Diaper Rash: An Easy Way to Tackle

Diaper rash is one of the earliest problems a baby can suffer in infancy. It is mostly self limiting if proper care is taken. It doesn’t make parents panic like colic. Few basic do’s and don’t’s can resolve the problem easily.
With proper care it goes away easily but neglecting or delaying remedies can cause the baby suffer more.

So under the 5 headings it can be discussed:

Diaper Rash Presentation:

  • It presents with patchy redness , warm dry sometimes scaly skin
  • There can be spots, pimple like eruptions.
  • It can be dark coloured in babies of colour.
  • it represents around genitalia, inner side of buttocks ,near anus and may extend to thighs, natal cleft.
  • Baby will be crying or fussing in distress, irritable while being in touch of diaper, apprehensive to urinate or poop sometimes. Happier when diaper is removed.
  • In case of moderate to severe infection Baby may have fever.

Causes :

  • Frequent urination/ poop which comes in long term contact with skin and helps to grow harmful microorganisms. Urine, stool are great culture media for growth of germs.
  • Frequent diaper change is recommended to avoid contact with microorganisms. It’s better to use diaper with indicator to know exactly when to remove it. Otherwise you can note how frequently baby urinates or poops and change accordingly.
  • Improperly washed nappy or low quality diaper. If some one is using cloth nappy it is very important to change it after every event. It needs to be washed with thoroughly and cleaned later with disinfectant like Dettol. It should be sun-dried and then only used again.
  • If baby is having lose motions due to change in diet or due to infection, it is very important to change diaper after every episode as already dehydrated baby can’t easily fight with rash. It will take more time to heal and baby will be unhappy for longer duration.
  • Size of diaper matters a lot. Too tight diaper will make less room inside the diaper and again more germs will be in contact of baby skin.It will also cause abrasions on thighs ,waist.
  • Alcohol or chemical based wet wipes can cause irritation of skin. Dry and rough cloth can cause itching and irritation .

Management :

  • Quality of diaper should be checked if the rash is persistent. Diaper should be changed. Probably diaper suitable for sensitive skin may be helpful. Diaper with indicator for change will help to keep track of diaper change though they are expensive. Huggies, Pampers provide such diapers and they they are pretty good.
  • one can try ‘no nappy no diaper’ in the day time. This will get room for skin to breathe and to dry out. At night baby can have diaper. This kind of intermittent diaper use will help to reduce rash. It is easier in older babies as potty training is already started.
  • Cleaning after dirty diaper is very important.If the cause of rash is not yet figured out and you are sceptical about using wipes then it’s better to wash the dirty area with lookwarm water and soft cloth/ tissue. Wet wipes with max percentage of water are good. Avoid alcohol, fragrance based wipes in case of baby. Aloe Vera in diapers ,wipes will help in maintaining baby skin smooth.
  • Drying affected area after changing diaper is very important. After every diaper change session one can allow the baby to play or roam around without diaper or nappy for 15-20 mins so the skin will dry and the chances of fungal infection will decrease.
  • Diaper rash cream can be used as barrier and for healing after drying the area. B4 nappi,Buttpaste are some of the tried and tested good products.
  • Aquaphor ointment is known to cure rash within hrs. I have not used it personally but have seen people getting good results.

What to avoid:

If the baby has sensitive skin in diaper area avoid using soap,baby lotion,bubble bath talcum powder, antiseptic or any home remedy materials. Go for proper doctor’s consultation.

When to get medical help:

If in spite of trying all you can from above mentioned points the rash is not going away or is increasing the you need to seek advice from a qualified doctor. Temperature,irritability, fussiness distress indicates there is something more to the rash. Baby may be dealing with bacterial , fungal infection which will not be cured without medication. So give prescribed medication and take care.

Diaper rash is generally a manageable issue at home but if not managed in time it may affect baby’s health considerably. So treating in time rather in very early phase at day1 or2 reduces the unnecessary stress of parents and keeps baby happy and healthy.