If your baby has ever had a diaper rash - and most babies have - then you know the fiery red irritation that appears out of nowhere on your baby's delicate skin. While it may look quite alarming and may make you worry that you may have done something wrong, you can rest assured that getting diaper rashes is just a normal part of being a baby.
Diaper rashes occur when the moisture from a wet or dirty diaper rubs again the extremely sensitive skin on your baby's bottom. If bacteria or yeast then set in, that can make an existing rash even worse. But while you can't avoid all diaper rashes, if your baby is prone to them, there are things you can do to minimize new rashes and make existing ones feel better fast.
- Change your baby's diaper frequently, so the area will stay as dry and clean as possible. For a newborn, this may be every two hours or as needed. Older babies can often go a little longer between changes.
Clean your baby well using unscented wipes or a soft washcloth with water. Gently pat the area dry.
Let your baby go without a diaper as often as possible in order to dry out the rash and let it heal.
Try a heavy diaper cream made of zinc oxide to treat an existing diaper rash. Once the rash clears up, lighter creams like A & D ointment can add a layer of moisture to your baby's bottom to help prevent new rashes from forming.
If the rash seems particularly stubborn, it could be caused by yeast. Try an anti-fungal cream to see if this helps it clear up.
For very severe rashes, ask your pediatrician if you should layer hydrocortisone 1% cream for a few days underneath one of the other creams. But remember that this is just a short-term remedy, as over time this can damage your baby's delicate skin.
If the rash looks like a red ring on your baby's bottom, this might be caused by a food allergy. Do some detective work to see if you can identify the cause and remove the culprit from your baby's diet.
If the rash persists despite your efforts, have you pediatrician take a look at it. Some rashes do need prescription creams.
Remember that most rashes aren't serious and will clear up soon.