How to Treat Diaper Rash

5 steps to baby's skincare

Diaper rash is a normal skin condition that most babies develop. According to the Mayo Clinic, a baby’s sensitive skin is particularly vulnerable to chemicals and moisture from urine and stools, bacteria, yeast and chafing. If your baby’s thighs, genitals or buttocks appear irritated, puffy or red, follow these helpful suggestions for treating diaper rash listed below.

Step 1: Keep your baby dry

Diaper rash treatment begins with keeping your baby fresh and dry by changing his diaper often, according to the Mayo Clinic. Change diapers at least every two hours for newborns and less often as the frequency of your baby’s urination decreases. Diapers that contain stools should be changed immediately.

Step 2: Keep your baby clean

Clean the diapered area diligently at every diaper change. The Mayo Clinic advises the use of cotton balls or gauze and warm water for gentle, effective cleaning, and advises against the use scented wipes or wipes containing alcohol. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using an insulated squirt bottle or bulb syringe to wash the area clean, because wiping can exacerbate irritation. To avoid irritating tender skin further, pat your baby’s bottom dry, do not rub.

Step 3: Let your baby’s skin breathe

Oxygen is one of the most effective ways to treat diaper rash. To help speed the healing process, the Mayo Clinic recommends you leave the diaper off and lay your baby on a towel bottom up, using no diaper ointment. Leave the diaper and ointment off whenever possible to encourage speedier healing. Consider letting your baby be diaper-free during playtime on a clean floor or while he is sleeping, but be sure to use a plastic sheet to protect the cloth mattress underneath. Let your baby’s skin breathe by loosely applying a diaper or by using a diaper that is a bit big.

Step 4: Find the best diaper for your baby

Treating diaper rash involves a bit of experimentation. Try different disposable brands. One brand might fit better and lead to less chafing than another. If you are using cloth diapers, The Doctors Book of Home Remedies recommends adding an ounce of vinegar per gallon of water when rinsing to eradicate irritating alkaline residues.

Step 5: Use a diaper rash ointment

Moderate to bad diaper rash is frequently treated with a barrier cream, such as petroleum ointment (try A & D ointment) or zinc oxide. Triple Paste, Acid Mantle, Burrow’s Solution and Lansinoh are also effective ointments used to treat diaper rash. It is best to wait for a doctor’s advice before treating diaper rash with ointments that contain steroids. Dr.William Sears, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine explains that hydrocortisone 1 percent cream can be used beneath other diaper rash treatments, but should not be used more than a few days at a time as it is too strong for continual use on a baby’s sensitive skin.

Thank you for signing up!

Tell us what you think!
If you'd like to comment on this article, become a member of Gaiam Life.
Click here to create your account.