A rash in the diaper area is one of the most common problems new parents face. Luckily, in most cases, diaper rash is not serious and can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) items found in the “baby needs” aisle at your local pharmacy or retailer.
Diaper Rash normally looks like a mild, red rash in the diaper area. In severe cases, the rash can appear to have pimple-like bumps and blisters. If the rash becomes infected, the baby’s skin may turn bright red and become swollen.
A diaper rash is caused from wetness in an enclosed space (i.e. the diaper area). Baby’s skin is very sensitive, and even the most diligent diaper changing parents can face this dilemma. Another common cause of a diaper rash is a change in your child’s diet, even changing the type of formula can cause a change in your child’s urine acidity, which causes irritation.
The best way to treat diaper rash, is to prevent it from happening:
- Wash your baby’s diaper area with a very mild soap and water with each diaper change.
- Allow your baby to “air dry” with no diaper for as long as you and your baby can.
- Gently pat dry, don’t rub, diaper area if needed.
- Always change your child’s diaper at the first sign of wetness or soiling
Use of protectants:
After the diaper area is clean and dry, you can apply a protectant, such as zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is the primary ingredient in many OTC diaper rash creams like Boudreaux’s Butt Paste®, Balmex®,Aveeno Diaper Rash Cream®, Desitin®, and Triple Paste®.
Petrolatum is another ingredient used for milder cases. Products that contain petrolatum are good old fashion Vaseline® and A&D Ointment®.
Powders, like talcum powder and cornstarch, are not recommended. These powders can get into your baby’s lungs when you apply them.
Since the diaper area is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast, these infections may occur. If so, please consult your pediatrician to advise you on the best product for your baby. Prescription products may be used for severe cases.
When to call the doctor:
- The diaper rash worsens after a few days of treatment.
- Your baby has a fever
- If the diaper area looks infected, and/or pimples and blisters appear