You're not a bad mother if your baby ends up with diaper rash, this is a common occurrence and happens to every baby at some point in time. The common reaction especially in new mothers is oh no what have I done, but the truth is babies' bottoms are very susceptible to rash due to the warm moist environment created by the diaper and this can happen in cloth or disposable diapers.
Causes Some of the typical causes of rash, including very sensitive skin are:
- Prolonged exposure to moisture trapped inside a diaper wet with urine or stool.
- Damaged, sensitive skin from a diaper chaffing or rubbing back and forth, which can make the rash more susceptible to a yeast or bacterial infection.
- Antibiotics taken by the baby or the mother when breastfeeding feeding, some can cause sensitive skin and typically symptoms subside after the use is ended.
- New diet, as you introduce more foods into your baby's diet the chances for rash can increase.
Prevention and Treatment When thinking about ways to prevent or minimize rash on your baby start with the causes then work backwards:
- Keep wet or soiled diapers changed frequently.
- Allow your baby to go without a diaper a couple of times a day, tummy time on a dry towel with a water proof mat underneath is a good time to do this and another good time is just after their bath, pat the area dry and allow him or her some air time without a diaper.
- Avoid using creams with harsh chemicals in the contents and use unscented baby wipes free of alcohol.
- If your baby has been susceptible to diaper rash, use a towel moistened with just clean cool water to clean the sensitive areas, pat dry with a clean soft towel and treat area with 100% pure petroleum jelly or Desitin (R) before putting on a new diaper.
- For moderate rash – Apply zinc oxide ointment or Acid Mantle (R) is a brand brand ointment that can be applied before or with zinc oxide over it.
- For more severe rashes – Apply Triple Paste (R) which can be purchased without prescription but you typically have to ask the pharmacist as they keep it in the pharmacy.
- If you just started a new medication and noticed the symptoms soon after talking to your pediatrician or doctor about stopping or changing the treatment.
Remember the best treatment is prevention and despite it's not always possible to prevent diaper rash you can be proactive by keeping your baby in a clean dry diaper and protecting the skin with petroleum jelly or a diaper rash prevention cream. You should not use powder of any kind as this can cause respiratory problems and is unhealthy for your baby to breathe in, also if you use cloth diapers make sure you soak them for several minutes in boiling water to kill any bacteria and completely dry before using . Avoid the following creams or compounds as they can be harmful: benzoin tincture or any creams that contain camphor, methyl salicylate, phenol, or boric acid.
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