Diaper rash is more of a common irritant than a serious condition, but if baby starts screaming it certainly feels like a bigger problem. So keep these tips and treatments for soothing diaper rash in your back pocket (not, you know, literally) for the next time it pops up.
What causes diaper rash?
Most of the time, diaper rash is a skin irritation caused by urine and stool coming into contact with your little one’s skin. Which is kind of unavoidable seeing how babies wear diapers. But read on for what you can do.
Treatments for diaper rash
Using a petroleum jelly or an ointment to provide a layer of protection on your baby’s bottom can help keep their skin from getting irritated in the first place. It also makes it easier for you to wipe their cutie booty clean, so that’s a win for everyone.
When you do see red skin and irritation, use a cream or ointment with zinc oxide to treat it. The worse the rash, the stronger zinc oxide you need. Just make sure to fully dry the area first. If you are in a hurry you can just fan them dry, or if hanging around home for a while, let your little one run around nude.
You also need to be quick on the draw with diaper changes. Once the diaper is dirty, switch it out as soon as you can. Keeping baby dry and clean can make all the difference.
It’s important to use products that are gentle on your tiny tot’s sensitive skin. A lot of baby wipes can have alcohol or other ingredients that irritate. Look for wipes with as few ingredients as possible, or simply use a soft, dampened washcloth or paper towel. And when they do have diaper rash, dabbing is more gentle than wiping.
When to call the doctor
Again, diaper rash is typically not something you need to be concerned about. But there are a few signs to look out for that could mean it’s something more.
Consult your doctor if the rash doesn’t start to get better after a few days, or if you see raised, red bumps that aren’t improving. That could be an indicator of a fungal or yeast infection, in which case you’ll need to get an antifungal cream.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for a skin infection or abscess. Call the pediatrician if the skin seems tender, swollen or hard, or if your little one has a fever.
No matter how diligent you are, diaper rash just happens. It’s not a sign of neglect or bad parenting, it’s just life. So, don’t beat yourself up over it! Just follow these tips and treatments and baby will be as good as new very soon.