Web MD states that almost every baby will have at least one instance of diaper rash within the first three years of her life. In fact, most babies will have multiple occurrences. Whether from inside or outside irritants, diaper rash is one thing that will upset your baby. Knowing the proper way to treat it requires that you first know what it is.
Identify the Cause if You Can
Babies Online describes three primary causes of diaper rash. They include
- Candida yeast
- Ammonia burn
If it is one of these three causes, you need to identify which one and start the necessary treatment.
Contact rashes are typically caused through chafing or allergic reactions. These rashes are generally located on the areas with the bands. You can first check to see if the bands on the cloth or absorbent diapers are too tight. You’ll notice imprints of the creases or elastic if that is the case. An allergic reaction, on the other hand, may be broader than just the bands but intensify the worst along the bands. Often this is because of a product either in the diaper or in the detergent. If it is just in the bands, loosen the diaper first, but be careful about loosening it too much. If it is all over and spreading, change diaper brands. You may have to switch to cloth diapers if nothing brings relief.
Ammonia burns typically come from infrequent changings. There are general small red spots and splotches along the genitals and anus. It typically looks like your baby has a rug burn or carpet burn. They are often splotchy and may appear on the genitals as well. This can also develop if your baby is damp when put in the diaper. Always pat your baby’s bottom and genitals dry or let your baby air dry. You can also dust with powder. However, if the rash continues, you may want to apply a barrier cream. Do not apply perfumed lotions or anything that might have additional irritants.
The other thing to bear in mind is that if your baby has dry skin, she may be particularly sensitive to ammonia burns. Sensitive and dry skin both make your baby even more likely to have a break out. Watch out for cheap lotions or products that have fragrances. Certain brands like The Honest Company do list all their ingredients and provide products including absorbent diapers for babies with sensitive skin. You should also be careful about the detergents you wash your baby’s clothes in as these can cause further irritation.
Candida Yeast Rash
The candida yeast rash is one of the more troubling ones. It can also be more difficult to treat and may require a visit to the doctor. Most of the time, it looks like acne, and it starts in the genitals. The heads should not be larger than the size of a pin. The pus pustules may be yellow or white. They will continue to spread outwards from the genitals up to the thighs. They may even go all the way up the waist. Most of the time, it is caused by a dietary infection. You can use a diaper rash ointment to treat it.
Home Remedies for Life recommends adding baking soda to your baby’s bath water. The alkalizing properties can help to treat the rash and prevent it from worsening. When removing your baby from the bath water, remember to pat and not rub. Rubbing can worsen the rash and cause your baby pain.
Visiting the Doctor
Not all diaper rashes can be treated from home. If you have treated a rash and it has not gone away or improved within a few days, it is generally wise to book an appointment. If, however, the rash worsens and is accompanied by fever, blistering, vomiting, or boils, you should book an appointment at once. If the fever goes over 101 or the rash spreads quickly or your baby is having problems breathing, take her to the emergency room right away. In most cases, this is not actually a diaper rash but another kind of reaction or illness that has preliminary symptoms similar to diaper rash.
Diaper rashes are unpleasant all the way around. No matter what the cause, they must be dealt with. There are three primary rash sources. These include contact, ammonia, and candida. Once you identify them, you must follow the appropriate treatments. For rashes that are not resolved within a few days, you may want to visit a doctor. You should always visit a doctor if these rashes are accompanied by fever, vomiting, boils, and similar symptoms. In general though, diaper rash isn’t something to be too worried about. It is treatable, and your baby will recover.