor may want to call in a prescription, which is probably stronger. Of course, any concerns about diaper rash should be discussed with the pediatrician.

The good news is that you can control diaper rash, getting rid of it completely within a day or two with proper care. However, if the diaper rash disappears but returns quickly, talk to your doctor. Then, if you notice any seepage or pus, contact the doctor immediately to get the infection under control.