You woke up in the middle of the night from the sound of your baby crying ceaselessly. You tried feeding him, you, you’ve sung your heart out and danced with your baby but to no avail. But wait, there’s one more thing you haven’t checked yet. Then you opened the straps and there it is!—red, angry rashes on your poor baby’s bottom.
Having a new born baby is an exciting experience, especially for first-time parents. You get to learn new skills for taking care of your little one. Ask first-time parents about the thing they dread the most about their new roles, there’s a high chance they’ll answer diaper duty.
Diaper care can be a daunting task--it’s dirty and it’s messy. Diaper rash is an inflammation of the skin (dermatitis) which can be brought about by different causes like sensitive skin, antibiotics are taken by the mother or baby, new food (if the baby is transitioning to solid food) and irritation from the stool, urine or too tight a diaper. It can also affect old people who use diapers for incontinence. But a good, clean change is the answer to diaper rash.
Here are some diaper care tips to prevent and treat diaper rash:
- Keep the area clean and dry. Wash the diaper area with warm water and mild soap. Avoid using baby wipes that have alcohol which may be harsh and irritating on the skin. Towel-dry the area before putting a new diaper. Do not wait too long to wash a wet or soiled diaper. It will make the skin more prone to rashes. Change the diaper as often as needed.
- Bathing. Until the rash is healed, give your baby a bath each day in lukewarm water but make sure to use a mild, fragrance-free soap.
- Allow airflow. Allow your baby’s skin to breathe to aid the faster healing of diaper rash. Let the baby go without a diaper or ointments for short periods of time.
- Apply creams, ointment or lotion to the rash. Many of these diaper rash medication can be bought without a prescription. Zinc oxide is the active ingredient found in many diaper rash medications. Its insoluble nature makes it ideal as a treatment for rashes because it repels water, keeps the skin dry and acts as a skin barrier protecting it from irritants. Too much moisture creates a perfect breeding ground for fungus or bacteria which cause diaper rashes. Allow the skin to dry before applying the medication and take care not to apply it on broken skin.
Fortunately, most diaper rashes last for a day or two and can be remedied by home treatment. If the rash gets worse or doesn’t respond to treatment after a week, consult your doctor.