Diaper rash is the most common problem affecting newborns. It is caused by irritation of the skin in the diaper area and can be very uncomfortable for the baby. Diaper rash usually improves with simple treatments, but it sometimes can be difficult to get rid of.
The skin becomes red and sore and can get worse if it isnt taken care of properly. It can become quite painful too. The rash may become infected with germs, such as Candida yeast. Warmth and wetness inside the diaper encourage germs to grow.
What does it look like?
- The skin in the diaper area looks red and scaly.
- Small cracks, macerated, or raw areas of the skin.
- The rash can be painful, causing fussiness and crying in the infant.
- If yeast infection occurs, the rash may become very red with well-outlined borders. Scattered bumps or pimples may appear in the skin near the borders. The rash may spread to cover the entire diaper area or beyond.
Also read about -Preventing Itchy and Dry Skin: Quick Tips and Remedies
What causes diaper rash?
- Diaper rash is caused by irritation of the skin. The most important factor is the length of time the skin stays wet and in contact with urine and stool.
- Other irritants can also contribute to a rash in the diaper area, such as soaps and baby products.
Every babys skin is different; some babies just get diaper rash more often than others. Changing diapers frequently can help to prevent diaper rash.
What increases the risk of diaper rash?
- Going too long between diaper changes.
- Using soaps or other products that irritate the skin.
How to prevent diaper rash?
- Frequent diaper changes.
- Careful cleaning of the area.
- Routinely using a protective ointment (like Vaseline)
- Avoiding soaps or other skin irritants.
How is diaper rash treated?
- Change your babys diaper as soon as possible every time its wet or dirty.
- Be gentle when cleaning the diaper area. Use water and a soft washcloth or baby wipes that are alcohol and fragrance-free. Next, allow the area to air dry. Let your child go diaper-free as long as possible to let the skin dry and heal. Be sure to clean all parts of your babys genitals. Clean inside the deep folds of skin.
- Super-absorbent disposable diapers help keep urine and stool away from the skin.
- Apply moisturizer every time you change your baby's diaper
- Apply a diaper rash ointment such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or products containing zinc oxide. These products can help keep moisture away from the skin. Put on a light layer right after cleaning and drying the diaper area.
- Babies have very delicate skin, and sometimes despite our best efforts, diaper rash still occurs. If your babys diaper rash is not going away, or if you have questions or concerns about caring for your babys skin, consult a dermatologist.
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Article by Dr. Kranthi Kumar Varma, M.D (Dermatology)
Consultant Dermatologist, CallHealth
Have a question? Consult Dr. Kranthi online.