It’s a common condition, and in most cases you will not have to see a doctor. A normal diaper rash treatment is pretty straightforward. In this article you are going to learn everything you need to know about it.
How long does it take?
A diaper rash treatment usually takes between 1 and 5 days until the rash disappears. If your baby’s rash persists for more than three days after you’ve used our recommended diaper rash cream, we suggest that you take your baby to a pediatrician.
Frequent Diaper Changing
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Simply changing your baby’s diapers often can help to ease the diaper rash. The reason why babies get a rash in the first place is because of the hot, wet and dark environment that a diaper puts them in. Add exposure to irritants (from pooing or peeing), it can aggravate the condition. (Learn more about the causes of diaper rash).
Freedom From Diapers
Also let your baby out of her diaper as often as possible. The air helps her skin to heal faster. Diaper-free time is fine, but just make sure to avoid accidents (a big load of baby-poo is probably not what you want on the floor).
Keep your baby’s bottom clean and use fragrance-free and alcohol-free wipes or a moisturizing, mild soap. After you bath or wash your baby, pat her skin dry. Before you put on new diapers, always check that your baby’s diaper area is completely dry.
Don’t Use Soaps Or Scented Wipes
While your baby has a rash, don’t use soaps or scented wipes on the affected areas, as this can irritate the skin.
Sometimes it’s the diapers that can cause your baby’s skin to have a reaction, and switching the brand or kind of diaper can provide relief. Sometimes there are chemicals in disposal diapers. Or sometimes a cloth diaper isn’t cleaned right or got in contact with dirt. Lots of trial and error needed if this is the case.
Chemicals In Disposable Diapers
Diaper manufacturers are not required to list the ingredients of their diapers, but sometimes some product or material that is used to manufacture the diapers can cause irritation to a baby’s skin.
Most disposable diapers have a thin polyethylene film on the outside, and polypropylene on the inside of the diaper. Both of these are considered safe for babies. Sometimes there are additional substances in the inner lining, most commonly vitamin E or aloe.
The center of the diaper (the part that absorbs moisture) is usually made from wood pulp and super-absorbent polymers (most commonly sodium polyacrylate). Wood pulp is usually bleached with chlorine, and that can lead to the creation of dioxines. Almost all diapers contain small amounts of dioxines. Dioxines are a health-hazard, but the amount found in diapers is so small that we consider disposable diapers safe. If you are concerned however, you can either use Earth’s Best diapers or Seventh’s Generation Diapers. Both are chlorine-free and don’t contain any dioxines.
Some diapers are scented, and thus contain some kind of fragrance.
Dyes are another substance commonly used in diapers, and are usually safe. However, there have been rare occasions where the dyes triggered allergic reactions.
Using Cloth Diapers?
If you use cloth diapers, make sure you wash them thoroughly. The benefit of cloth diapers is that they don’t contain chemicals which can be found in disposable diapers. The downside is that you need to clean them really, really well. Don’t use softeners, and use a mild detergent to wash them.
Not Too Tight Diapers
Don’t put the diapers on tightly. Apart from restricting air-circulation, it can also cause chafing and excessive rubbing on the waist and thighs.
Sometimes also using a bit bigger diapers (to allow for better air circulation) helps.
If you use diaper covers, make sure they allow for good air-flow (don’t use plastic diaper covers).
Other Baby Products
Many baby products have ingredients which could potentially cause a diaper rash – baby powder, baby oil, lotions, baby cream, baby bath, etc. Pretty much everything that comes in contact with your babies skin could be the cause of an irritation. So try different products, and in general you are best advised to stay with fragrance-free products.
There are some products that can help:
Use a diaper rash cream to make the rash go away faster. There are many different creams out there, and not all of them are equal. We recommend the Triple Paste Cream.
In most cases antibiotics can be the cause of a diaper rash. However, in some rare cases when your infant’s rash is caused by a bacterial infection, your doctor might prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic.
Don’t Use Talcum Powder
In the past using talcum powder was common practice. Nowadays this is not recommended anymore. Why? Becase the talcum powder can find it’s way into your baby’s nose, mouth and lung. This can later lead to respiratory health problems.
Don’t Use Cornstarch
While many parents like to use cornstarch, it’s not a good choice for a baby rash, because it allows bacteria to grow.
Hydrocortisone As A Diaper Rash Treatment?
First of all, NEVER use hydrocortisone cream or ointment as a diaper rash treatment if your pediatrician hasn’t advised you to do so. Even though you can buy some hydrocortisone creams over the counter, this isn’t something you should apply easily on your baby’s skin. These products can have negative side effects and in our opinion isn’t particularly effective. Long-term use of hydrocortisone can have negative side effects and weaken the skin (making it thin, fragile and dry).
More about baby diaper rashes…