Diaper rash is a skin irritation caused due to urine or feces irritating the skin where it is in direct contact with the soiled diaper. Leaving a baby in a wet or soiled diaper for too long can cause diaper rash, as can a bout of diarrhea. Sometimes the rash is a reaction to new foods in the diet. The diaper area will look red and sore, and baby may be irritable. If the rash becomes infected, it will be red, glistening appearance with pus-filled pimples and will be extremely sore, affecting the whole diaper area, including the skin creases around the groin.
Diaper Rash Symptoms
- Red spots or patches of inflamed skin in the diaper area.
- Skin has a tight, shiny appearance.
- Scaly skin.
- Red, irritated patches in the skin creases of the leg and groin area.
- A strong fishy odor.
- Pus-filled blisters and spots can develop if the rash becomes infected with bacteria.
Home Remedies for Diaper Rash
- Clean and dry: Gently wash the diaper area with warm water and mild, fragrance-free soap. Rinse thoroughly and dry completely. Change diapers immediately after they are wet or soiled.
- Vaseline: Apply Vaseline which creates a barrier between baby’s skin and irritating wetness, helping the rash to heal.
- Coconut oil: Apply coconut oil to the affected area.
- Witch hazel: Apply an ointment made with witch hazel to diaper rash.
- Vitamin E: Apply vitamin E topically as a cream or oil. Vitamin E help with healing.
- Calendula: Apply a lotion, gel, or cream to the rash when you change the diaper. Calendula has soothing and healing properties.
- Evening primrose: Apply primrose oil or lotion each time you change diaper. It serves as a gentle anti-inflammatory treatment.
- Human breast milk: Apply breast milk to diaper rash which is an effective and safe treatment.
Do’s for Diaper Rash
- Identify & eliminate the cause of rash. Often a food allergy can aggravate the condition. Sometime eliminating milk protein from the diet and opting for soy or rice based alternative can help.
- Check for bad reaction to particular diaper brand.
- Make sure the baby is getting plenty of fluids, especially water which dilutes the irritating acids present in the urine and stool.
- Change baby’s diaper as soon as baby urinates or has bowel movement to prevent irritation.
- Use diaper wipes that are unscented, or that have witch hazel or calendula.
- Gently but thoroughly dry the affected area after bathing your baby.
- Leave diapers and incontinence briefs off as much as possible to allow the baby’s bottom to be exposed to the air.
- Wash fabric diapers with a non-allergenic laundry detergent and rinse well.
- If the baby has started solid foods, introduce one new food at a time to see if anything causes a bout of diaper rash.
- A balance of breast milk and semi-solid foods or formula would go a long way in controlling this rash.
- Breastfeeding mothers should take cooling and neutral food such as lettuce, cucumber, spinach, and pears.
Don’ts for Diaper Rash
- Avoid using diapers as much as possible to allow the baby’s bottom to be exposed to the air.
- Avoid using plastic pants until the rash is gone.
- Avoid using harsh soaps and scrubbing vigorously when washing baby.
- Don’t use perfumed skin products or baby wipes, which remove natural oils from the skin, leaving it more prone to dryness and cracking.
- Avoid items containing baking soda, boric acid, camphor, phenol, benzocaine, diphenhydramine, or salicylates which are toxics for babies.
- Breastfeeding mothers should avoid warm spicy food such as ginger, chilies, cloves, and pepper. Also avoid citrus fruits, sugar, and caffeine.
- Rash is not clearing up after a week.
- Pimples, blisters, open weeping sores, boils, or crusts develop in the diaper area.
- A rash in the diaper area looks like a rash on other parts of the body.