Diaper rash is a common condition seen in babies. It can be caused by not changing the wet and dirty diapers in a timely manner, not drying the diaper area and many other situations. A diaper rash is not a serious skin condition and it just takes a few simple at-home measures to make it disappear in a few days. There is no such single thing that helps cure diaper rash. However, a combination of a few practices helps your baby get rid of the diaper rash fast.
1. Keep the diaper area clean and dry: The most important thing to remember in a baby with diaper rash is to always keep the baby’s diaper area clean and dry. For this, you need to keep checking your baby’s diaper and replace the wet or dirty ones with a fresh diaper.
2. Avoiding scrubbing the area: While you change the baby’s diaper, avoid scrubbing or rubbing the diaper area dry. Instead, gently clean with scent-free, mild baby soap. Scrubbing is harmful to your baby’s already sensitive skin.
3. Do not use baby wipes: Do not use baby wipes for drying out the diaper area when your baby has a diaper rash. Baby wipes can irritate the rash further.
4. Air out your baby’s diaper area: To aid the healing of diaper rash, take steps to increase the exposure of air in the diaper area. What you can do is
- Let your baby go diaper-free for at least ten minutes about three to four times a day. For example, plan to do this during their nap times.
- Avoid airtight plastic pants and diaper covers.
- Use diapers that are a little larger than your baby’s diaper area.
5. Bathe your baby daily: Bathing is a good way to speed up the clearing of diaper rash. Use warm water with fragrance-free, mild soap for the purpose. Alternatively, you can also bathe your baby with oatmeal. Many doctors recommend an oatmeal bath because it alleviates the rash.
6. Change the type of diaper: If you use cloth diapers, try disposables. And if you use disposables, try a different brand to see if this helps.
7. Change your laundry detergent: If you wash your baby clothes on your own, look for skin-friendly, fragrance-free, hypo-allergenic detergents.
8. Try over-the-counter baby creams or lotions: You can try over-the-counter products, especially the ones that contain zinc oxide as one of their main ingredients. Sometimes, the formulation type (particularly ointment, lotion) may not suit your baby’s skin. You can ask your doctor for specific product recommendations.
There are products specifically designed for babies’ diaper rash. Choose any one of them while also looking at the label. Avoid items containing toxic ingredients for babies, such as
- Baking soda
- Boric acid
9. Watch for any new food causing the rash: The introduction of new food, such as citrus fruits or tomatoes, can cause the urine and poop of children to become acidic. The acidic poop or urine can also trigger a new diaper rash.
If you are thinking of introducing new food into your child’s diet, do it gradually by starting with a small portion. Monitor your baby’s diaper area and see if the food ingestion by the baby is followed by a new rash. Discontinue the use of such foods until the rash goes away completely.
10. Try alternative medicine: There is some evidence that some alternative treatments reduce diaper rash. Some of these include
11. Medications: For severe and stubborn rashes that do not go away with home remedies, you should see your child’s pediatrician or a skin specialist. They will look at the rash to see if there is any bacterial or fungal infection associated with the rash. Accordingly, they may recommend topical application with any of the creams: steroid (such as 1 percent hydrocortisone), antibiotic or antifungal cream.
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Stanford Children's Health: "Diaper Dermatitis in Children." https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=diaper-dermatitis-90-P01896
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