Does your baby seem uncomfortable or irritable yet you can’t explain why? Have you checked his or her diaper? No poo nor pee there? Good. Now, check the skin around the diaper area. Is it red? When you touch it, does it make your baby more uncomfortable or irritable? This is probably a diaper rash and you need not worry nor blame yourself. Your baby will most likely have a diaper rash at some point anyway. What causes it though? How do you treat it?
Diaper Rash Explained
Diaper rash is a kind of contact dermatitis, that is, a inflammatory reaction of the skin to coming into direct contact with something. Having a diaper rash is often related to wet or infrequently changed diapers, skin sensitivity, and chafing. It usually affects babies but anyone who wears a diaper regularly can develop the condition, including the elderly.
What Causes It?
We mentioned a few causes of diaper rash earlier but what are the other possible causes? The list includes:
- Leaving a wet or dirty diaper on too long
- Rubbing or chafing against the diaper itself
- Yeast infection
- Bacterial infection
- Allergic reaction to the diaper itself
- Introduction of new foods
- Sensitive skin
- Using antibiotics
As primary measures, you can try using over-the-counter creams, ointments, and powders. Do this, apply the cream or ointment on your baby’s clean, dry bottom before putting on a clean diaper. Look for zinc oxide or petrolatum on the ingredients list. You may also use powder but remember to keep it away from your baby’s face. The talc or cornstarch in the powder can cause breathing problems.
When To Call a Doctor?
If your baby’s skin doesn’t improve after a few days of these primary treatment measures, talk with your pediatrician. Sometimes, you’ll need a prescription medication to treat these diaper rashes. Specifically, have your child examined if the rash:
- Is severe or appears unusual for a rash
- Worsens despite simple home treatments
- Bleeds, itches, or oozes
- Causes burning or pain with urination or a bowel movement
- Is accompanied by a fever