Diaper rash is quite common. You may notice your newborn’s bottom or groin area has turned reddish and he looked uncomfortable when you touch it while changing his diaper. Your child most likely has a diaper rash.
Diaper rash is a common condition that affects newborns and toddlers who wear diapers, and it is most common in babies under the age of 12 months. It is distinguished by flushed, inflammatory skin in the diaper region (thighs, buttocks, and genitals).
Diaper rash affects the majority of babies at some point, but it is easily curable at home. The rash will go away quickly if you know what to do and how to handle it properly.
What causes Diapers Rash?
Before looking into ways to manage diaper rash, it is good to understand what causes it. Different causes may require different treatments.
- Irritation: This is the most common cause. Exposure to urine and stool for an extended period causes irritation to a baby’s sensitive skin, especially if one is using less absorbent diapers. Very tight diapers can also cause irritation as the material rubs against the baby’s skin. If the material lining is coarse, it can also create friction and this will lead to a rash too.
- Candida overgrowth: A type of yeast called Candida can be present on normal skin with no symptoms or negative effects. However, if the yeast overgrows, it can cause secondary infection in the nappy area. Overgrowth often happens in warm, moist and softened places with higher skin pH such as under a wet diaper, armpits, neck and breast folds.
- Bacterial infection: Certain types of bacteria transmitted from other people or in the environment may cause a diaper rash or worsen it. A streptococcal infection causes bright red rashes around the anus, while a staphylococcal infection may appear as yellow crusting, boils or pimples.
- Allergy: Babies with eczema or allergies may develop diaper rash after being exposed to irritants or triggers that are present in the products that are used or applied on them, e.g. diapers, baby wipes, soap, lotions, oils, creams, etc. Rashes that are caused by an allergy may also appear on other parts of the body.
- Other causes/factors: Diaper rash is more likely to happen when your baby starts eating solid foods or has changed his diet. Other rare skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis or pediatric psoriasis may also appear as a diaper rash.
How to manage and prevent the Diapers Rash
Other than medication or treatment that may be prescribed by your baby’s pediatrician, good diaper care is so important.
- Pick suitable diapers. A decent fit will be determined by the correct size based on the baby’s weight. When choosing diapers for your baby’s sensitive skin, fast and effective absorbency, as well as breathable and soft fabrics, are all important aspects. Fragrant-free diapers are also less likely to cause irritation.
- Change diapers frequently. The wetness from urine and stool produces severe discomfort and irritates the skin if it is in contact with the skin for a long period of time. Yeast and bacteria both prefer moist, warm environments. Make sure to change a damp, soiled, or full diaper as soon as possible.
- Clean the skin gently. When changing diapers, rinse your baby’s bottom with warm water. You may also do this with alcohol- and fragrance-free baby wipes or non-soap cleansers. Gently pat the skin dry with a towel or allow it to air dry; do not rub.
- Go bare-bottomed. Let your baby’s skin dry and breathe naturally for a while as it also helps with the healing process before putting on a fresh diaper.
- Use a barrier cream regularly. This cream acts as a shield for the skin against urine and stool. Products containing zinc oxide or petroleum jelly are good for this purpose. Apply a thick layer every time you change his diaper.
- Don’t over-tighten the diaper. Too-tight diapers can scrape against the skin, impede airflow, and trap moisture, creating suitable conditions for rashes to develop. This is especially critical when it comes to overnight diapers.
Diapers for newborns
Newborns have incredibly sensitive skin and require special attention. Breastfed newborns will have frequent and loose feces and this is quite normal, but things will get messy. As a result, diapers for babies should be highly absorbent in order to quickly and efficiently absorb urine and feces remnants. Diapers composed of mild organic materials also aid in the prevention of irritation and rashes. An excellent diaper maintains your baby’s delicate skin healthy and dry for a longer period of time!
It is time to see the doctor if:
- The rash worsens or does not improve after five days of home treatment i.e. barrier cream, frequent nappy change, rinsing with warm water, and 5 minutes of bare bottom every 6 hours.
- The rash spreads to the skin folds of the groin with new red pimple-like spots called satellite lesions are seen along the edges of the rash.
- The rash bleeds, itches, oozes, or has open sores
- Your child has a fever or looks sick
- Your child seems to be in pain or discomfort
Babies will recover from a diaper rash in a few days if treated promptly and carefully. Severe cases of infections, on the other hand, may necessitate more attention and medication. If you have any concerns, always visit your pediatrician.