Prevention and management of diaper rash
Diaper rash is a common skin problem that occurs in babies mostly from the age of 0 to 1 year. It annoys the babies and parents alike. In this article, I am going to share with you my knowledge on how to prevent and cure your baby’s diaper rash.
Prevention of diaper rash
Since prevention is better than cure, I will write about the prevention first.
Remove the diaper immediately after it is soiled
Though the diaper ads claim that their products can absorb urine for 5 or 6 hours but still be safe for babies, you should never wait that long to change the diapers. I have come across many moms who change the diapers only after it becomes heavy with urine (as in the above image). BIG MISTAKE. The more time the infant’s skin is in contact with the urine the more is the chance of infection/rash formation.
Change the diaper immediately after it gets wet or soiled, irrespective of the cost (your baby’s skin is more important, right?). If you are too much concerned about the price, then you can wait till the baby pee for the second time, not more than that.
Clean and dry the area before putting a new diaper
Wipe the infant’s genital area and buttocks with a damp cloth and pat the area dry whenever you change the diaper. This way you can keep the area free of urine and moisture. Avoid using wet wipes often as its frequent use may develop allergic rashes in the area. It’s always advisable to use a soft and damp cotton cloth (at least once in a while).
Be gentle while cleaning
When you clean the baby after he/she had passed motion or urine, wipe the area in gentle strokes. Do not rub aggressively. Always start with the genital organs and move towards the buttocks, ending with the anus. If you go the opposite way, you would be taking all the microorganisms in the area right to the baby’s genital organ leading to urinary infection.
Tie Cotton clothes in-between
(Sorry about the picture, I had to use my daughter’s teddy. There are no babies in my home and my daughter is 4 years old so obviously I can’t call her for this).
You must find some time to keep the baby free of diapers (at least one or two hours a day). Tie cotton clothes in-between instead of using the diapers continuously; this facilitates enough air circulation in the area thus minimizing the risk of developing rashes.
Managing and curing diaper rashes
- Stop using the diapers right from the moment you find the redness.
- Use only soft (wet) cotton cloths or wet cotton to clean the area till the rashes have healed. Using wet wipes can cause a burning sensation because of the rashes.
- You can spread a dry sheet over your bed and lay the infant on it. This way you can protect your mattress from getting wet and soiled. There are various sizes available, and you can choose according to your needs.
- If you can’t afford to buy a dry sheet, you can buy a rubber sheet (mackintosh) or a plastic sheet instead. But you have to place a cotton cloth over the sheet or else the urine would flow into the bed
- If you can afford, you can even go for a disposable underpad as a substitute for the diapers. It is made of the same materials that constitute a diaper (well, almost), but it’s a little expensive.
- Do not cover the area when the infant has the rashes. Apply the rash healing ointment and leave the area uncovered. Use a dry sheet/ plastic sheet/ underpad to protect your bed. Diaper rashes would heal fast if you expose the affected area to air (free air circulation takes away the excess of moisture from the area thus speeding the healing process).
How to apply the ointment?
- Gently clean the area with a damp (soft) cotton cloth or wet cotton.
- Pat the area dry
- Apply the ointment over the rashes.
How often should you apply the ointment?
- If there is only slight redness, you need to apply the medicine only 2 or 3 times a day. But make sure you clean the area every time the baby pees or pass stools, Pat it dry and leave the area uncovered.
- If the rashes are severe, you will have to clean and dry the area EVERY TIME the baby passes motion or urine and apply the ointment. Yes, you heard it right; you have to clean and apply the cream/ointment each time the baby pee or pass stools. Once the rashes reduce, you can minimize the frequency to 2 or 3 times a day.
- Siloderm and Siloderm mixi are two effective ointments that most of the doctors recommend (check with your pediatrician).