How to Treat and Prevent Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is a general term for what are many different types of skin irritation on a baby’s bottom. The diaper is thick and warm, sealing in wetness that breeds bacteria. That, coupled with the germs from urine and feces, and it’s inevitable that your baby will occasionally get a diaper rash. There are ways, however, of treating a diaper rash quickly and taking precautions to minimize it’s return.

Treating a Diaper Rash

1. Put away those wipes- During times of flare up, use only warm water to rinse off baby’s bottom. The chemicals from baby wipes will only further irritate the condition. Try using a bottled water container to squirt over the area and avoid rubbing the rash. Blot dry, instead.
2. Diaper rash cream- You were bound to have received some at your baby shower. Leading brands include Desitin and A&D, which are good for mild rashes. For more severe outbreaks, try a triple paste. Hydrocortisone cream can help with inflammation if you want to apply it underneath the diaper rash cream for a few days. (If open sores erupt, it may indicate a yeast infection, in which case you should consult baby’s pediatrician.)
3. Change the baby often- Making sure baby has a fresh, dry diaper as much as possible will shorten the healing time.

Preventing Diaper Rash

1. Use a barrier- Applying Desitin or A&D with each diaper change will create a good barrier between moisture, germs, and the sensitive skin.
2. Change dirty diapers quickly- It is not always possible to change a diaper immediately, but do it as quickly as you can. At night, there will be prolonged exposure to wetness, so be sure you’ve applied a barrier.
3. Clean thoroughly- Diaper changing may become old hat to you, but don’t be too hasty. Make sure the area is thoroughly cleaned and dry before applying the barrier and diaper.
4. Use gentle wipes, if at all- There are wipes especially designed for sensitive skin, although some doctors recommend water only. That’s not always practical for a parent on the go, though!
5. Experiment- Try different diaper brands, as each one will fit each baby differently. Try to find the one that causes the least amount of friction. Also, different skin types respond better to different diaper rash creams- find the one that best suits your baby.

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