How To Treat Diaper Rash

No matter how much care and comfort your little one is in, it still can develop diaper rashes. Although one look at the rashes might give you chills, you should keep your calm and deal with it rationally.

Diaper rash is quite common in infants, and you can identify it by a painful and red rash in the diaper areas. But parents and caregivers should know how to heal such rashes to prevent it from taking an uglier shape. A statistic stated that about 20% of infants who visit the dermatologist suffer from this condition. As a result of this rash, the diaper area’s skin might seem to be flaky, dry, and rough.

What are the causes of diaper rashes in infants?

Before delving into diaper rashes’ treatment options, you need to know the baby diaper rash causes. If you have complete knowledge about it, you will be able to prevent the rashes from happening in the first place.

Stool/urine

When a newborn is exposed to urine or stool for a prolonged duration, their delicate skin becomes prone to diaper rashes. Also, newborns suffering from diarrhea are highly likely to get affected by this condition.

Rubbing

Tight fitted pants and diapers often rub against the delicate skin of the toddlers and cause chaffing. With time the chaffing can take the shape of diaper rashes.

Allergy from new products

Often the diaper rashes are the cause of baby wipes and fabric bleaches used to wash diapers. Therefore, parents have to look for allergy and irritation signs after introducing a new product to their newborns. Furthermore, the chemical composition of some baby creams and oils might give out rashes as well.

Fungal infection

The area covered by the diaper is generally warm and moist, perfect for bacteria to grow and multiply! So if a skin infection starts in the legs of a newborn, it might spread to the nearby areas, thighs, and buttocks. And if the infection reaches the diaper area, it will intensify, causing diaper rashes. Typically, these rashes appear as small red dots, and you can find them in the folds of infants’ skin.

Food allergy

With time every infant has been introduced to new solid foods, and this acts as a leading cause for diaper rash. For instance, when a particular food does not suit your toddler, it might cause diarrhea. The frequent stool movement will again lead to irritation of the delicate skin by stool. If you breastfeed your newborn, they might get allergies from the food you have eaten before feeding them.

Existing skin conditions

Some infants might already have sensitive skin owing to certain skin disorders like eczema and dermatitis. These aggravated conditions might contribute to diaper rashes as well.

Antibiotics consumption

Antibiotics are prescribed to kill the bacteria from our system, both the wrong and right types. Now when your toddler takes in these antibiotics, the bacteria which prevent yeast growth will be flushed out. As a result of this, the yeast growth will not be restricted, causing infection.

Must Read: How To Get Your Infant To Sleep

What are some of the home remedies you can try to heal diaper rashes?

If a diaper rash does not aggravate, you can heal it effectively at home without taking your child to the hospital. Here are some lifestyle changes and home remedies you should follow to prevent diaper rashes.

Changing diapers frequently

When diapers are not changed immediately after coming in contact with urine and stool, infants might develop an ugly rash. If infants’ delicate skin is in contact with stool and urine for a prolonged duration, rashes might develop. That is why; parents and caregivers should be extra vigilant to look for signs of used diapers as it one of baby diaper rash causes. Then prompt action should be taken to change those diapers. It would help if you also made it a point to change the diapers after a few hours. In this way, you would never fail to change wet diapers, which tend to worsen symptoms.

Allowing airflow

If your toddler already has developed diaper rashes, you should look for ways to allow airflow into the affected area. To do this, you should see that your toddler spends at least a few hours a day with no diapers or pants on. This will eventually ensure air to come in contact with the rashes and thereby heal them. If leaving your newborn without pants is an option, you can dress them in bottoms made of breathable cotton.

Changing detergents

If you see your child developing rashes almost frequently, then there must be something you are doing wrong. Unknowingly you are using some detergents to wash their bottoms and diapers, which are triggering allergies. Furthermore, even some baby wipes and diapers might also contain a substance that might not suit your newborn. But if you are using reusable diapers and using a detergent to wash the diapers, you should change the detergent brand.

Using right-fit diapers

Nowadays, diapers come in a range of sizes so to fit newborns as they grow in height. So you should change the size of the diapers accordingly to ensure they wear the right fit of diapers. Parents and caregivers should thoroughly check the fit of the diapers while introducing a new size.

Diaper rash ointment

But, even after trying out these measures, what if the rashes are not healing as it is supposed to? Worry not, head out to the pharmacy and look for baby creams with zinc oxide as the primary constituent. Now you have to take an adequate and apply a thick layer over the rashes. After this, you should wait till the cream is dry before putting on the diapers.

Restrict using baby wipes

Even though baby wipes come handy because, with it, you can wipe off your toddler’s buttocks without water. But most of the baby wipes available are scented, that is why it irritates your infant’s delicate skin. That is why, if your baby already has a diaper rash, don’t use these scented wipes to wipe off the area. The best remedy is to use scent-free soaps and water to wash and then letting it dry in the air. However, if you feel the need to use baby wipes, use natural and non-scented ones.

Remove acidic foods from the diet.

Introducing new foods to your toddler is a great idea, and it helps your little ones to get all the nutrition. Often when you feed citrus and acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes to your infant, their tummy might get upset. Citrus fruits, when consumed in excess, might cause acidic stool and urine among infants. So, if you are feeding a citrus fruit for the first time, only let them have a small quantity. Now your job as a parent is to check whether they have developed any allergies post eating. If you see hints of red bumps, you should wait for the rash to get healed. Only then you can think of feeding the same to your newborn.

Staying away from scented soaps

Even if you love to smell the vanilla fragrance on your newborn’s skin after bathing them, it is not a good idea. Often soaps and body wash offering soothing aromas cause rashes and allergies on your toddlers’ skin. Not only soaps but also creams, lotions and bubble baths trigger this type of allergic reaction. So you might want to stay away from such products even it is stated to be ‘baby-friendly.

Oatmeal bath

If you are not a fan of artificial creams for treating the diaper rashes, why not try a natural remedy? Oatmeal baths available in the market are formulated to heal the inflammation of the diaper rashes. Some oatmeal bathes might also be able to reduce the itching and pain associated with diaper rash. If you have time, you can too DIY these oatmeal bathes quickly.

Applying Witchhazel essence

If you don’t know, witch hazel is a flowering plant often used to heal skin rashes and allergies. Although there is no scientific evidence behind it, a study was conducted with 300 children for this. The study proved that the witch flower extract was indeed an effective newborn diaper rash treatment.  

Human breast milk

If you are still breastfeeding your child, you can try this treatment, which most moms swear by. You can also combine breast milk, zinc oxide cream, and cod liver oil and apply it directly to the rashes for better effectiveness.

Aloe vera and calendula

These two plant extracts are known for their extraordinary contribution to the world of skincare. One particular research has proved that when these two extracts are mixed and applied on the rash, results are satisfactory.

Antibiotics

If all the home remedies and ointments didn’t bring any significant improvement in the condition, then think beyond this. But before taking this step, you should consult a physician and feed it only if your physician prescribes it.

What are some of the treatment methods harmful to infants?

In addition to scented soaps, you are advised not to use any scented fabric softener to wash your infants’ diapers and pants. These play a more-or-less similar role in aggravating the diaper rashes. Some other parents might recommend using baby powder to heal the rashes by keeping the buttocks dry. Although it somewhat works in reducing the itchiness of the rashes, it is a strict no as it causes lung problems in your infant.

The same thing can happen when you use cornstarch as a home remedy to treat diaper rashes. Because when you put it in the diaper area, your infant can inhale it, and it can get hazardous.

Some tips for prevention of diaper rashes

Even after following the treatments mentioned earlier, if you find the rashes returning, what should you do? If this happens, then it is safe to assume that there are a few things you are not doing right!

  • Before and after changing the diapers of your newborn, wash your hands.
  • Be alert so as to promptly change the diapers when it gets soiled or wet.
  • For rinsing your baby’s buttocks, you should use only water. However, you can use a mild cleanser only if you are cleaning the stool from the diaper area.
  • Don’t excessively rub the skin to dry it; instead, let the air do its work.
  • Do not put on a fresh diaper before ensuring that the diaper area is dry.

When is the right time to consult a doctor?

Often parents of newborns wonder whether they need to run to the doctor’s chamber immediately. A doctor’s checkup becomes mandatory if you can relate to any of the following conditions:

  • Even after treatment of 2-3 days, if the rash doesn’t show any signs of improvement.
  • Your newborn has a low-grade fever.
  • If you find fluid-filled blisters in the diaper area, as this is a sign of bacterial infection. For this, the doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics.
  • If the red rashes appear to be more swollen, then it might be a yeast infection. Your doctor would recommend an anti-fungal treatment method to cure it effectively.
  • Often rashes might be spotted inside the folds of the skin of the things area, and this might also be a hint of critical infection. 

Apart from this, if you see pus draining from the blisters, then wait no more and call your pediatrician. Moreover, if you find your child crying continuously due to the rashes’ pain, you should take them to the clinic.

Also, if you want cloth diapers, then you should take specific measures to wash it properly. For instance, before washing, you would have to soak soiled diapers in cold water. To clean it, you can use mild detergents and bleach. For eliminating the foul odor, you can add a few drops of vinegar. So, if you find diaper rashes appearing on your infant, don’t be worried and instead follow this diaper rash treatment. 

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