Illnesses & Symptoms
Delicate skin and frequent stooling predispose to diaper rashes. Some parents prefer to prevent them with routine use of a diaper cream. Some might just pay close attention to when the diaper is soiled and change frequently. Once the rash appears, it can take a couple weeks to get it under control, so prevention is important!
Diaper wipes irritate the skin, even if they are alcohol free. If there is a rash, wash with water on a soft cloth. Air dry the buttocks before putting cream or the diaper on. A hair dryer on cool setting can be helpful if used carefully. (Don't underestimate the power of air!) Leaving the diaper off for awhile several times/day can really help. If your baby isn't crawling yet, you can lay a plastic table cloth on the floor with a receiving blanket on top (in case of urine/stool), and place baby tummy down, knees under belly to expose the buttocks, and MONITOR, as this is not a safe position to leave any baby alone. Applying a layer of diaper rash cream helps to protect the skin from the next stool.
Zinc oxide heals the skin well, but may burn when applied to open or irritated skin. Using a petrolatum jelly based diaper cream works well in this instance.
If the skin is very irritated or there is a lot of diarrhea, adding a liquid antacid to the diaper rash cream can help neutralize the acid in the stool. Probiotics can also help the normal gut flora, which can help normalize the stool pattern and help the skin heal.
Diaper rashes that seem to have "dots" might be yeast. These can be treated with antifungal creams, commonly known as athlete's foot creams over the counter. Apply a thin layer three times per day. If not improving in two weeks, please see your provider.
If the rash is only surrounding the anus or persists with the above treatments, we need to see your child to evaluate for an infection that might require antibiotics.