Diapers could hold the urine and feces, and therefore, be the perfect ground for many bacteria, yeasts and fungi. In order to prevent diaper rash, let your baby to be without diapers whenever possible. You probably won’t like the mess it may create, so put the baby on the rubber mat, which is covered with a washable material.
Check the baby’s diaper often and change it when it gets soaked. Avoid baby wipes. They could contain alcohol and some other chemicals that could irritate sensitive baby skin. Instead, use a washcloth, warm water and a mild soap to clean the bottom. Skip the soap if the bottom is already irritated. After the rinse, dry out the area with a towel and leave it open for minute or two, to dry completely.
Some pediatricians recommend diaper rash creams, with zinc oxide (A and D, Desitin). It is best to use the cream just as prevention, before the rash occurs.
It is necessary to use baby friendly products, suitable for their sensitive skin. Avoid using anything that contains methyl salicylate, Benzoin tincture, camphor, phenol or boric acid, unless the pediatrician specifically told you so. Wash your baby’s clothes and diapers separately, using the appropriate detergent, designed for babies.
If the rash lasts for more than 5 days after the home treatment, induce a fever, spreads onto the body, or progress into pimples, boils or ulcers, or produces pus, you should immediately consult the pediatrician.
- Baking soda may be added to the bath to ease the rash. Use 2 tablespoons, 3 times a day for 10 minutes.
- Cornstarch is much better than store talcum, because it is less dangerous for babies to inhale. Shake some starch into your hand, far away from the baby, and apply it on the bottom.
- Maalox: apply some, using the cotton ball. Leave it to dry and then put on the diaper.
- Oatmeal: a tablespoon added to the bath may calm the irritated skin.
- Vinegar solution (a cup of white vinegar) might be added to rinsing water for diapers. If you use disposable diapers, simply wipe the bottom with a fluid made of one part vinegar and eight parts of water.
- Cranberry juice is often given to older babies. 2 to 3 ounces of juice will prevent the infection and diaper rash.
Also, try to dry the diapers out in the open, instead using a dryer; it might also prevent diaper rash. Avoid plastic pants, they could provoke the rash or slow the healing of already existing condition. Sometimes, babies are just oversensitive to some material used in diapers. So, you might want to try another brand and see if the rash disappears.