Preventing and treating diaper rash

All Woman

Preventing and treating diaper rash

Baby Steps

Monday, July 13, 2020

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ANY baby can get diaper rash, and its presence is not necessarily an indication that the parent isn't exercising the best care. In fact, something as simple as sensitive skin, using the wrong diaper, or using inadequate barrier cream can leave your baby with red, irritated skin.

Babies by their very nature are prone to skin irritation, and the important thing is that you as the parent are quick to act if you suspect, or encounter diaper rash.

Diaper rash is a rash that is located on the buttocks of an infant, characterised by redness, irritation and inflammation which cause discomfort to the baby. It could prolong for a few days, and even return after you think you've cleared it up.

Common causes

• Ill-fitting and tight diapers which can predispose to chafing and irritation of the skin

• Prolonged contact with stool and/or urine

• Conditions such as diarrhoea or frequent bowel movements

• Sensitivity of skin to products such as lotions, powders, wipes, diapers, as well as detergents and fabric softeners used to launder cloth diapers

• Sensitive skin conditions such as dermatitis or eczema

• With the introduction of complementary foods and solids there may be a noted increase in diaper rash as the chemical contents of stool changes.

Prevention and cure

There are a variety of prevention and treatment methods which parents can explore, including:

• Frequent diaper changes even if only soiled with urine.

• Using appropriately-sized diapers.

• Avoiding heavily scented lotions and powders.

• Using gentle detergents or bath products with warm water.

• Limiting the use of wipes during an outbreak.

• Airing and/or patting dry the infant's buttocks if possible.

• Using a barrier cream which can be zinc oxide or petroleum-based.

•Investing in a good diaper. Avoid brands that saturate too easily, and which don't keep baby dry.

•Many parents swear by the vinegar or baking soda treatment. Add a couple teaspoons of baking soda or vinegar to the bathtub of warm water and soak the baby.

•Do not apply diaper rash cream to broken skin, as happens in extreme diaper rash cases, nor should you use wipes with alcohol, as this will aggravate the skin.

•Do not use baby powder or cornstarch on the rash. These will build up and cause bacteria to grow.

•Note that a diaper rash, if untreated, could develop into thrush, and the baby may need antifungal cream.

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