Diaper Rash Treatments, Remedies, And Cures

Learn to treat and cure diaper rash safely at home.

Whether you're bringing a baby home for the first time or have dealt with the difficulty of diaper rash before, there is help. New and promising research, time-honored treatments, and a little education about the rash that puts the boo-hoo in babies will have you and you baby feeling better in no time.

WHAT IS DIAPER RASH?

Diaper rash is a contact dermatitis that causes redness and irritation around the diaper area. Doctors categorize diaper rash by their symptoms, appearance, and cause.

FRICTION RASH affects all babies at one time or another, and is commonly found on areas where friction exists, such as under the elastic of diapers and around the inner thighs.

IRRITATION RASH is seen on the buttocks and results from direct contact with stool and urine, soaps, baby wipes, topical treatments, and detergents.

ALLERGIC RASH is normally found around the buttocks, and looks similar to a Poison Oak rash.

SEBORRHEA RASH is grey in color and appears greasy looking, often topped with yellowy scales. It tends to appear around skin folds.

INTERTRIGO RASHES are caused by repeated exposure to moist heat. This is the most common type of diaper rash.

SYMPTOMS

Red areas of skin around the buttocks.

Raw, spotty small rash-like sores around the buttock and hips areas.

Moist, painful skin anywhere around the diaper area, including buttocks, hips, and groin.

Raw, bloody sores around the tip of the penis in infant boys.

Skin that is cracked and painful.

Small fissures around the buttocks and leg area in newborns.

CAUSES

Diaper rash occurs when urine and stool, chemicals, or other materials irritate sensitive skin tissue. Excessive moisture, repeated exposure, and lack of breathable materials in diapers contribute to the growth of the rash. Other causes include:

Hot, humid weather.

Infrequent diaper changes.

Improperly fitting diapers.

Poor laundering of diapers.

Skin allergies.

Repeated exposure to moisture.

Urinary tract infections.

PREVENTION

Newborn babies and small children who have a family history of skin allergies may always suffer from minor diaper rash until they are out of diapers. Most suffering can be minimized, however, by following specific treatment guidelines. Others, who do not have hereditary factors involved, can benefit from simple prevention techniques:

CHANGE DIAPERS FREQUENTLY

Keep a watchful eye on diapered children. As soon as possible after wetting, remove the soiled diaper,.

KEEP DIAPERS OFF

Between changes, keep diapers off children for 15-30 minutes at a time. This will allow for air exposure and healing.



NO OVERNIGHT WATERPROOFING

Heavy, waterproof diapers allow for little or no air circulation, and tend to irritate skin once they've been soiled. Because your child will be sleeping for long periods of time and going without a change, your child is more likely to experience diaper rash problems as a result.

LAUNDER DIAPERS PROPERLY

Use hypoallergenic soap, when possible, and a gentle bleaching agent to remove all traces of soiled matter. After washing, run the diapers through the rinse cycle twice to remove harmful detergents and chemicals left behind.. Diapers should be washed daily and dried immediately. Cloth diapers should always be placed into a hot dryer and never hung on a clothesline. Also, do not use fabric softeners of any kind.

SWITCH TO GEL

Newer diapers marketed as "super absorbent" contain gel-like materials which wisk moisture away from baby's skin.

TRADITIONAL TREATMENT

AIR

Expose the child's irritated skin to as much air as possible. You can do this by leaving the child diaperless for short periods of time between changings, placing cotton panties on children in place of diapers for an afternoon, or allowing the child to wear loose fitting cotton diapers for small periods of time.

CHANGE BATHING HABITS

Never use soaps to wash irritated rash areas during bathing rituals. You can safely and painlessly cleanse areas skin with a cotton swabs dipped in mineral oil. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.

TREAT EARLY

Once your child shows the first signs of diaper rash, treat immediately. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly, zinc oxide ointment, or lanolin ointment to the rash 3-times daily.

GIVE UP THE WIPES

Prepackaged wipes containing alcohol will irritate your child's skin and make diaper rash worse by overdrying the skin. Instead of harsh wipes, use a soft, cotton towel and lukewarm water. For messy cleanups, use a soft cotton towel and non-allergenic baby soap. Rinse well.

WASH DIFFERENTLY

Instead of washing diapers as you would wash other items of clothing, use boiling water and antiseptic diaper wash. Pour boiling water and antiseptic cleanser into kitchen sink, add diapers, and allow to sit for designated amount of time. Rinse well and dry in hot dryer.

GO FOR CLOTH

If you regularly clothe your baby in disposable diapers, switch to cloth diapers temporally. Cloth diapers allow for more air circulation to infected or irritated skin.

GIVE UP THE TREATMENTS

Once your child has a serious case of diaper rash, his/her skin is extra sensitive. During the treatment period, stop using baby lotions, powders, ointments, and baby oils, unless instructed otherwise by a family doctor.

CHANGE DIAPERS FREQUENTLY

Change baby's diapers as often as once per hour, even when not soiled. This will help to keep sensitive skin dry and maximize air exposure.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPY

GO FOR THE MAALOX

Millions of parents swear by the Maalox cure. Maalox, normally used to treat heartburn and stomach upset, applied liberally with a cotton ball to baby's bottom, helps to cool irritated skin and neutralize acid. Allow to dry, then diaper as usual.

TRY ANTIFUNGALS

Many years ago, doctors and dermatologists realized that antifungal creams, such as those used to treat Athlete's Foot, could also clear up diaper rash. Apply cream after bathing and diaper, as usual. Parents and dermatologists suggest that 90% off all rashes will be gone the following morning. Use only when needed.

GO FOR THE CORNSTARCH

Your grandmother would tell you that cornstarch is the only way to go! In place of powder, try a teaspoon of cornstarch, which will absorb odor safely.

ACIDOPHILUS

Liquid acidophilus works from the inside out, killing yeast and bacteria. Consult doctor before using for recommended amounts.

OATMEAL CURE

Millions of parents have tried the oatmeal cure. Add a small amount of dry oatmeal to baby's bath water. Oatmeal will help draw irritation away from the body, add nutrients to the skin, and make your child less fussy.

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