· My baby has bad diaper rash
A newborn with diaper rash is the most natural thing on earth! Despite this fact, many new moms are alarmed and may even feel guilty of what they’ve done wrong with their little ones. Your baby’s skin looks perfect since birth, but it’s so thin and sensitive that signs of redness an irritation can appear just overnight. There’re also many misconceptions about baby’s rash too. It isn’t abnormal at all if your baby has diaper rash. All babies have rash on the bottom sooner or later, there’s nothing wrong with them. Luckier babies may have only mild rash that can clear up only with some more attention at every diaper change while some less lucky ones tend to develop extreme diaper rash which can be painful and need medical attention. However, learning about diaper rash prevention and how to reduce it will save your baby and yourself from having too much stress.
· What causes diaper rash
Diaper rash can be defined as a form of skin inflammation. It happens typically on a warm and wet area of the skin. Since babies always wear diapers, their bottoms are in touch with urine and stool. When their sensitive skin is exposed to moisture without being cleaned and let dry immediately, it becomes irritated and is more prone to infection with bacteria and yeast which will eventually worsen the rash. Other factors that can cause rash in babies are chemicals, too-tight diapers and new foods. For breastfed babies, foods and antibiotics that moms take can trigger rash too. Read on to recognize different types of diaper rash.
· Types of diaper rash
Sometimes rashes are more severe than just a skin irritation from diaper, urine and stool. In these cases, you should contact your doctor as your baby will need a specific therapy.
- Contact Diaper Rash: This’s a regular rash that appears on an irritated skin. It’s red and flat and can have blisters if severe.
- Intertrigo: This red and burn-like rash appears within skin folds or where the skin rubs against the diaper. It’s usually caused by moisture.
- Yeast Rash: Yeast infection diaper rash occurs particularly with an antibiotic use or a prolonged rash. Yeast from the baby’s intestines can spread through the damaged skin, forming raised and patchy rash over the genitalia. It usually has sharp borders and accompanied by little satellite spots around the diaper area. It must be treated with anti-fungal creams.
- Impetigo: This rash is caused by bacteria that invades damaged skin. Its appearance looks like coin-sized blisters or red patches with honey-colored oozing. Antibiotic ointment is required as treatment.
- Seborrhea: This’s an inflammatory skin condition that can affect many parts of the body, but can become severe in the diaper area. This type of rash is generally a big red patch with distinct edges over the lower abdomen, groin or genitalia. It’s sometimes thicker and greasier than other types of rash. To treat it, 1% hydrocortisone cream is needed under the doctor’s direction.
- Allergy Ring: This rash is caused by irritation from some kinds of food which are acidic like tomato sauce and citrus. It forms a red ring around the baby’s anus. As a treatment, try to avoid suspected foods. If you’re breastfeeding, cut down those foods from your diet.
· Home remedies for diaper rash
A diaper rash generally clears up within a few days without any special medicines. As a prevention and treatment for mild diaper rashes, try these steps of home remedies:
- Keeping the diaper area clean and dry is the most important thing to prevent and treat diaper rash. Change your baby’s diaper when it’s soaked with urine or stools in the way that his or her skin is in contact with wetness as less as possible. You should check your baby’s diaper every 2-3 hours during day time.
- Wash the diaper area with warm water and a soft cloth. It’s the best and gentlest way for your baby’s sensitive skin. Wipes contain chemicals that can burn the irritated skin, so you should avoid using them if rash is present.
- Rinse well and let dry completely. Don’t scrub on the rash area, just pat gently with your hand. Don’t use soap every time you change diaper but use a mild soap only when his or her bottom is very soiled or only once a day.
- After your baby’s skin is cleaned and dried, apply a barrier paste, cream or ointment. Products that contain zinc oxide and petroleum jelly are effective in protecting his or her skin from moisture. However, don’t apply creams or ointments on broken skin.
- When possible, lay your baby on a towel leaving him or her without diapers. The airflow will help heal rashes more quickly.
- Keep the diaper loose. Avoid plastic pants when your baby still has rash.
- If you’re using disposable diapers, try to change to another brand. Some brands may fit your little baby better than the others. Choose a product using absorbent gelling material (AGM) which draws in liquids more efficiently. If it’s fine for you, try to switch to cloth diapers.
- If you’re using cloth diapers, rinse them well by adding ½ cup of vinegar which will help remove the irritant substance.
· What to do for severe diaper rash
If your baby has raised bumps and intense redness shown in a large area of the bottom, he or she has severe diaper rash. You may also notice some bleeding on the peeled region too. This serious inflammation is the reason why your baby cries or screams when he or she pass urine ore stools. It’s heart-wrenching for a mom to see the little one suffering with this terrible skin condition. Fortunately, there’re various methods among home remedies and specific medical treatments that soothe your little one’s damaged skin and heal the severe diaper rash.
- Home remedies for severe rash
In addition to the practices for rash prevention and treatments described above, you can use one among various over-the-counter medications available for baby rash. Choose products that are made especially for babies. They usually contain zinc oxide, the active ingredient that has many benefits for the baby’s soft and delicate skin. Apply a thick layer of the creams, paste or ointments. If you can’t decide what to buy, your doctor can help select the most suitable product for your baby’s skin condition.
- Medical treatments for severe rash
If the rash persists or gets worse after 2-3 days of home treatments, you should consult your doctor. You’ll need a prescription treatment as the followings:
- A mild hydrocortisone cream for topical application.
- An anti-fungal cream in case your baby has developed a fungal infection.
- Oral or topical antibiotics in the case of a bacterial infection.
Pay attention to the use of ointments or creams with steroids because a frequent or long use can cause other additional problems. Don’t use them without recommendations of your pediatrician. If the rash doesn’t improve after several days of medical treatments, your doctor may suggest you to see a dermatologist.
· Best cream for yeast diaper rash
It your baby’s rash has developed into a yeast infection, you’ll need a specific treatment. The most effective and commonly used creams against yeast diaper rash in babies are:
- Clotrimazole (Lotrimin), over-the-counter cream. Apply directly to your baby’s skin beneath other diaper creams. Use it 2-3 times a day and for up to 2 weeks.
- Nystatin, a prescription cream. It’s another choice of medical treatment for yeast rash which works as well as Clotrimazole with a little bit of difference.
· Bag balm for diaper rash
Bag Balm is a famous American remedy that was first released in 1899 to be used on cows’ udders. It prevented them from chapping in winters. Afterwards, it’s become famous as a multi-purpose ointment for humans too. It contains great ingredients that are excellent to heal the baby’s raw and sore bottom. 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate acts as an antiseptic that helps kill the bacteria. It’s also rich of Lanolin which help soften and hydrate the skin. Petrolatum is another main ingredient that heal the skin while protecting it from trapped moisture. This’s why bag balm works wonderfully on baby’s diaper rash. The only exception is that you can’t use it if your baby’s allergic to Lanolin.
· Natural remedies for diaper rash
There have been studies about alternative treatments that work well on diaper rash. Try the following natural methods:
- Human breast milk: According to Mayo Clinic, a study shows that applying human breastmilk on baby diaper rash is better than any other treatments. It’s effective and safe.
- Oatmeal bath: Blend ¾ cup of oatmeal until it’s fine as flour, then add it into lukewarm water. Soak the baby in the bath for 10 minutes. It helps soothe the itch of the baby’s rash. You can find wrapped oatmeal packets at a grocery store. Remember not to bathe your baby if his or her umbilical cord hasn’t fallen off yet.
- Calendula and aloe vera: Both are found effective in treating diaper rash on babies.
- Coconut oil: It does have amazing properties to treat various skin conditions, including diaper rash. It contains anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties that promote healing. It also contains lauric acid that is found in breastmilk and fight bacteria and yeast very effectively.
- Baking soda: Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda in your baby’s bath tub or basin filled with warm water. Soak him or her in the bath for 10 minutes, up to 3 times per day if the skin is fairly raw.
· Foods that cause diaper rash
It’s easier for small children below age 3 to experience food allergies. A study, according to Dr. Alan Greene, shows that 1 out of 18 kids is subject to food allergies. How can food allergies be related to diaper rash? Allergen foods themselves don’t cause the rash but they are going to worsen it. The symptoms of food allergies include diarrhea. If your baby has frequent diarrhea, his or her skin would be irritated by stools. This kind of rash usually shows up in the form of bright ring around the baby’s anus. You may notice blisters or tiny bumps around his or her buttocks or genital when your baby eats foods like eggs, wheat, cow’s milk or soy. If you’re breastfeeding, it can happen when you take in the mentioned foods. At the same time, your baby can suffer from excess gas, nausea, vomiting, loose stool and diarrhea. Acidic foods like citrus, tomato sauce, strawberries and pineapples can cause a red and sore ring around the baby’s anus too.
What you can do is identifying what food does trigger allergy in your baby and avoid feeding him or her the suspected food. In case you’re breastfeeding, avoid eating it as much as possible. Your pediatrician may suggest you to have your baby tested by doing RAST, also called radioallergosorbent test. He or she could also be scheduled to the skin tests that detect the food culprit as well. However, it doesn’t mean that your baby can never eat the allergen. You’ll be able to try to introduce it again after one or two month to see the reaction. For the rest, just always follow the suggested steps of home remedies to prevent and treat diaper rash as described above.
How about your baby? Has he or her experienced rash diaper from time to time? What prevention or treatment does work with your baby?