The saying goes, “smooth as a baby’s bottom…” but what if your baby’s bottom is rashy and not smooth? It could be irritant diaper dermatitis (dermatitis = fancy word for rash).
Diaper rashes are very common. Why? Because babies are in diapers and they pee and poop and all that wetness and material gets smushed next to the skin. That irritates the skin, causing it to become red, scaly and sometimes peel off.
So what can you do to prevent irritant diaper dermatitis?
– Prevention is key. Keep the buttocks dry — as soon as the diaper gets wet, change it! The longer the urine or stool sits longer the skin, the more irritated the skin becomes.
– After cleansing, you can air drying the area.
– Apply a barrier cream. Barrier creams containing zinc are helpful and there are many brands available. It protects the skin from outside irritants, serving as a protective layer. You can also try an emollient such as plain old vaseline or Aquaphor healing ointment.
– Don’t go nuts with wipes. Being overly aggressive can actually damage the skin. Try using a squirt bottle to rinse off stool. Or just use your hands and water.
– Avoid wipes or soaps that have allergens (e.g. fragrances, etc).
If the diaper rash doesn’t go away, talk to your pediatrician or dermatologist. It may be time to make sure there isn’t extra bacteria or yeast hanging around or another more serious cause for a rash in the diaper area.