What to do when my baby has diaper rash?

Until your little one starts potty training, he/she is susceptible to develop diaper rash. Diaper rash can be very painful to your baby especially when it’s very severe. In this article we will discover together some useful tips to prevent and treat diaper rash.

1. What is diaper rash?
Diaper rash is a common type of dermatitis (skin inflammation) that occurs in babies’ bottoms. It spontaneously goes away when the bay stops wearing a diaper. There are many reasons for diaper rash: if the diaper stays wet for a long period of time, if the baby has diarrhea, when your baby starts eating solid food (stool composition changes and can cause some inflammation) or if the baby takes antibiotics (antibiotics kills good and bad bacteria which can help yeast development causing diaper rash). Diaper rash looks like big red patches that are sometimes itchy and painful. It is usually easy to treat at home with some topical products.

2. How to prevent diaper rash?
The trick to prevent diaper rash is to keep your baby’s bottom always hydrated and to avoid his/her skin to be in contact with a wet diaper for long. That’s why it’s very important to:
– Change your baby’s diaper as soon as it becomes smelly or full.
– Wash your baby’s bottom with running tap water and soap (much more effective than using wipes, we don’t want any traces of urine or stool to be left on the skin).
– Make sure to dry your baby’s bottom very well using a cotton towel before wearing a new clean diaper.
– Before wearing the diaper, apply a diaper rash cream that contains zinc, olive oil and panthenol. Zinc helps the formation of new skin tissues, olive oil hydrates the skin (hydration is key for a healthy skin) and has some antioxidant properties while panthenol nourishes the skin and has some anti-inflammatory properties.

3. How to treat diaper rash?
If your baby develops diaper rash, don’t freak out. It will take a couple of days (3 days average) to resolve if you follow these simple steps:
– As mentioned in the prevention section, change the diaper often using running tap water (preferably warm water) and soap (a hypoallergenic one would be good). Then, dry the bottom with a clean cotton towel.
– Apply silicone gel in the affected area as it reduces inflammation and it is semi-occlusive. If silicone gel is not available, you can use any cream with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial/antifungal properties.
– If fever develops with the diaper rash, some pus appears in the bottom area or the diaper rash doesn’t get any better with medications, please consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Even if diaper rash is common in babies, preventing diaper rash is much easier than treating it. That’s why it is important to follow these simple prevention tips during every diaper change.

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Dr. Reem Khalaf Bachelor of Pharmacy and Biotechnology (German University in Cairo) instagram account : babychef_eg
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