If you’re a new parent or expecting to become one soon, there are a few things you should know. A diaper rash is one of the most common and preventable causes of why your baby may be fussy and irritable. Here are some things you need to know about dealing with diaper rash.
What is diaper rash?
A diaper rash is inflamed, itchy red skin in the genital region occurring from wearing a diaper. It can be minimal or extensive depending on the time your baby has been wearing diapers and their skin type.
What are the causes of diaper rash?
Diaper rash can be due to several reasons. It is usually due to either allergy or infection.
Your baby can develop a diaper rash if they have sensitive skin or are allergic to the material. Some diapers have scented liners which may be a little too much for the delicate baby skin.
In other cases, wearing a wet or soiled diaper for too long can also lead to diaper rashes. Sometimes you may be changing the diaper but not cleaning the area properly, which may also lead to a rash.
How can I prevent diaper rash?
Here’s how you can prevent your baby from having a diaper rash.
- Stick to hypoallergenic diapers or diapers made with good-quality materials
- Make sure that the size of the diaper is appropriate for your baby. A diaper that is too tight may cause chaffing
- Change your baby’s diaper often. Preferably after every 2-3 hours
- Use good quality, unscented baby wipes to clean up
- Pat the skin to dry it instead of rubbing it.
- Make sure you’re washing your hands both before and after changing your baby’s diaper
How to treat diaper rash fast?
If your baby already has a diaper rash, here’s how to go about it:
- Wash the area with soap and water gently and pat it dry (don’t rub or scrub)
- Apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly or ointments that contain zinc oxide on the affected area
- Secure the diaper loosely
What can be mistaken for diaper rash?
Certain conditions may mimic diaper rash and need to be ruled out if your baby has frequent non-healing rashes. These include skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rash associated with metabolic conditions such as dermatitis herpetiformis associated with celiac disease.
If your baby’s rashes aren’t related to their diaper and are non-healing despite regular care, make sure you speak to your pediatrician to rule out any underlying disease.