Babies have a very delicate and sensitive skin that’s prone to rashes and inflammations. The diaper that your baby wears can also cause irritation and might result in diaper rash. Even if you use cloth nappies for your baby, diaper rash is a common phenomenon. However, diaper rash is mild in nature and maintaining good hygiene can easily take care of it.
Symptoms of diaper rash
The rash appears as reddish patches on and around the genitalia and buttocks of babies. These red patches need to be taken care of in the initial stages or else it may erupt into small bumps.
Causes of diaper rash
Diaper rash is caused by the moisture and bacteria which is held within the diaper and the skin. Prolonged wearing of wet and soiled diaper is the most common reason for eruption of diaper rash, because wet skin easily breaks down and is susceptible to chafing and is a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria. Wearing tight diapers is the other major reason of eruption of diaper rash, as the elastic bites into the delicate skin of the baby causing irritation.
In case your baby is suffering from a bout of diarrhoea, then your baby is more prone to contracting diaper rash. So, do ensure that the diaper area of your baby is kept as dry as possible in this situation. Babies can be more sensitive to certain brands of diapers, wet wipes and detergents you use in the laundry, which may result in diaper rash.
Prevention of diaper rash
You do not need to rush to a doctor if your baby contracts diaper rash as it is a mild condition which can be easily taken care of by following some rules.
1. A wet diaper is a breeding ground of diaper rash so ensure that you change the wet or soiled diaper of your baby promptly.
2. Wash your hands with soap before and after changing the diaper of your baby. This will help prevent more bacteria from getting transmitted to your baby.
3. It is best to clean your baby's bottom with cotton wool and warm water. However, if you are using wet wipes to clean your baby then make sure that it is free of fragrance and alcohol as these are drying agents. Be careful not to overdo the cleansing bit as your baby's skin is sensitive and can get easily irritated with excessive cleansing.
4. Pat dry your baby's bottom and do not rub the cloth on it as this can cause chaffing of the skin. Before putting a fresh diaper on your baby, ensure that you dry your baby's bottom thoroughly.
5. It is essential to air your baby's bottom for at least 15 minutes daily so that your baby is completely dry.
6. To soothe the diaper rash you can apply a barrier cream containing zinc oxide and petroleum jelly, which is easily available at the chemists.
7. The fitting of the diaper on your baby is important. Ensure that the diaper does not fit too tightly or loosely. A tight fit will cut your baby's skin and a loose fit will cause leakage. The diaper should be of a comfortable snug-fit.
8. Wash your baby's clothes separately with a mild detergent which is free of the chemicals which may cause irritation to your baby's skin.
When do you need to visit the doctor?
Generally, you do not require to visit the doctor in case your baby contracts diaper rash. But in the situation where the bumps become yellowish due to pus or your baby gets fever, you will need to consult the doctor. But it is advisable not to let the condition reach that state as diaper rash can be easily cured at home.
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