A baby in pain, crying or uncomfortable, is a sight that all parents dread experiencing. But at times, kids go through a painful phase due to diaper rashes, which can take up to a few days to heal. This article will help you all with tips to prevent, treat, and get rid of diaper rashes; let us understand what diaper rashes are and what causes them.
What Is Diaper Rash?
Baby diaper rash is a very common skin condition that almost every child experiences once in their childhood. It makes the diaper area of a baby red, itchy, tender, and flaky. Unfortunately, a common misconception is that diapers cause diaper rash. While it is true that most cases of diaper rash are experienced by kids wearing disposable diapers but a diaper rash can bother anyone, whether they are on cloth nappies, disposable diapers, or no diapers at all.
Depending on the severity of a rash, the diaper rash types can be mild red bumps or peeling, flaking and flaky skin, or blisters and open sores. If treated immediately at a stage where they are just mild red bumps, a painful situation of blisters and sores can be avoided.
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What Causes Baby Diaper Rash?
Here are some common diaper rash causes explained in brief:
- ▪ Stool or urine-induced irritation – Frequent urination or pooping when the baby is teething or has a stomach bug can lead to a diaper rash. Sometimes, prolonged exposure to poop, if the diaper is not changed in time or cleaned properly, can also lead to a diaper rash.
- ▪ Rubbing and Chafing – Loose, tight or ill-fitted pajamas and diapers can cause friction against the skin and result in a diaper rash.
- ▪ A new product – A new wipe, a detergent, a fabric softener, a lotion, powder or a body wash, or even a new brand of diaper - sometimes babies' skin reacts to a new product and that causes a rash.
- ▪ Infections – Because the diaper region of babies is usually covered, not giving them diaper-free time can result in bacterial or fungal infections that develop and breed in warm and moist skin. These infections can cause severe rashes that can spread if not treated.
- ▪ Introducing new foods – The consistency and acidity of baby's poop change when they start solid food. Thus, many babies experience a mild rash situation when they transition from breastmilk to semi-solids and solids.
- ▪ Sensitive skin – Kids with pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema or atopic dermatitis can experience frequent body rashes. Although these rashes are not limited to just the diaper region, but can quickly worsen because of the warm and moist atmosphere in the diaper area.
- ▪ Antibiotics – Antibiotics kill bacteria, and when a baby is on any antibiotic medication, it even kills the good bacteria that help fight yeast & fungal infections. Thus, the chances of developing a rash, even with mild chafing or rubbing, are high.
How to prevent getting a diaper rash?
- ▪ There are non-medicated diaper rash ointments or baby diaper rash creams available in the market to apply before every diaper change. These create a barrier between skin and the poop/pee, thus keeping the skin rash-free.
- ▪ Leave the diaper area open for a few minutes before making the baby wear a new diaper to let the skin air dry completely and breathe.
- ▪ Ensure the caregiver washes the hands before changing the diapers, reducing the chances of spreading germs that can cause infections and rashes.
- ▪ Don't make your baby wear extremely loose or dry pajamas or diapers.
- ▪ Give your baby diaper-free time in padded underwear or a dry feel langots at least once a day.
How To Treat a Diaper Rash?
Rashes in the diaper area can be very painful for babies; thus, timely and proper diaper rash treatment is an absolute necessity. The best treatment for diaper rash is to keep the area open for a few hours and let the skin dry naturally. If the rash is severe, proper baby rash treatment under a pediatrician's supervision is needed. Applying ointment or cream recommended by your baby's pediatrician can also help in healing the skin faster.
Ensure that you do not rub or irritate the skin with a wipe or cloth while cleaning the area affected with rash and do that gently.
Home Remedies for Diaper Rash:
Unless the diaper rash is severe and is in the form of a blister or open sore, home remedies usually help. Try the home diaper rash remedy when the rash starts to appear, and it might not reach the stage of severe pain and irritation for your baby.
- ▪ Coconut Oil – Known for its antibacterial properties, coconut oil is one of the easiest and quickest ways of treating a diaper rash.
- ▪ Oatmeal Bath – Using oatmeal is a tried and tested remedy for diaper rash. These days even baby baths and ointments/creams to treat skin conditions and rashes containing oatmeal are very popular. Mixing a spoon of oatmeal in water and making the baby sit in that water with the diaper area soaked in the water helps soothe and treat the rash faster.
- ▪ Yogurt – If the skin affected by the rash is red and inflamed, plain yogurt helps soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.
- ▪ Aloe Vera – Just like yogurt, Aloe Vera is also helpful in soothing inflamed skin. Aloe Vera can also be used in case of severe inflamed and painful rashes.
- ▪ Baking Soda – It keeps unwanted bacteria and fungi away and maintains the natural pH of the skin. Applying a solution of baking soda mixed with water and letting it dry for a while can help get rid of bacterial or fungal rashes.
Prevention is always better than cure. Thus following good diaper hygiene can ensure no painful rash situation and a happy baby.