Nobody likes to see a baby suffer with a diaper rash, and if you have had children like me you will have been familiar with this condition from time to time. I have changed many hundreds of diapers when my four children were infants and can offer some sound advice!
Diaper rash usually goes away on its own, and in most cases your child will cease to have episodes of diaper rash once he or she has been successfully potty trained and no longer requires the use of a diaper.
Are you determined to find a quick solution for this annoying and painful condition? Have you tried a lot of various natural cremes and ointments without success? You will find several handy hints and tips that will help you resolve your child’s diaper rash quickly.
Two of the main points I like to emphasise is that it is very important to change the baby’s diaper frequently and make sure that the baby’s bottom is dry after you change a diaper and put a new one on. Use a hair dryer to keep the baby’s bottom very dry before you place the next diaper on. Keep a hair dryer handy near the changing table for this reason, especially if your child is prone to diaper rash. Keep the dryer’s temperature down and be sure to keep it well away from baby’s fingers!
A yeast infection tends to stay for several days and is not responsive to normal diaper rash treatments, look for a red rash involving the skin folds of the groin area and be suspicious in particular if your child has recently had antibiotic treatment or if you have if you have been breastfeeding the affected child.
It can be difficult sometimes to determine if your baby has a diaper rash, usually caused by excessive wetness, sensitivity or chafing, or a yeast infection. You can generally tell if it is a yeast infection because it will be a well-defined rash and bright red with raised borders. You may also find satellite lesions, red patches that have formed a slight distance away from the main red skin lesion. Check to see if your child has thrush or a cheesy white discharge (girl) or whitish rash around the penis (boy) that is another indication of a yeast infection.
Prevention of a child’s yeast infection is not unlike preventing a woman’s or man’s yeast infection. To reduce your child’s chances of developing and maintaining a diaper yeast infection, I highly recommend the following ten rules. You will notice that quite a few of the lifestyle and dietary recommendations are based on the fact that a diaper yeast infection thrives in an environment which is warm, dark and moist and is fed on sugars and yeast foods. Knowing this, think about increasing the air flow, changing diapers frequently and removing the food supply that yeast likes to feed on, the sugar and yeast-laden foods.
1. Frequent Diaper Changes
The first and most important step if you want a quick resolution of your child’s diaper rash is to always change the baby right away if you know he or she is wet or soiled. In particular, it is quite important to change a newborn baby’s diaper very regularly; it may be as frequent as every two to three hours. If your child is prone to diaper rash then change his or her diaper frequently regardless of their age. Remember, urine and faeces will be the greatest source of irritation if there is a diaper rash and with changing a diaper frequently you will reduce this source of irritation greatly.
2. Leave the diaper of regularly.
After cleaning, the skin should be exposed to air, leaving the diaper of for several hours if possible. You will find that diaper rash will resolve more quickly by frequent airing of your baby’s skin. Ensure your child is kept in a warm and dry environment and that the skin is allowed to dry sufficiently between diaper changes. Exposure to the sun in the earlier hours of the morning or late in the afternoon will also found to be beneficial.
3. Avoid 100% cotton diapers.
If your baby has an existing diaper rash, avoid 100% cotton diapers no matter how soft, fluffy and environmentally friendly they are! Mothers who use pure cotton diapers also tend to use a plastic diaper cover which will cause even more aggravation by prohibiting adequate ventilation of the affected area. It is best to switch to the modern synthetic variety as this type of diaper tends to draw any moisture away from the skin.
4. Cleanse Well
Clean and carefully wipe the baby’s bottom at each changing. Be gentle and take care because the irritated skin will be quite sensitive and rubbing may contribute to the rash. Use unscented wipes and preferably low allergy wipes or just use plain tepid water and a soft cotton cloth. Wash the skin with a very mild soap like a goat’s milk soap, leave it air dry or lightly pat the area down.
5. Change Diaper and Diaper Wipe Brands
If you use disposable diapers, try different brands. Use non-irritating or “low allergy” brands and select diapers that fit your child well with less overall friction. If you consistently find that diaper rash occurs regardless of the brand diaper you try, then consider using cloth diapers if there is consistent trouble with disposable diapers. Rinse cotton diapers with a half cup of apple cider vinegar in the rinse cycle and add 1 teaspoon of water soluble tea tree oil to this mixture. Good advice.
6. Diaper rash cream
I have found in most cases of diaper rash that a high-quality Calendula cream works best. Always use a 100% natural diaper rash cream that does not contain any chemicals or irritants. A high quality cream or ointment can stop rashes of many kinds, so be sure to use the cream with each diaper changing if your baby is prone to having rashes.
Avoid petroleum based jelly (crude oil derivative) or steroid creams or ointments as a preventative daily cream. One of my favourite products when I used to change countless diapers of my four children was a lanolin based product, a naturally occurring animal fat produced by sheep to keep their skin and fleece waterproof. Emu oil is good too, and so is jojoba oil.
Could the infant’s rash be caused by a contact or allergic dermatitis? Stop using any new soaps or detergents that may be causing the rash. Incredible, but sometimes you will find those chemical skin concoctions your doctor recommends may even be the very cause of your child’s skin rash or aggravate an existing skin complaint.
7. Special treatment for severe diaper rash
Start by gently cleaning baby’s bottom, then soak in a large bowl of tepid water to which you have added 1 teaspoon of water soluble tea tree oil. Pat the skin gently dry rather using a soft cotton cloth than using a wiping motion. Be sure to let the area dry thoroughly, use a hair dryer turned to very low heat to ensure a complete dryness. Allow the skin to air thoroughly before applying a small amount of cream. For heavy duty use, use a white zinc oxide cream which is thicker and may be necessary for rash-prone babies. Your chemist or pharmacy will be able to help here. Be very careful with the diet and ensure all acid forming and sugary foods and drinks are removed from the diet, and from the mother’s diet if she is breast feeding her child.
8. Certain foods may worsen the rash
Read what I wrote just previously about food allergies and food intolerances. Are you breastfeeding exclusively? Then you will want to be careful with what you eat and drink in particular, because everything you eat and drink will affect the quality of your breast milk and consequently your child. If this is the case, avoid the key allergenic foods (see above) until the rash has cleared.
9. Diaper rash caused by a yeast infection
Has your child recently had a course of antibiotics or have you if you are breastfeeding? If the child has a fungal diaper rash be especially careful of sweet foods and do follow my Candida Crusher Diet as outlined in my book. Calendula or Tea Tree Oil cream will be found to be very effective as they are both anti-fungal. Be sure to give your child a pro-biotic capsule or a small amount of powder daily. If you breastfeed, take a pro-biotic twice daily yourself.
10.Treat systemically, not just the diaper rash
Just like any form of yeast infection, treat your child systemically as well as locally to get a quick and permanent result. If your child develops diaper rash and is breastfed by you then you are best to change your diet for optimal and lasting results. A better outcome will occur with rest and relaxation for poor mom!