Diaper rash and babies are one topic that never gets done with, never gets through. Almost all babies contact diaper rash in one stage or the other, no matter how hard parents try, only few has been able to raise babies without them experiencing this skin problem. At times, it gets cured all by itself, other times, it takes medical treatments to send it away. Like the saying goes “Prevention is better than cure” so in other for your baby not to develop a diaper rash, it’s best if you learn how to prevent it now.
If you want to know how you can prevent diaper rash, this article contains all you need to know. Before we look at how to prevent it, let’s look at what this diaper rash really is, what causes it and the symptoms to identify it.
What is diaper rash?
Also known as irritant diaper dermatitis, Diaper rash is a common inflamed skin condition with babies, particularly at the bottom area. It causes red or pinkish patches on affected areas and is usually experienced by babies of 12 months and below.
What causes diaper rash?
There are many known causes of diaper rash, your baby can get diaper rash through any of the following reasons;
1. Wearing a soiled diaper for long; This is the main and primary cause of diaper rash. When your baby diaper gets soiled by poo or urine and you let it stay on for long without changing it, there are high chances that the skin will develop diaper rash.
2. Tight fitting diapers; Many mothers are guilty of this, they always wear their baby diapers so tight that there is no much space for air to get in probably because they want to prevent blowouts. This is one of the causes of diaper rash, if the diaper is too tight on your baby, it may chafe your baby’s skin leading to irritations and rashes.
3. Allergic reactions; Your baby’s skin may have an allergy for some products like soaps, wipes, cream and diapers too. Coming in contact with such products may result in the skin being irritated and cause diaper rashes and other contact dermatitis.
4. Yeast or Bacteria Infection; This is very common, the fact that the diaper area is usually wet and moist makes it vulnerable to be infected by bacteria or yeast, this infection may lead to diaper rash.
5. Change of diet; Yes, the food a baby eats may also be a cause of diaper rash. This is likely to happen when the baby starts eating solid foods, if you are still nursing and breastfeeding your baby, what you eat may also be the case.
What are the symptoms of Diaper rash?
Talking about the symptoms of diaper rash, you are likely to notice it once you see it. The infected area (mostly the bottom area) will appear reddish and inflamed. Also, if your baby cries when you are carrying out a diaper change or when you are washing the bottom area, you should check for a diaper rash infection.
Let’s now get to know the possible ways of preventing diaper rash.
How to prevent diaper rash
Below are some tips that can help you prevent diaper rash;
1. Frequently Change your Baby Diapers; This should be at the back of your mind all the time if you want to prevent diaper rash. You shouldn’t leave your baby diapers – especially the wet ones – on longer than it should. No matter how comfortable your baby may seem wearing a diaper, you should always make sure to check if it is soiled, if it is, remove it immediately and replace with a clean one. Even if your baby is in a daycare or crèche, you should instruct the staffs looking after the babies to change your baby’s diaper when it’s due.
2. Rinse your baby’s bottom between diaper change; You should not just remove your baby’s diaper and put another one on. Mothers don’t usually take note of this especially when the diaper is not too wet, some just use a cloth to randomly clean and put on the next diaper. This should not be if you want to prevent diaper rash. To rinse, you should use warm water from a pail, water bottle, sink or bath tub, you can as well use a damp cloth to do this. If you want to make use of diaper wipes or soap, ensure that it is free from alcohol and fragrance.
3. Allow your baby to dry properly; After rinsing your baby’s bottom, always ensure that you allow it to dry properly. You should not put on a new diaper when the bottom area is still damp or moist. It is advisable that you allow the skin to air dry, you can wait for about 10 – 15 minutes for this to happen. In other cases you can make use of a towel to clean the bottom dry, while cleaning try not to rub too hard on the skin, rubbing hard may irritate your baby’s skin which may result to the diaper rash you are trying to prevent.
4. Don’t scrub your baby’s bottom; I already dropped a little hint about this in the previous tip. Scrubbing can irritate the skin and its not just for babies. Even as an adult, if you scrub too much on your skin it may cause skin irritations. This is one of the ways your baby can develop diaper rash on other body areas other than the bottom. Whatever you are doing, whether bathing or just wiping your baby clean, try not to apply too much pressure, be gentle because your baby’s skin is very sensitive.
5. Invest in a good diaper rash cream; Getting and making use of a good diaper rash creams is one of the most effective ways of protecting your baby from developing diaper rashes. These creams act like a shield over your baby’s tender skin, so the possibility of your baby getting infected is lessened. You should try to apply the diaper rash cream during every diaper change. However, note that these diaper rash creams all contain different ingredients, your baby may have an allergy to some of them. Try to do a proper research and look for recommendations so that you can pick one that your baby will be OK with.
6. Wash your hands thoroughly after each diaper change; If you finish carrying out a diaper change and you do not properly wash your hands, there are chances that your babies might get infected when you touch or carry them which may result to them getting diaper rashes. If you want your baby to stay clean and free from diaper rash, you as a mother should also do your part in staying clean by washing your hands thoroughly after each diaper change. You can also try making use of disposable gloves during a diaper change if you can.
7. Wash your baby diapers properly; When I say wash your baby diapers properly, I’m talking about the cloth diapers if that is what you make use of. Ensure that your baby cloth diapers are clean and free from any skin irritating substance. You can wash these diapers in hot water with a mild soap or detergent, it is advisable that you pre-soak it before washing to get a more effective result. You can as well make use of a cloth diaper sprayer to do this as well, look for a quality one that is very effective and will give you what you want.
8. Use a diaper that is less absorbent; While this might not seem too important, it is still one of the things you can do to prevent diaper rashes. The reason why you should use a diaper that is less absorbent is simply because they contain less moisture. A diaper that absorbs so much moisture may leave your baby’s skin wet most of the time making it vulnerable to developing diaper rash. Whether you are making use of cloth diapers or disposable ones, try to look for the ones that are not too absorbent.
9. Watch out for skin irritants; These irritants may be skin creams, soap, perfumes and more. If a particular product has ingredients that can irritate your baby’s delicate skin, you should endeavor to stay very far from it if you don’t want your baby developing diaper rashes. If possible, try using only warm water on your baby’s bottom area. If you want to make use of soaps, make sure that it is free from skin irritating ingredients. You can also try applying lavender oil as it contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
10. Leave your baby diaper free when you can; There is no commandment or law that says your baby should wear diapers all the time. You can leave your babies without a diaper on most of the time, about an hour or two especially when indoors.
There you have it, preventing diaper rash is not an impossible task, if you know what to do and you do it, it may be a lot more easier than you think.