Seeing your precious little one’s skin covered in an angry red, scaly rash is enough to make you worry so much. child diaper rash is not only extremely common, but it’s also quite simple to treat and usually clears up within two to three days.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than half of babies between 4 months and 15 months of age will experience diaper rash at least one time in a two-month period. Child Diaper rash is most common between 8 to 10 months of age, or when a baby is introduced to solid foods, which increases the frequency of bowel movements.
What is Diaper Rash?
It is an inflammation of the skin in the area of the body covered by a diaper. It is primarily an irritant contact dermatitis. The skin looks red and irritated and it usually begins between your baby’s leg. It can spread to the stomach area, genitals and skin folds of the upper thighs. If the rash isn’t treated, it may become infected. It may look very bright red bumps and blisters.
What Causes Diaper Rash?
- Wetness and rubbing – Constant wetness and rubbing can cause damage to the skin. The longer a diaper is wet or soiled the higher the risk there is of damage to the skin.
- Irritation – This is the number one cause as wee and poo contain irritating substances especially if they are in contact with the skin for too long. Watery loose poo can make diaper rash worse. Some baby wipes and soap can cause dry skin or make the rash worse. Detergents and soaking solutions used for cloth nappies can irritate a baby’s skin as well.
- Infection – This occurs when already irritated skin becomes infected, for instance by the changing pH levels of your baby’s urine (which occurs naturally and is perfectly normal), their stool or less commonly, yeast infections like candida. Candida is bright red and often occurs after a baby (or a breastfeeding mom) has antibiotics. If you suspect your infant has a yeast infection, see your pediatrician.
- Allergy – Some babies have sensitive skin that’s more prone to rashes. For these babies, certain laundry detergents, soaps and even diapers themselves can cause rash. If your baby is eating solids, sometimes new foods can cause a rash, too. If your baby’s diaper rash is persistent, it’s best to see your doctor to rule out any allergies.
Child Diaper Rash Treatment and Prevention
Of all the potential ailments your baby may suffer from, diaper rash is one of the most common. So if you’re looking for tips to treat this condition or on how to prevent diaper rash, read below.
Change diapers regularly
You must be vigilant about diaper changing to prevent diaper rash or when your baby has a diaper rash. It’s best to change your baby’s diaper often, ideally as soon as it’s soiled.
Keep it clean and dry
The most important way to prevent and treat a rash is to keep your baby’s diaper dry and clean. And make sure the diaper isn’t wrapped too tightly.
Whenever your baby isn’t wearing a diaper, lay them down on a towel. Also, give them some time without a diaper during the day. This may help keep the diaper area dry.
When you change your baby’s diaper, clean the area gently with a soft cloth or a squirt of water from a bottle. Wipes are fine, just be gentle. Don’t rub the skin too hard, and avoid wipes with alcohol.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
Bacteria from a diaper rash can spread to you or other parts of your child’s body, so be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after every diaper change.
Use a soothing ointments or creams
If your child already has a diaper rash, consider keeping the area moist and protected with a cream or ointment. You should look for creams containing zinc oxide. Apply a thick layer of one of these creams to the affected skin. You can also make your own solution by blending coconut or olive oil with a few drops of lavender oil.
Allow diaper-free time
While not always easy in cases of diarrhea, a little diaper-free time could help soothe and dry out the rash. Situate your infant on a towel or blanket to play, and wrap it around your infant if you have to pick her/him up. If your baby is mobile, keep her/him in a room that can handle accidents.
Try an oatmeal bath
Research shows that colloidal oatmeal may reduce the inflammation and irritation that atopic dermatitis and inflammatory skin conditions can cause. Colloidal oatmeal may also reduce the pain and itching that comes with a diaper rash. You should follow the directions on the package and pat your infant’s skin dry afterward.
Know the warning signs
Rashes caused by yeast and bacterial infections need a prescription. Watch for small red bumps, blisters, crusty, patches, or abscesses with pus. If you see this or the rash doesn’t improve in a few days, call your doctor.
When Should I See My Doctor?
two to three days with home treatment and if you are located near Fresno or Madera, schedule an appointment at Pediatric Associates California. You should also call our office if you notice a fever, sluggishness, spreading of the rash to other areas, increasing severity of the rash or diarrhea lasting more than 48 hours.
We can be reached at (559) 728 4133 (Fresno Office) and at (559) 673 6085 (Madera office).