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How to Prevent and Cure Diaper Rash

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Diaper rash is a “common form of inflamed skin…often related to wet or infrequently changed diapers, skin sensitivity, and chafing.” (source)

Diaper rash is caused when contact with urine and stool irritates the baby’s sensitive skin. It can also be caused by an allergy to wipes, detergent or soap. To prevent diaper rash from developing and promote healing when present you should always;

  1. Wash your hands before every change.
  2. Change your baby’s diaper as soon as it’s soiled. This is usually at the rate of  one every 3 hours during the day and at least once at night.
  3. Wipe or pat baby’s bottom gently with a clean soft cloth and warm water.
  4. Wipe from front to back when cleaning genitals.
  5. Allow the skin to dry.
  6. Apply a thick layer of oil or cream (coconut oil and olive oil work well) to prevent urine and stool from coming into contact with skin. If baby already has a rash, use a zinc oxide based cream until it’s gone. Here’s why you should avoid petroleum jelly on your baby’s skin, including some alternatives.

Types of diaper rash

With proper care, diaper rash should go away in 3 or 4 days. If it gets worse or isn’t gone within a week, call the doctor.

  • Chafing dermatitis.

This is caused by the diaper itself and usually occurs around baby’s legs or bottom.

  • Irritant contact dermatitis

When the baby’s skin reacts to stool and urine or an ingredient in the diaper, they develop this type of rash. Baby specific products can also cause irritation to sensitive skin.

  • Diaper Candidiasis

This type of rash requires medical treatment. The rash presents with pinpoint bumps that develop yellow blister-like bumps.

The ABC’s Of preventing Diaper Rash

Diaper rash can be prevented by following these easy steps;

  • Air

Allow baby’s skin to dry for as long as possible. You should also ensure that baby has some time every day when they are diaper free.

  • Barrier

Coconut oil, shea butter, or lanolin provides a barrier between baby’s skin and the urine and stool in their diaper. Always apply a barrier. Here are some additional alternatives to petroleum jelly.

  • Cleanse

Your baby’s skin is very sensitive and even more so if they have diaper rash. Never rub when cleaning baby’s skin. When cleaning stool, the choice between wipes and warm water is dependent on the mother.

  • Diapers

Diapers have come a long way since washable cotton cloths. Today’s diaper is created especially to prevent diaper rash.

  • Education

Pay attention to when your baby experiences diaper rash. If it continues consistently maybe you should consult a pediatrician.

Choosing the best diaper

Today’s diapers are created to prevent diaper rash and contain baby safe ingredients; however, not all diapers will be right for your baby.

When choosing the best diaper for your child, pick a brand that is…

  • Fragrance free.
  • Has a soft outer shell cover.
  • A foldable waist for newborns to keep diaper away from umbilical area.
  • Easily adjustable.
  • Stretchy around the waist and legs.

You can also ask your friends what brand of diaper they use and why.

Diapers should be fitting enough to prevent leakage but not too tight as to leave marks on baby’s legs. Choose the correct size diaper for your baby by paying attention to the weight chart on the package. Diapers are sized by weight, but as long as baby fits securely in the diaper, you are not obligated to move up in size.

 

If you enjoyed this article read our other articles on babies health and nutrition:

 

Sources:

www.mayoclinic.org
www.learningandyearning.com
www.huggies.com

Featured image source: www.legacypediatrics.com

Leah

Founder at LetuKenya
Leah was born and raised in Kenya. She has a degree in psychology and divides her time between article writing, blogging and creating original African pieces. She provides her writing services independently and can be found odesk. When she isn’t hunched over a computer, she’s out being inspired by nature.

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