Diaper rash involves skin irritation among infants. Most children suffer from this rash at least once before toilet trained. The rash can cause redness and uncomfortable burning sensation on parts of the skin that is in contact and rubbing against the diaper.
Diaper rash develops if using a soiled diaper for a long period. Oftentimes, the child will initially develop the rash when starting solid food or using antibiotics. It is important to note that infants soil their diapers every 3-4 hours, thus it is vital to change them regularly. The acidic nature of human waste enables bacteria and yeast to thrive which can irritate the skin. In some cases, diapers that are too tight or do not properly fit can lead to chafing. Additionally, chemicals from the detergents used or other products that are exposed to the skin of the child can trigger irritation.
Characteristics of diaper rash
Diaper rash causes the skin to appear reddened and irritated. The affected skin might also feel warm when touched.
A doctor must be consulted if a bright red rash persist for more than 48 hours or accompanied by foul smelling urine which might be an indication of dehydration. In some instances, seek medical care if the rashes form blisters, become weepy or a fever develops.
The commonly used topical ointments and creams for diaper rash include:
- Zinc oxide
- Hydrocortisone cream to reduce the swelling
- Antifungal or antibiotic creams to deal with infections
- Prescription steroid creams and ointments
Occasional episodes of diaper rash are easy to manage with over-the-counter medications and measures at homes. Remember that prevention is the best though by regularly changing diapers.
- Make sure that the diaper properly fits and not too tight. The diaper must allow air to enter the sensitive areas. It is recommended to allow the baby to take naps without diapers on.
- Avoid using soap or wipes that contain perfumes or alcohol since these can cause drying that can worsen the symptoms.
- Avoid using talcum powder since it can be harmful if inhaled.