A diaper rash is not a serious problem, but it can be really uncomfortable for your baby. It is most common among babies between the ages of 9 and 12 months. The usual cause of a diaper rash is prolonged exposure from urine and stool, which can be irritating to a baby’s sensitive skin. A diaper rash may also occur as your baby starts to eat solid foods. During this time, the content of his stool may change and prolonged contact can cause a rash. The food that a mother ingests may also cause a diaper rash. An example is tomato-based foods, which usually cause a reaction.
Your baby may also react to a change in the baby products that you are using. A change in the kind of baby wipes, diapers, detergent, fabric softener, and bleach can also cause diaper rash. Babies have very delicate skin, and sometimes using lotions, powders, and oils can even cause irritation. It can also be caused by diapers that are too small and clothing that is tight.
Other causes of diaper rash include bacteria and yeast because they thrive in warm and moist areas. Areas covered by the diaper is then good breeding ground for microorganisms. Since babies are really prone to having a diaper rash, it is good to practice preventive measures so that the baby can be spared from the discomfort. Here are some simple ways to prevent diaper rash:
1. Make it a point to change diapers frequently. If you expose your baby’s skin to soiled diapers for a period of time, he may develop a rash. Some babies are heavy sleepers, and it is best to check your baby’s diaper every two hours. Prolonged skin contact with urine and fecal matter can cause a rash.
2. Try to rinse your baby’s bottom with water after each diaper change. You can also use wipes that are alcohol free and fragrance free. Likewise moist cotton balls and wash cloths can also do the job.
3. Pat dry your baby’s skin. Avoid rubbing your baby’s skin when drying because it may cause irritation.
4. Allow your baby to have “diaper free” intervals. Use a rubber pad lined with a soft cloth while you expose your baby’s bottom to the air. This will prevent messy accidents while your baby’s skin is drying naturally.
5. Use the right diaper size. A diaper that is too small or worn too tight can cause chafing, and can also prevent airflow into the covered area. Moist areas can only provide a good opportunity for bacteria and yeasts to grow.
6. Apply petroleum jelly or barrier ointments regularly. This will prevent direct skin contact with urine and stool, thereby preventing a rash. This is also most important during times when your baby has a loose bowel movement.
7. Wash your baby’s cloth diapers with mild detergent, and rinse them at least twice. Avoid using bleach and fabric softeners because they may be too harsh for your baby’s skin.
8. Practice proper handwashing after changing diapers. This practice should not be taken for granted because it is most important in preventing the spread of microorganisms.
A diaper rash will not usually require a visit to the doctor. However, if you don’t notice any improvement, or if you notice pus and blisters, consult your doctor. It is also essential that you seek consultation if your baby’s rash, has already extended beyond the diaper area. Parents then need to practice preventive measures, so that a baby doesn’t have to endure the discomforts of a rash.