Most diaper rashes are due to prolonged contact with moisture, bacteria, and ammonia. Diaper rashes occur equally with cloth and disposable diapers.
With proper treatment, these rashes will usually improve within three days. If the rash does not respond, a yeast infection is suspected. Suspect this if the rash becomes bright red and raw, covers a large area, is surrounded by red dots, and is spreading towards the diaper edge.
- Change diaper frequently; about every hour and change as soon as it is wet or soiled.
- Increase air exposure. Leave the baby’s bottom exposed to air as much as possible. When the diaper is on, fasten it loosely to the air can circulate between the brief and the skin.
- Rinse the skin with warm water. Washing with soap after each diaper change will damage the skin. If you do use soap, use a mild soap (such as Dove) only after bowel movements. Do not use store-brand wipes as the perfumes or alcohol can irritate the skin further. Instead, use a warm washcloth or you can make your own wipes by moistening paper towels with plain warm water and storing them in a zip-lock bag for short periods.
- Nighttime care. It is best to use disposable diapers that are loosely fastened at night. It is also a great idea to use a barrier ointment such as A&D, Aquaphor, or Vaseline.
- A good barrier ointment in between diaper changes.
- With a cotton ball, dab plain Maalox to any open, raw areas. Let it dry then apply barrier ointment.
- A mixture of barrier ointment and Maalox can be made in a plastic bag and then applied.
- If yeast is suspected, then apply Lotrimin or Micatin sparingly four times a day.
- Call the office if there is no improvement in 4-5 days.
These recommendations are intended as a simple guideline. If you have any questions, diaper rash persists despite these measures or any other symptoms of illness, please call our office and speak with a Triage Nurse.