The Blotchy Booty Blues: How To Treat & Prevent Diaper Rash
Oh no, your sweet little one’s tushy is looking a little splotchy! But don’t be alarmed, babies’ soft sensitive skin can get irritated very easily, and sometimes the day-to-day necessities can cause these angry red or pink spots to show up. Diaper rash frequently occurs in warm, moist places, turning up as a blotchy or scaly rash near babies’ butt and genitals. This can happen from ingesting new foods, if the diaper is too tight, if waste matter is irritating the baby, or even just sensitive skin! But not to worry, there are plenty of ways to remedy this uncomfortable and unsightly problem. Keep reading for some helpful tips for diaper rash treatment and prevention.
If your baby is a little splotchy, it’s time to change up your changing routine! Let’s start with the diaper. Some babies have skin that is sensitive to soap or detergent. So, if you use reusable cloth to swaddle your baby’s bum, be sure to wash them with gentle, fragrance-free detergents and rinse at least three times to get all of the soap out.
For disposable diapers, try a highly absorbent option to help keep the area dry. Feel free to give your baby time each day without a diaper to let the area get some fresh air. When it’s time to change, clean your baby with soft cloth material and water or use alcohol-free wipes (gently!) to prevent diaper rash from worsening.
Switching Up the Suds
When it’s time to get sudsy, keep in mind that your baby’s sensitive skin might be irritated by the soap you use. For a more gentle approach, switch your bath product to a mild soap-free cleanser. Since rashes occur more easily in moist areas, always pat the area dry and remember to air it out as much as possible.
Once dry, you can use over-the-counter diaper rash treatments such as A & D ointment, as well as creams or pastes with zinc oxide or petroleum jelly to help get between the skin and create a barrier to irritants. Gently apply a layer of ointment to the problem area to prevent waste matter from making contact with your baby’s skin. Look for a formula that contains as few dyes and perfumes as possible.
Stop it Before it Starts
In a perfect world, we would stop a rash before it starts! But if you are already facing this issue, these tips can help you prevent diaper rash from worsening or starting up again in the future. To stop it before it starts, be sure to dress your baby in breathable clothes and take care not to wrap the diaper too tight.
If a rash appears, change the diapers more often to keep it clean and dry. Ideally, and whenever possible, try to change your baby as soon as they have soiled their diaper. And don’t be afraid to let your little one go commando, at least for a little while! This can help keep their bottoms nice and dry which can reduce the likelihood of a rash forming in the first place.
While many cases of diaper rash look worse than they feel, it can start to become painful and problematic for your baby when it becomes infected. Keep your eyes peeled for new or worsening symptoms before and after trying out these treatments. Call your pediatrician right away if you notice blisters, redness, swelling, discharge/pus, or fever as these can be signs of infection. This requires professional diagnosis and a prescription topical or oral antibiotic.
Be aware that a fungal or yeast infection, candidiasis, may occur. This can happen in addition to the existing infection and will appear as red patches of raw skin generally found in the folds of babies skin, even on the stomach or thighs. This condition also requires professional diagnosis and prescription anti-fungal diaper rash treatment, so be sure to visit your pediatrician if you notice any of these signs.
At Coastal Kids Pediatrics, we are prepared to help you with any concerns you or your child are having about health and wellness. If you have any questions or concerns about how to treat diaper rash, please reach out — we are happy to give you our expert opinion, tailored directly to your baby’s needs. We can’t wait to see your baby (and their sweet little cheeks) happy, healthy, and rash-free!