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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dealing with Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is uncomfortable for children, annoying for parents and, unfortunately, doesn’t always end after potty training. Diaper rash is a common condition infants develop because they are dependent upon someone else to clean them. Almost all children younger than 2 will experience diaper rash at some point. It doesn’t make you a bad parent, and it isn’t a reason to be alarmed! But it must be addressed.

Although diaper rash is most commonly associated with infants, it can also be seen in people with incontinence or who are paralyzed. Most commonly, diaper rash is an abrasion, similar to chafing while exercising. The red, tender irritation is a result of a combination of moist materials rubbing against sensitive skin. Here’s the skinny on what causes this rash and how to treat it.

For infants, diaper rash is typically the result of continuously wet or infrequently changed diapers. However, introducing new foods, a reaction to a new product, a bacterial or yeast infection and the use of antibiotics can contribute to the problem.

Stool and Urine
Lengthy exposure to urine or feces can be irritating to skin. Feces is more irritating than urine, so frequent bowel movements are more likely to cause inflammation.

New Foods
The more solid foods there are in your baby’s diet, the greater the chance for diaper rash. Also, if you are breastfeeding, your diet matters! Eating acidic foods such as citrus, tomatoes, pineapple and raisins can be abrasive to your child’s skin when excreted through the baby’s bowel movements.

New Products
Ingredients in disposable wipes, diapers, detergent, bleach, fabric softener, lotions, powders and oils can be irritating to your baby’s bottom. If your child is experiencing regular rashes, look for products made for sensitive skin when purchasing these items. Also, there is no evidence that clearly shows either cloth or disposable diapers faring better than the other for babies’ bottoms. I recommend using whichever type works best for you and your baby.

Bacterial or Yeast Infections
The warm, moist environment of a diaper creates perfect growing conditions for a bacterial or yeast infection. Make sure to wipe thoroughly in skin folds when changing a dirty diaper.

Antibiotics have the potential to kill good bacteria, too. This can disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria, causing more harmful bacteria to grow. Be mindful of the above causes when administering antibiotics to your baby, and always discuss your options with your doctor.

Treatment and Prevention
The best thing you can do to prevent diaper rash is to keep your baby’s skin dry and clean. You can also try an over-the-counter diaper rash cream, also known as zinc oxide paste, to soothe the irritation. Different brand choices include: A+D, Balmex, Desitin, Triple Paste and Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.

If you are mindful of the above causes and cleaning your baby’s bottom regularly but are still seeing no change, I urge you to seek a medical professional’s advice. They can recommend a mild hydrocortisone cream, an antifungal cream or antibiotics depending on what they determine the cause to be.

It will take several days for your baby’s skin to heal after a diaper rash. But if the rash persists, you should seek a dermatologist’s consultation.

If you are concerned with the appearance or frequency of your child’s diaper rash, please consult a medical professional for advice. If you have any more questions about diaper rash or other skin conditions, please visit or call 901-759-2322.


  1. New food intake is truly hard to deal. We dont know if the food will not give our little angel some diaper rash!

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