Diaper rash is an incredibly common and troublesome condition. Most babies suffer from it at one time or another. There are many possible causes. It is horrible to see your child suffer in discomfort. Here are the 5 most important do’s and don’ts to help your child.
- Gently wash the area with warm water with each diaper change.
It is important to clean the area, but realize that skin sensitivities may be a factor. Try to avoid wipes or soaps that are perfumed or full of chemicals as these might further irritate. If you suspect your baby has sensitive skin you might be better off with a simple cotton cloth or tissues or cotton balls. If you must use soap, use something gentle and simple like our unscented bar soap or Liquid Soap Soother.
- Consider the type and fit of the diapers.
The type of diaper can be a strong factor. If the diaper does not fit well it can cause rubbing and chafing and make the skin reactive. In some cases the materials of the diaper can cause an allergic contact dermatitis. The diapers can also create a hot damp area that makes the baby prone to skin reactivity. You can try a different brand or maybe switch to cloth.
- Investigate food sensitivities as a possible cause.
If you see a red ring right around the babies anus and their bowels are off too you might suspect a reaction to a new food. If the baby is still breast feeding it might even be from something you ate. See if you can correlate the symptoms to when you or the baby have eaten particular foods and then avoid them.
- Take a nice little soak.
Who doesn’t like a little bath? Let baby sit in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Play a few games. Splash about. It can be fun and also moderate the discomfort. Use only the gentlest soaps like our Liquid Soap Soother and bar soap as stronger soaps might also irritate or sting the skin affected by the rash.
- Let baby go bare-ass naked often!!
Air out your baby’s butt. Put down a sheet and let the baby really ‘hang out’. Give the skin a chance to get some air and get out of those hot, damp diapers. The crib with a waterproof sheet is a good option, or put down a towel to avoid accidents. Take pictures and threaten to share them with future boyfriends/girlfriends when your child is a teenager.
- Don’t give yourself a hard time.
Almost all children experience diaper rash at one time or another. Diaper rash is rarely cause by neglect or inattentive parents. Of course, you should change the diapers as soon as possible once soiled, but you already know and do that and still there is a rash. Using this article, be a detective and try to figure out the real cause.
- Do not rub the area.
The friction can further irritate and make the already sensitive skin more vulnerable and reactive. After washing with just warm water, gentle pat dry the area with a soft tissue or cloth.
- Don’t use overly complex or goopy or perfumed products.
One possible cause of diaper rash is allergic reactions. The more ingredients in a product the more possibility of a reaction or sensitivity. Better to use something simple and effective. Our Diaper Skin Soother Plus has just 6 simple ingredients: beeswax, olive oil, and 4 herbs. Nothing else. You can’t get much simpler than that.
Another possible cause of diaper rash is chafing. Thick, goopy products may cause more rubbing and make it harder for the skin to breath. That is why we make simple balms that gently coat the skin without being sticky.
If you are using cloth diapers you might also suspect your detergent or fabric softeners. They may be too harsh, even if they claim to be “for babies”. You might try another brand.
- Don’t forget to check the products you use on the Cosmetic Safety Database.
You can check the safety of the skincare products you use on Skin Deep the site from the Cosmetic Safety Database that rates products on a scale of 0-10 for risk according to the safety of their ingredients. A zero indicates little or no risk while a 10 means they suspect the product to be harmful and dangerous. It is a great resource to check all of your skin care products. You can find it at: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/
Thus far, all of the Emily Skin Soother products have been rated a zero by the Cosmetic Safety Database.
- Don’t ignore severe or long lasting rashes.
If the symptoms are severe and last for more than 72 hours or if the baby is dehydrated, has open blisters or sores, or ongoing diarrhea check with your pediatrician. These things may be the signs of a more serious condition or a more persistent rash caused by a yeast infection.
Mike Arsenault, Lic. Ac. is a hospital-credentialed acupuncturist in Massachusetts with over a decade of experience. He is also the founder of the herbal skin care company Emily Skin Soothers (www.emilyskinsoothers.com) which he developed after his daughter was born with eczema. It should not surprise you that they offer a Diaper Skin Soother Plus product.
These statements are simple common-sense suggestions and should not be taken as medical advice. If you have medical concerns see your doctor.