Diaper rashes are a common occurrence in babies. They result from friction and irritation caused between the diaper and the skin. It is crucial to recognize that several other factors may cause a diaper rash. Do not panic if your baby develops it. A diaper rash is treatable, and you can also prevent it.
But, what are the signs of a rash? Should you visit a doctor? What creams should you use?
In this article, we’ll discuss everything from the causes of a rash, its prevention, treatment and instances when you must seek medical attention.
What is a diaper rash?
A diaper rash is a common skin concern in infants and toddlers. It is an area of inflamed skin characterized by red splotches and scales around the genital area and on the baby’s buttocks. In some cases, this rash may spread to the legs and stomach. A diaper rash may lead to a bacterial or fungal infection.
Causes of diaper rash
A diaper rash flourishes in a hot moist environment, often due to prolonged exposure to urine or faeces. Several other factors may promote this infection including –
- a reaction caused by the diaper due to its material
- the diaper is too tight
- the baby has sensitive skin
- wet diaper kept on too long
- allergic reaction to baby wipes or soap
- increased friction between the diaper and skin
- a side effect to new medication or food
- experiencing diarrhea
The frequency of a diaper rash increases when your baby is around 6-12 months old. It is around this time that the child starts consuming solid food. Their chances of staying in contact with urine or faeces are high, causing friction and diaper rash.
Precautions and treatment against a diaper rash
A diaper rash is preventable skin irritation. It requires regular skincare and hygiene to avoid it. Here are a few measures you can take to prevent a diaper rash on your baby.
Choose the right diaper
Diaper rash can be very discomforting to your baby. The diaper plays an essential role to protect the child from rashes or even causing it. The first to prevent a diaper rash is to ensure you use the correct diaper size. If the diaper is too tight, it may cause moisture retention, leading to rashes. On the other hand, if the diaper is too loose, the friction between the skin and the diaper may lead to a diaper rash.
While you may prefer to use a cloth diaper, choosing a disposable diaper helps prevent diaper rash. Several brands offer safe and organic diapers to protect your child’s soft skin. Brands such as PureBorn, Allter, HeyDay and Bhoomi&Co manufacture natural bamboo diapers in various sizes to protect your baby and the environment. While these diapers are super-absorbent, you must clean the soiled area immediately to minimise the risk of rashes.
Keep the area clean and dry
To prevent diaper rashes, keep your baby’s diaper clean and dry. Every time you change the diaper, clean the area with a soft cloth, baby wipes or a squirt of water. You may avoid the diaper during the day to keep the airflow. Lay them on towels or waterproof pads to let them enjoy a diaper-free time.
Keeping the area clean is an essential part to ensure any occurrence of a rash does not get worse. Ensure to change the diaper frequently during the day and night.
Choose the right baby wipes
When you clean your baby using a diaper wipe, make sure it is gentle. Avoid using wipes with alcohol or fragrances, as these may irritate the baby and cause rashes. Instead of rubbing the wipes against your baby’s skin, gently dab and wipe. Brands such as Aleva Naturals and Bambo Nature provide fragrance-free natural baby wipes to protect your baby’s skin.
Apply soothing barrier creams
Use coconut oil or creams containing zinc oxide to prevent rashes. These creams and oils are gentle on the skin and act as a barrier against rashes. Cetaphil, Burt’s Bees and Aleva offer such barrier creams. Ensure to dry your baby’s bottom before applying them. If you opt for creams, make sure to do a quick patch test to avoid any allergic reactions on the baby. Avoid steroid-based creams or talcum powder as they may harm your baby.
Cure for diaper rash
Depending on the extent to which the rash has spread, the doctor may prescribe creams and medication. There are several creams that a doctor may prescribe that gradually wear off the rash. A popular option is Sudocrem, Desitin which is antiseptic, soothing, and effective in getting rid of the rash.
When should you visit a doctor?
Diaper rashes can seem painful, but following a routine of cleaning, drying and applying creams can help your baby cope with them. However, in some cases, the rash may get infected. There are several signs that you may notice including –
- the rash does not respond to the treatment in 2-3 days
- the baby develops a fever
- the rash produces yellow, fluid-filled bumps or pus. It may be a sign of bacterial infection and requires a medical examination.
- there are blisters in the diaper area
- the redness increases and the area seems swollen
- symptoms of a yeast infection develop like white scales, lesions, pimples and redness in the folds of your baby’s skin
- the baby cannot tolerate pain caused by the diaper rash
The baby’s rash may cause creases of the skin with spots of red rash on the abdomen and thighs. Ensure you are transparent with your doctor, and they note all the symptoms to decide the course of treatment. They may prescribe antibiotics or antifungal creams to treat the diaper rash.
A diaper rash is preventable if you maintain your baby’s hygiene and protect them from excessive moisture. There are several products such as natural and breathable diapers and soothing creams to help you in this process. It is essential to recognize any signs of inflammation or pus and seek medical help whenever necessary.