Diaper rash: Causes, Prevention and Care
What is a diaper rash?
Diaper rash is formed on your baby’s bottom. It appears to be a patchwork and is bright red, it is a common form of inflamed skin. Your baby gets this rash because his or her diapers are always wet and you may not be changing them as frequently as you should. New born babies tend to develop a diaper rash easily as their skin is sensitive and very fragile.
You may get puzzled when you first notice the rash your baby but it also has an impact on your little one. It can make babies very cranky and annoyed.
Symptoms of a diaper rash
When your baby develops a diaper rash you will notice that the area where the diaper covers will appear read and tender. These areas includes buttocks, thighs and genitals. Your little one will also show that they are not comfortable. They will try to indicate this to you while you are changing their diaper. He or she may start to cry and get fussy when you touch or wash the affected area.
Why does it happen?
Irritation from stool and urine
When your baby’s skin is exposed to stool or urine for too long. The dampness makes their skin get easily irritated. Besides if your baby has frequent bowel movements or diarrhea it could also cause them to get affected. This is because feces are more irritating than urine.
If you purchase diapers that are too tight for your baby it could also lead to them getting a rash. This is because it tends to rub against their skin.
As mentioned your newborn’s skin gets easily irritated as it is sensitive. Things that may cause your baby to get sensitive towards include baby wipes, detergents or even the brand of their disposal diapers. Diaper rash may also be caused because of certain lotions and oils.
Bacterial or yeast infection
Sometimes something that starts off as a normal skin rash can spread to other areas. The buttocks, thighs and genitals gets easily affected as they are warm and damp. This makes it easier for bacteria and yeast to breed. The rashes will be formed as tiny red dots within the creases of the skin.
Moving on, once your baby begins to eat solids, the content of their stool will change. Sometimes even the food you eat can affect your baby through breastfeeding. Your baby will get a diaper rash when there is an increase in stools.
Yes at times antibiotics can also be the source of the problem. Baby’s stomach are very sensitive and they may get diarrhea. Even if the baby doesn’t take any antibiotics directly. But if he or she is being breastfed and their mum’s take it, there are chances the baby will get affected too.
Preventing Diaper Rash
So the best way to prevent diaper rash is to ensure that the areas that get affected are always clean and dry. There are a few ways in which you can do so:
Change diapers often
To keep the area clean and dry always be sure to check your baby’s diaper and change them frequently. If you have someone helping you look after your baby, you should ensure that they do the same too.
Rinse your baby’s bottom
After each diaper change, rinse your baby’s bottom. You can use anything that will help make this process easy for you. However, if you are using wipes try avoiding the ones with fragrance and/or alcohol. If you want to use soap, try using something that is mild and fragrance free
Gently pat and dry
After you wash your baby’s bottom area, gently dry their area. It is also even better if you let it air dry. Never scrub your baby’s skin as it could cause more irritation.
Don’t over tighten diapers
Making your babies wear tight diapers will prevent air flow. This is something that might easily cause your baby to get a diaper rash. Besides, if your baby wears tight diapers it would rub against their skin. This would also cause a rash.
Let your baby not wear a diaper
If your baby is at home, try to avoid making your baby wear a diaper too much. Letting your baby’s skin be exposed to air is the best way to let it dry and airy. If you are scared there may be any accidents, lay your baby on a huge towel. This would make it easier to clean.
When should you see a doctor?
If your baby has a diaper rash, usually it should heal on its own but if your baby experiences any of the symptoms below, then you should see a doctor:
- If the rash is severe or unusual
- Does not heal despite home treatment
- Bleeds or itches
- Causes burning or pain
- Accompanied by fever