Diaper Rash

Diaper Rash

What does diaper rash look like?

Have you ever tried to change your child’s diaper and notice the diaper area looking reddish, irritated, maybe a little puffy? That could well be diaper rash in the flesh. The rash could be mild with just red spots in a small area or extensive with rashes spreading up to your child’s tummy

A lot of children experience diaper rash at some point, especially in the first year or so of their life. Do not go thinking that you are lacking in your parental duties if your child comes up with a rash, as any child with sensitive skin can get a rash

How did my child get diaper rash?

Diaper rash is commonly known to be caused by wet or soiled diaper that has stayed for too long. When your child’s urine mixes with bacteria from his stool, it breaks down into ammonia, which is usually harsh on your child’s skin, leading to a rash. This explains why children with diarrhea are more prone to a diaper rash.

Another known cause of a diaper rash is your child’s sensitivity. If he is sensitive to chemicals like laundry detergent used to wash a cloth diaper or fragrance in a disposable diaper, it could leas to a rash and his skin comes in contact with the chemical, irritating his skin.

Introducing solid food or any new food changes the composition of your baby’s stool and could not go down so well at first with your baby and might also increase the frequency of your child’s bowel movements leading to diaper rash. In some cases, your breastfed baby could be having a reaction to something you ate.

Children taking antibiotics or children whose breastfeeding mothers are on antibiotics are sometimes known to develop a rash as antibiotics can kill healthy bacteria keeping yeast in check as well as harmful bacteria thereby giving chance to the yeast infection to flourish and cause a rash. Also, antibiotics can cause diarrhea, which can contribute to diaper rash. .

When should I take my child to a doctor for diaper rash?

In most cases, you should be able to clear your child’s rash in three or four days without a visit to the doctor, but in some cases where the rash looks like an open sore, a pus-filled pimple, blisters or is oozing yellow patches, it just might be infected, do not hesistate to visit your doctor. The doctor may prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic for your child.

For a diaper rash caused by a yeast infection, your child’s doctor may recommend an over-the-counter or prescription antifungal cream or ointment.

Also call the doctor if your child develops a fever or her rash doesn’t go away after several days of home treatment.

What’s the best way to treat diaper rash?

Here are some helpful hints to help treat a diaper rash:

  • Change your child’s diaper frequently. This helps to keep your child clean and dry at all times, making it dificult for rashes to occur.

  • Alcohol free wipes are best for cleaning your child’s diaper area. Make sure you clean the area properly but gently. Pat the skin dry, do not rub the skin

  • Petroleum jelly serves as a good ointment that forms a barrier between your child’s skin and his stool and urine. Apply a thich layer of ointment so that you do not have to rub off all and then reapply after each diaper change.

  • Put your child’s diaper on loosely for air circulation. You can leave your child diaper free for a while when the weather is warm and the child can play outside. Exposure to air will speed healing. Also you can let the child sleep without a diaper for as long as possible every day. Use a plastic sheet under the cloth to protect the mattress.

Ways to prevent a rash

  • The first advise would be to always keep a dry bottom for as long as possible. Change a soiled diaper as soon as possible.

  • Do not rub your child’s skin, always pat dry. Use a thin layer of ointment if your child is prone to diaper rash but do not use powders or cornstarch as the particles could be harmful to your child’s lungs if inhaled.

  • Use a fragrant free detergent to wash cloth diapers. Wash diapers with hot water and rinse properly.

  • Do not wear diapers too tightly, they do not allow air circulation. Also wear loose clothing

  • Introduce new food one at a time to watch if your child is sensitive to a certain food. Breastfeed your baby for as long as possible because diaper rash occurs less often in breastfed babies

  • When your child need to take an antibiotic, ask the doctor about giving her a probiotic as well. They encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, which may reduce your child’s chances of getting a diaper rash.

  • If your child goes to daycare or preschool, make sure that her caregivers understand the importance of taking these precautions.

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