How to Help Clear Up Diaper Rash

Father putting diaper rash cream on baby.

Dealing with Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is the most common type of skin rash for infants, and it makes babies pretty miserable. It makes parents miserable too, because it is so frustrating to see your little one in pain and not know how to help. Fortunately, there are some solid steps you can take to quickly alleviate diaper rash and keep it from coming back.

Why Does Diaper Rash Happen?

Typically, diaper rash occurs when a baby stays in a wet diaper for too long. However, some children have sensitive skin, and this makes them more likely to develop a diaper rash than their peers. Diaper rashes can also be caused by a diaper that rubs or changes, an allergic reaction to laundry detergent, soap, bubble bath, wipes, or something else that touches your baby’s skin, a reaction to antibiotics, or a food allergy. Additionally, there are some risk factors that can increase a child’s likelihood of developing a diaper rash. Babies between six and nine months old, who are starting to sleep through the night and eat solid foods, are at an increased risk. So are little ones who are not feeling well, due to diarrhea, a cold or virus, or a course of antibiotics.

Treating the Problem

To treat diaper rash, you must clean the area, but regular wipes can make the rash worse. Using water and a soft cloth is a better option, or you can clean your baby in the tub. Create a barrier, using diaper rash cream or ointment, to protect the sensitive skin, but steer clear of home remedies. Some of the diaper rash cures you find online use ingredients that can irritate the skin further, especially if the skin is broken. In fact, some home remedies can be toxic for babies. A zinc oxide ointment is a good option for protecting the area and helping it to heal, but if the diaper rash is mild, Vaseline or A and D ointment might be enough. The trick of clearing up diaper rash is that diapers are dark and damp, so you may need to let your baby go diaper free, at least for a few minutes at a time. Don’t use talcum powder to try and dry the area, because this can be dangerous if inhaled, and never use cornstarch, which can promote the growth of yeast and make the diaper rash worse.

Preventing Diaper Rash

Once the rash has cleared, you will feel both relieved and also eager to prevent it from happening again. Switching to water-based wipes can help, and so can switching diapers, because sometimes babies are sensitive to certain diapers. Some parents find that their babies get fewer diaper rashes with disposable diapers than with cloth, and ill-fitting diapers can also be a problem, because they can chafe. The most effective preventative measure you can take, though, is to keep the diaper area scrupulously clean and as dry as possible.

When to See Your Pediatrician

Most diaper rashes can be resolved without a trip to the doctor’s office, but in some cases, your pediatrician should be consulted. IF the rash isn’t clearing up, despite your best efforts, or if your baby develops a fever, it’s time to make the call. Similarly, if the rash appears to be infected, it needs medical attention. Signs of an infected diaper rash include blisters, redness, swelling, discharge, or a rash that doesn’t go away with treatment, or gets worse.

Caring for Your Family

We hope these tips will help you to keep your baby healthy, happy, and diaper-rash free, because a happy baby is important for a happy family! At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.