Diaper Rash:What should parents do
No matter how careful you are, your little one will probably get diaper rash at some point. Most babies have the same question. So, plan ahead. Learn how to treat diaper rash and prevent flare-ups. Your baby will thank you!
What is the diaper rash?
Diaper rash is a common but uncomfortable skin rash that occurs in infants. It is vital for parents and caregivers to know how to treat diaper rash to prevent the symptoms from getting worse.It causes red, scaly, waxy patches that eventually go away without treatment. You might notice it on other parts of your baby's body, too
What Causes Diaper Rash?
Usually, diaper rash is the result of an irritation, infection, or allergy.Let us take a look at what causes these symptoms.
Irritation. A baby's skin can get irritated when a diaper is left on for too long and poop (or the diaper itself) rubs against the skin repeatedly.
Infection. Urine (pee) changes the skin's pH levels, and that lets bacteria and fungi grow more easily. The substances that stop diapers from leaking also prevent air circulation, creating a warm, moist environment where bacteria and fungi can thrive, causing a rash.
Allergies. Babies with sensitive skin also can develop rashes. Some types of detergent, soaps, diapers (or dyes from diapers), or baby wipes can affect sensitive skin, causing a rash.
Also, starting new foods can change the content and frequency of a baby's poop, which can sometimes lead to a diaper rash. And diarrhea can make an existing case of diaper rash worse.
What's the best way to treat diaper rash?
If diaper rash develops, take these steps to heal your child's skin:
Keep your child clean and dry by changing his diaper frequently. That may mean getting him up at night for a diaper change
Rinse his diaper area well at each diaper change. Don't use wipes that contain alcohol or fragrance. Some parents keep cotton balls and a squirt bottle or an insulated container of warm water at the changing table for easy, gentle cleanups.Pat your child's skin dry. Don't rub!
Use an ointment that forms a barrier on the skin to protect your child's irritated skin from stool and urine. You don't have to use ointment at each diaper change: Apply a layer that's thick enough to last through a couple diaper changes. This helps prevent further skin irritation from too much rubbing. There are several good barrier ointments available that include petroleum jelly or zinc oxide.
Put your child's diaper on loosely, or use a diaper that's a little big on him to allow for better air circulation. If you buy disposables, try a different brand to see if that helps. There are varieties for sensitive skin, for example, and extra-absorbent options pull more moisture away from your child's skin.
When the weather is warm and your child can play outside, leave his diaper (and ointment) off for as long as possible every day. Exposure to the air will speed healing.Consider letting your child sleep with a bare bottom whenever he has a rash. A plastic sheet under the cloth one helps protect the mattress.
How Can I Prevent Diaper Rash?
People can use the following methods to help prevent and treat diaper rash:
1. Changing diapers often
When an infant has a diaper rash, parents and caregivers should be even more vigilant than usual about changing their diapers promptly.
Allowing an infant to remain in a wet or soiled diaper when they have a rash can make the symptoms worse.
2. Switching diaper brands or laundry detergents
If an infant develops a diaper rash frequently, their skin may be sensitive to a particular product. For example, a specific brand of diaper or baby wipe could trigger the rash. If people use cloth diapers, the type of laundry detergent that they use could also be responsible for the rashes.Eliminating harsh chemicals and scents may help to clear persistent or recurring rashes.
3.Allowing the area to breath
When an infant has diaper rash, ensuring that they spend some time during the day with no diaper or bottoms on can help the area to dry out and heal.
People should also avoid putting infants in tight, synthetic, or rubber bottoms while they have diaper rash.Dressing them in loose bottoms made of 100 percent cotton can help to keep the rash dry and allow the skin to breathe.
4. Making sure that the diaper fits properly
Diapers that are too tight can irritate diaper rash. Parents and caregivers should check that all diapers fit correctly and ensure that they buy larger sizes as the infant grows.
5. Trying diaper creams and ointments
There are many barrier creams and skin-soothing ointments available at grocery stores, pharmacies, and online.
Parents and caregivers should look for creams containing zinc oxide. They should apply a thick layer of one of these creams to the affected skin and allow the area to dry.
6. Avoiding using baby wipes
Although it is essential to keep the infant’s diaper area clean, baby wipes can irritate an existing diaper rash.If an infant has diaper rash, it is best to clean the diaper area gently using scent-free soap and water before patting it dry.In situations where this is not possible, it is advisable to choose scent-free, natural wipes, which are available in pharmacies or online.
7. Considering removing any new foods
Introducing new foods is usually beneficial, but certain acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, may cause some infants’ urine and feces to become particularly acidic and irritating.
Parents and caregivers should be careful to introduce these foods in small quantities and to monitor the infant to see if a new diaper rash develops at the same time. If it does, they should remove acidic foods from the infant’s diet until the rash has healed.
8.Using unscented soaps and detergents
Skin irritants, including the scents in soaps and detergents, are responsible for many cases of diaper rash.
Common culprits include scented laundry detergents, some baby soaps and creams, and certain bubble baths, even though the manufacturers often promote them as being child-friendly.
9. Avoiding scrubbing the area
Keeping the infant’s diaper area clean and dry is vital, especially when they have a rash, but people should remember that gentle cleaning is best.
Scrubbing this area of the body or rubbing it dry can further irritate the rash and damage the sensitive skin.
10. Trying an oatmeal bath
Research shows that colloidal oatmeal may reduce the inflammation and irritation that atopic dermatitis and inflammatory skin conditions can cause. Colloidal oatmeal may also reduce the pain and itching that comes with a diaper rash.
People can buy oatmeal bath treatments in many drug stores and online. People should follow the directions on the package and pat the infant’s skin dry afterward.