A diaper is like a lifesaver. It saves Us the mess of the everyday peeing and pooing. It also serves to protect the delicate bottoms of babies. About a quarter of babies develop a Diaper rash around the area where there nappies are worn. In most cases, they resolve on their own , while in some of these babies, the rashes may get infected.
Contrary to the term, most times it is not the diaper itself that causes the irritation.
How a diaper rash looks like
They are usually red bumps surrounded by red patches (inflammation). Covering the genitals and the surrounding skin, and may extend to the buttocks (the crevices and inner part of the cheeks). The skin may feel warm and look swollen.
Your baby may become fussy, especially when they are passing a pee or poo.
Causes of Diaper Rash
I noticed that whenever my little girl has a runny stomach (which makes her poo frequently), she always develops a rash. Even when I clean her immediately (which I do all the time).
The cause of the rash is most likely due to irritation from the contents of the defecate.
What to do in this case:
- Use water to wash as soon as she poos
- Moisturize with a good barrier cream before putting on the diaper
- Keep Your baby hydrated (breastmilk, water, milk, cereals, etc)
- Identify what caused the diarrhoea and avoid giving her
- Your Baby may just be reacting to a particular brand of Diaper. Remember that Diapers contain chemicals, some may be harsh on her skin.
- Even with their delicate skin, some babies have a sensitive skin. Therefore, they react to barrier creams,Baby wipes, soaps and creams that contain ingredients such as Alcohol and fragrance (perfume).
Here, the rash is mostly concentrated at the edges of the nappy,where they come in contact with the skin.
Some Babies (examples are premature Babies) who are being treated with Antibiotics develop Nappy rash, among other adverse effects.
The reason is, Antibiotics destroy the natural flora on the skin thereby giving way for harmful germs to cause infections.
- Leaving wet nappies for long periods of time
Diapers do not leave any room for the skin to get air. This causes moisture to build up, allowing germs to breed easily on the skin around the nappy area.
How to Prevent Diaper Rash
- Change nappies as often as possible, even if they are not soiled
- Allow them to get some fresh air occasionally. This is easier when they are not mobile. It is best to do this after a bath.
- In the case of a sensitive skin, Save Baby wipes for occasions (travelling, going out, etc). Use water as often as possible.
Before putting on a diaper, apply a barrier cream. These creams temporarily protect the skin from becoming wet and from the harsh contents of Urine or poo.
They also leave the skin soft and supple. There are several of them. Below is a list of what I have tried on my Baby girl.
- Vaseline Petroleum jelly , shea butter : These are great barrier creams and they are very affordable. They work best if You start using them from when the Baby is born. That way, her skin gets used to it. They are not so effective for the rash itself.
- Sudocrem: This is what I use for my Baby, and it is really good as barrier cream as well as for the Diaper rash. It has other uses as well.
- Bepanthen: It is a milder form of Sudocrem and with much less ingredients.
- Himalaya Multipurpose Antiseptic cream: I have found this cream very useful for the Diaper rash flare. It provides a calming feeling and dries up the rash instantly.The downsides are the strong smell and its colour.
- Painkillers : Such as Panadol or paracetamol if Your baby is fussy due to the pain. Make Sure You read the instruction leaflet to know the dosage and how often she can take it.
- Hydrocortisone cream: In some cases , Your Doctor may suggest this to stop the inflammation. Or he may prescribe an antifungal cream if it is a yeast infection.
DO NOT apply talc-baby powder: It gets smudged, when in contact with moisture, like urine.
Furthermore, there is a risk of inhalation by the baby, leading to an increased chance of Lung disease.
If it is allergy or sensitivity
- Change diaper brand, and observe for any improvements
- Use baby wipes that are alcohol and fragrance-free
- Use Barrier creams that are fragrance free.
When to call Your Doctor
- If it gets worse or does not resolve after 7 days
- If Your baby has a fever
Thank YOU for reading 🙂