I think virtually every parent must have faced this problem once in their babies at some point of time. Diaper rash basically develops due to direct contact of skin with moist surface or soiled diaper. It develops mostly in genital area, perianal area, thigh folds and buttocks.
Causes of Diaper Rash:
- If potty soiled diaper is left for too long.
- If wet diaper is kept for too long a period.
- Allergic reaction to diaper material, soaps or baby wipes
- Too much moisture
- Too much rubbing of skin while cleaning or too much friction from diaper if put very tightly on baby.
- Bacterial infection, yeast infections
Once the rash has started developing and skin is damaged, there are more chances of developing infections like bacterial, fungal or yeast.
Babies who are breast fed have less chance of diaper rashes.
More common when baby is having diarrhea, baby on antibiotics, recent change in dietary habits like starting with solid foods. If babies are not kept clean or dry for long periods.
Steps to manage/ prevent Diaper rash:
- Keep area as clean and as dry as possible.
- Pat dry; the area rather than rubbing. Allow it dry fully before putting on diaper.
- Use oil based barrier like Vaseline petroleum jelly, coconut oil etc.
- Keep diaper area dry for as long as possible. Best is to avoid use of diaper during day keep it open to dry air.
- If temperature of room is ambient, try to keep baby in open without nappies, so that rashes can air dry.
- Change diaper more frequently
- Avoid wiping with alcohol based wipes, use soft cotton washcloth.
- Apply thick layer of any Zinc based ointment like Siloderm etc. Or any napirash cream available. Important is to put a thick layer and it is not necessary to completely remove the whole cream on next diaper change.
- Most important thing to remember is that heavy rubbing or scrubbing is only going to damage it more.
- Wrap the diaper as loose as possible (too tight diaper can prevent proper air circulation is there and wet or soiled parts do not rub against the skin too much).
- Avoid use of Steroid based creams as far as possible (unless until recommended by your child doctor, as they can harm your baby).
When Consult your child doctor (Pediatrician) if
- Pus filled blister or sores appear near rashes
- Rashes are not improving
- They are getting worse even after taking all the precautions.
- Baby has fever along with rashes
- Rashes all over the body
Various home remedies available for Diaper rash treatment are listed in the below mentioned link.
Dr Rahul Varma