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Diaper Rash: 7 Causes & 11 Cures
Nothing hurts your heart more as a parent than your baby being in pain. It’s even worse if you can’t help the pain stop.
No matter what you do to prevent it, every single baby will get diaper rash at some point or another.
Some may get lucky and have mild rashes that go away quickly, but most parents will encounter the dreaded severe diaper rash that leaves your baby screaming and squirming on the changing table.
Diaper rash can show up on the bottom, the genitalia, and even the abdomen.
I have included direct links to any product I talk about so you can have it at your door in a matter of days or you can run to the store and easily recognize it!
What causes diaper rash?
Baby not being kept clean and dry
Baby having a diaper full of pee and pootie constantly putting pressure on their skin causes skin to get raw and turn into a rash.
We all know it is impossible to put your life on hold for a few years to watch your baby’s diaper and change it the moment it turns from yellow to blue. It’s impossible and diaper rash of some sort is inevitable.
Diarrhea caused by illness or antibiotics
Having some watered down pootie pressed up against their skin will definitely cause rashes. It is full of waste bacteria and is usually very acidic.
Moist diapers rubbing on the most sensitive skin on baby’s body will make the skin red and irritated,
Sensitivity to certain brands of diapers, wipes or creams
Not all brands are for all babies. Not all diapers are created equal. This may not always be agreeable with your budget, but if you go through every treatment for diaper rash and do everything you can to prevent and they STILL came at you with a vengeance, consider changing brands.
Introductions of new foods or acidic foods
Baby’s bowel movements will get weird once you start the solid food journey. Color, texture, and smell will be at each end of the spectrum. Baby’s tummy will have a hard time with some foods which can cause bowel movements to drastically change and that will take baby’s skin by surprise. If baby is eating a lot of fruits, bowel movements can become very acidic and can give the skin a slight burning feeling.
Bacterial and yeast infections
Your baby may have an internal infection that could be affecting their digestive system and therefore causing some nasty bacteria or yeast to come crawling out. Diaper rashes can also become infected. Both usually require a visit to the pediatrician who will prescribe antibiotic ointments or antifungal medication that is taken orally.
If your baby has a pre-existing skin condition such as eczema, it can pop up where the sun don’t shine and cause severe itching and discomfort. In most cases, they will be prescribed an antibiotic ointment.
Treating Diaper Rash
Clean with washcloth or a nasal aspirator
When changing baby, instead of using your regular baby wipes, try a washcloth dampened with warm water or a nasal aspirator filled with warm water…(or one of the peri bottles you stole from the hospital!).
Avoid baby wipes that are scented or contain alcohol as they may further irritate baby’s skin. If it continues to reoccur, you may want to think of switching to a “natural” version of your brand’s wipes or a different brand all together.
While drying baby’s bum after wiping, instead of air drying, or patting with a dry cloth, try putting your hair dryer on the low, warm setting and keep dryer at least a foot away and get baby’s booty completely dry.
Diaper Rash Cream
A classic! For your basic, run of the mill, bright pink bum, using a cream which contains zinc oxide can help shield baby’s skin from the moisture and friction.
If the rash has broken skin, don’t apply cream to those areas as it can slow the healing process.
AVOID Baby Powder & Corn Starch
Both of these have been pushed to help keep baby’s skin dry but they can actually cause the opposite to occur. The powder can sit in skin creases and hold moisture which will help bacteria spread more quickly. This can cause the rash to graduate to an infection.
An good old fashioned tub of Vaseline. This will keep baby’s cheeks slick so they don’t stick and will make a barrier between skin and bacteria.
Nothing make’s baby’s sweet skin happier than some fresh air. Yes, baby will pee and even poop wherever they are, but their skin will be getting a much needed break!
Throw down a towel if they’re not on the move yet. I would put a changing pad liner down under the towel to prevent full soak through. If they’re slightly on the move, throw down a blanket.
If you don’t want to do laundry, take them outside and get some sunshine and some fresh air on those sweet cheeks.
Warm Sitz Bath
Not much feels better than a nice warm bath. Throw a few tablespoons of baking soda into baby’s bath water for a refreshing sitz soak. Baking soda eliminates toxins and neutralizes skin acidity which will calm the rash and make baby’s bum relaxed.
The wonder of breast milk at it again! Fill baby’s tub with some warm water and add just enough breast milk to make the water cloudy. Let them soak for about 10 minutes, drain all of the milk/water, then give baby a regular bath. The antibodies in the milk prevent germs and soothe injured skin.
Aveeno has oatmeal bath mix specifically for baby skin. It can help treat, not only diaper rash, but eczema and chicken pox! This hypoallergenic powder moisturizes and naturally cleanses without harsh soap. Oatmeal bath is also great for full body rashes like those that come along with hand, foot and mouth disease.
Much like Petroleum Jelly, coconut oil keeps the cheeks from chaffing. Coconut oil has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties that can help prevent the rash from progressing to an infection by killing the bacteria sitting near baby’s skin.
The chalky pink drink? You heard right! Shake your Pepto, pour a generous amount on a cotton ball and dab onto the affected area. Let it dry completely then diaper normally. It will dry up all the moisture sitting in baby’s sensitive skin and will act as a wall preventing more from getting in.
If your baby’s rash does not begin to improve after 4 days, consult your pediatrician.
Good luck and happy diapering!