How To Treat Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is a common affliction that every parent will deal with at some point. The best way to stay ahead of the situation is by understanding the different types of diaper rash then being prepared to treat them. It is important to keep in mind that the skin of infants differs physiologically from that of older kids in terms of function, structure and composition. Since young skin is extremely sensitive, it is inherently more vulnerable to irritation and breakdown. With this tricks up your sleeve treating diaper rash will help clear up the symptoms as soon as possible.


Did you know that there are 4 main types of diaper rash?

Let’s begin by understanding the 4 common kinds of diaper rash…

Did you know that there are 4 main types of diaper rash? Simply slathering diaper cream on your child’s bottom will not treat every kind of diaper rash. By understanding each type in detail you will know how each kind looks like and how to treat it.

what kind of diaper rash is that

Irritant dermatitis

This is caused by diapers and happens when the baby’s skin comes in contact with the surface of a wet or soiled diaper. It typically appears like welling or redness of the skin around the legs and bum. This type is easy to treat, all you have to do is allow the baby some time out and try your best to keep their skin dry and clean.

It is also safer to stay clear of products with perfumes and alcohols because this will not only further irritate the skin but also dry it out. Once the baby’s skin is clean and dry, apply a think ointment such as zinc oxide which will help protect the baby’s skin form excess moisture.

Candida dermatitis/yeast infection

This is caused by yeast overgrowth. Keep in mind that yeast grows rapidly in moist and warm environments this makes diaper the perfect environment for yeast to survive and thrive. Yeast is normal constituent of the microbes that live on human skin, overgrowth occurs when there is a definite imbalance.

This type usually presents as swelling and redness mostly around the vulva and testicles, creases of the legs and the baby’s bum. Large bumps, pimples, sores and ulcers filled with pus can be present. Id you realize any of this symptoms, it is advisable to visit a pediatrician who will typically prescribe anti fungal medication such as Nystatin.

Allergic dermatitis                        

Just as the name implies, this is caused by an irritant or allergic response to a product you may be using. It could be an allergy to baby wipes, material or chemicals used to make the diaper, detergents, soap or even baby lotion. The most common cause of allergic reactions is preservatives and fragrances present in baby’s products.

This is perhaps the hardest to treat because you need to investigate carefully and seek recommendations to ascertain what works best for your baby. Allergic dermatitis is more difficult to identify, it is normally red and cause the skin to wear away. It can happen on any part of the body that come in contact with the allergen.

Bacterial dermatitis

Staphylococcusaureus is the most common bacteria that case this kind of diaper rash. This kind of rash normally occurs when the baby’s skin is already irritated and has abrasions and small cuts either from a non-bacterial rash or vigorous wiping. It presents as large or small blisters filed with blisters which rapture quite easily. You may also notice itching and pain during stool elimination. The best way to deal with bacterial dermatitis is consult a paediatrician since bacterial dermatitis escalates fast.

General DIY tips for treating diaper rash at home

Keep your baby’s skin dry and clean

All the 4 main types of diaper rash can be linked to wetness and a moist diaper. Keeping your baby clean and dry at all times, ensuring that the diaper is tied on snugly but not tight and leaving their bottoms bare from time to time will come in handy in ensuring that your baby does battle with diaper rash consistently. Although wipes are okay, it is preferable to go for unscented brands that don’t contain alcohol. Also use a mild soap and intead of scrubbing the baby with a towel just pat them dry gently.

Beneficial diaper-changing tips

Anytime you baby has a diaper rash, there is need to be more vigilant about how you change their diaper. Ideally a diaper should be changed every 2 to 3 hours or immediately it is soiled. If you are using cloth diapers, they need to be carefully washed using antibacterial soap then rinsed thoroughly to ensure all the soap or detergent is removed. While the baby has a diaper rash, it is advisable to stay clear of cloth diapers and instead use superabsorbent disposable diapers.

Use jellies and creams

Since the aim is to protect your baby’s skin against direct contact with urine and faeces and also keep it dry, creams and jellies could come in handy. Barrier creams and pastes that contain Zinc will help create a protective layer and also soothe irritated skin. Apply the cream generously the cover it with some petroleum jelly to prevent the product from sticking to surface of the diaper.

All the 4 main types of diaper rash can be linked to wetness and a moist diaper

Treatments that every mum should stay clear of…

  • Less is more when it comes to treating diaper rash. To be on the safe side, stay clear of products with fragrance including fabric softeners, detergents and soap. Fragrance- free and hypoallergenic products are less irritating and will sooth your baby’s skin.
  • Contrary to common misconception, baby powder is not helpful when it comes preventing diaper rash. Baby powder is actually a misnomer meaning baby can inhale it and it can badly hurt their lungs.
  • Another popular remedy to avoid is cornstarch because just like baby powder it is a misnomer and can be inhaled leading to lung irritation. Additionally, cornstarch can also further worsen diapers rashes caused by a fungus known as Candida.

When to seek medical attention?

If the rashes don’t start clearing up in a day or two or more pustules and blisters appear. It is an indication that the condition is only getting worse and your child requires attention from a medical doctor.

Mandy Wright
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