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Diaper Rash

​​A diaper rash is a common skin irritation for a baby that can cause extreme uncomfortableness in areas covered by the diaper. Typically caused by prolonged contact with irritants on the skin from bacteria reactions from stools, almost every baby will experience a diaper rash at some point. With proper treatment, rashes typically last around three days and may cause soreness and redness before healing.

Prevention

Changing the diaper immediately after your baby has a stool and rinsing the skin with warm water (rather than diaper wipes) are most effective. When using cloth diapers, be sure to wash and dry on high heat. Below are additional prevention tips from Boys Town Pediatrics.

  • Change diapers frequently. The key to successful treatment is keeping the area dry and clean so it can heal itself. Check diapers about every hour and if contaminated, change immediately to avoid any further irritations. Be sure your baby's bottom is completely dry before closing the diaper.
  • Let your baby's bottom breathe. Give your baby air without the diaper each day during naps or after stools by putting a towel or diaper underneath their bottom. When wearing a diaper, keep it loose enough so air can circulate.
  • Rinse skin with warm water. If the diaper rash is raw, try using warm water and do not wash with soap after every diaper change because it may interfere with healing. Use mild soap (like Dove) only after stools. This helps remove any bacteria left on the skin.
  • Diaper wipes. When using wipes, try to use fragrance and preservative free products. Diaper wipes can sometimes be inadequate for cleaning and can commonly leave bacteria on the skin. After using soap be sure to rinse well gently and pat dry without scrubbing or wiping too hard.
  • Nighttime care. Try using disposable diapers that can help lock moisture inside the diaper and away from the skin and be sure to change the diaper at least once a night until the rash heals.
  • Yeast infection. If the rash does not improve, your baby may have a yeast infection which may cause the area to become bright red, raw and surrounded by red dots. Cream treatments are available for yeast infections such as Lotrimin cream (no prescription necessary).
  • Cream and ointment. If your baby's skin is dry and cracked, applying cream and ointment can help to protect skin after washing off stool. Applying a thick layer and helps create a barrier between stool and your baby’s skin. Consult with your doctor to learn more about the right cream and ointment for your baby.

Seek Attention

If your baby’s rash isn’t getting any better after three days, the rash becomes bright red or raw or if you have any other concerns, contact your pediatrician right away. If bleeding occurs, the rash looks infected (blisters or sores) or your baby starts getting very sick, seek immediate attention.