Most every baby gets a case of diaper rash before the age of 3 years old. Usually, diaper rash begins as an erythematous patch in the diaper area. Triggers of diaper rash include irritation, wet diapers left on too long, too many poops, loose poops (from being sick or from antibiotics), and diapers that are too tight and small. If this beginning phase of diaper rash goes untreated, the diaper rash can progress, have overgrowth of yeast, and present as a beefy red rash with satellite red bumps and pustules. You want to avoid this dreaded phase because it will make your baby uncomfortable, and you as well!
Dr. Amy’s Daily 4 provides a guide on preventing and treating diaper rash, and we’d like to share it with you to help you navigate through the woes of diaper rash:
- Change diapers frequently
- Your baby’s skin is more sensitive than adult skin so prolonged exposure to pee and poop can irritate a baby’s skin. Infrequent wet diaper changes, tight diapers that are too small, or episodes of diarrhea can lead to diaper rash. As soon as your baby has a poopy diaper, don’t wait- change it!
- Wipe and clean well
- Because pee and poop can be irritating to any skin, it is important to make sure that the diaper area is wiped well. If there is no irritation or diaper rash evident, then diaper wipes can be used. If there are the beginnings of diaper rash, then using a warm wet washcloth or unscented diaper wipe may feel more soothing to your baby’s bottom.
- Protect the bottom
- Application of an ointment such as Baby Pibu’s Hydrating Ointment with every diaper change can provide a protective layer between baby’s skin and the elements (pee and poop). For longer naps and overnight sleep, application of an ointment with zinc oxide is recommended as zinc oxide provides further physical protection for baby’s skin against the elements. For this, Baby Pibu’s Bottom Balm can be used. If there are any initial signs of redness or irritation in the diaper area, begin using Baby Pibu’s Bottom Balm as well with every diaper change.
- Air out the bottom
- If you see the beginnings of a diaper rash or an irritated red bottom, consider letting your baby “air it out” and go diaperless around the house for short time periods. This allows for less friction and less chaffing, which will make the bottom feel so much better!
- Use a diaper rash cream or ointment when needed
- As noted earlier, to prevent diaper rash, application of an ointment will physically protect your baby’s skin. When you see early diaper rash appearing as a red patch in the diaper area, apply an ointment with zinc oxide as the zinc oxide will further physically protect the skin and allow the skin to heal. If the diaper rash progresses and becomes full-blown with satellite red bumps or pustules, then apply OTC clotrimazole cream to treat the secondary candidiasis/yeast along with applying a diaper rash cream with zinc oxide.
- Try a different brand
- If your baby has repeated rounds of diaper rash, consider trying a different brand of diaper that may be less irritating due to what it’s made out of or to the friction it’s causing.
One final note, if your baby’s diaper rash worsens and does not improve over the course of 2 to 3 days, you should have your baby further evaluated by your pediatrician or dermatologist.
We hope this guide helps you prevent and treat diaper rash- it’s such a process and journey with your precious little one that we hope we can make it a little easier for you.