November 15, 2015

PREVENTING DIAPER RASH

What does diaper rash look like?
Diaper rash doesn't always look the same. But if your baby's diaper area looks irritated and red, chances are he or she has it. Your baby's skin may also be a little puffy and warm when you touch it.
Diaper rash may be very mild – a few prickly red spots in a small area – or quite extensive, with tender red bumps that spread to your baby's tummy and thighs. There's no need to panic, though: Dealing with diaper rash is part and parcel of baby care, especially in the first year or so of your baby's life
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How did my baby get diaper rash?
Diaper rash can be caused by anything from a new food to your baby's own urine. Here are the most likely culprits:
• Wetness. Even the most absorbent diaper leaves some moisture on your baby's delicate skin. And when your baby's urine mixes with bacteria from his/her stool, it breaks down and forms ammonia, which can be very harsh.
Although a baby left in a dirty diaper for too long is more likely to develop diaper rash, any baby with sensitive skin can get a rash, even if his or her parents are diligent diaper changers.
• Chafing or chemical sensitivity. Your baby's diaper rash may be the result of a diaper rubbing against the skin, especially if your baby is particularly sensitive to chemicals like the fragrances in a disposable diaper or the detergents used to wash a cloth diaper. It could also be that a lotion or powder you're using for diaper duty doesn't agree with your baby's delicate skin.
• New foods. It's common for babies to get diaper rash when they start eating solid foods or are introduced to a new food. Any new food changes the composition of the stool, and it might increase your baby's bowel movements as well. If you're breastfeeding, your baby's skin could even be reacting to something you're eating.
• Infection. The diaper area is warm and moist – just the way bacteria and yeast like it. So it's easy for a bacterial or yeast infection to flourish there and cause a rash, especially in the cracks and folds of your baby's skin.
In addition, babies on antibiotics (or whose breastfeeding mothers are on antibiotics) sometimes get yeast infections because antibiotics reduce the number of healthy bacteria that help keep yeast in check as well as the harmful bacteria they're meant to destroy. Antibiotics can also cause diarrhea, which can contribute to diaper rash.
Thrush is a type of oral yeast infection. Some babies with thrush develop a yeast infection in their diaper area too.
Should I take my baby to the doctor for a diaper rash?
It's probably not necessary. With some diligence, you should be able to say good riddance to your baby's rash in three or four days without a doctor's visit.
Do call the doctor if the rash looks as though it may be infected (has blisters, pus-filled pimples, oozing yellow patches, or open sores). The doctor may prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic for your baby.
For a diaper rash caused by a yeast infection, your doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication to use in the diaper area. Also call the doctor if your baby develops a fever or his or her rash doesn't go away after several days of home treatment.
What's the best way to treat diaper rash?
Keep your baby clean and dry by changing his or her diaper frequently. That may mean getting him or her up at night for a diaper change.
Rinse the diaper area well at each diaper change. Some parents keep cotton balls and a squirt bottle or an insulated container of warm water at the changing table for easy, gentle cleanups. Pat your baby's skin dry – don't rub!
Using a barrier ointment – one that forms a protective layer on the skin – after every diaper change can help protect your baby's irritated skin from stool and urine. There are several good barrier ointments on the market, including petroleum ointment and white zinc oxide, which is thicker and good for protecting very sensitive skin.
Put your baby's diaper on loosely or use a diaper that's a little big to allow for better air circulation. If your baby wears cloth diapers, don't use a plastic cover. If you buy disposables, try a different brand to see if that helps.
When the weather is warm and your baby can play outside or in a room with an easy-clean floor, leave his or her diaper (and ointment) off for as long as possible every day. Exposure to the air will speed healing.
How can I prevent diaper rash?
Here are some good preventive measures:
The best defense against diaper rash is a dry bottom, so change your baby's diaper as soon as possible after it becomes wet or soiled.
Clean your baby's genital area thoroughly with each diaper change. Pat the skin dry – never rub it.
If your baby seems prone to diaper rash, coat his or her bottom with a thin layer of protective ointment after each diaper change.
When your baby starts eating solid foods, introduce one new item at a time. Waiting a few days between each introduction will make it easier to determine whether sensitivity to the food causes a diaper rash. If it does, you can eliminate that food for the time being.
Don't secure the diaper so tightly that there's no room for air to circulate.
Don't wash cloth diapers with detergents that contain fragrances, and skip the fabric softener – both can irritate your baby's skin.
Use hot water and double rinse your baby's diapers. You might also add half a cup of vinegar to the first rinse water to eliminate alkaline irritants.
Breastfeed your baby for as long as you can. Breastfeeding boosts your baby's resistance to infections in general and makes him or her less likely to need antibiotics, which can contribute to diaper rash.
If your baby goes to daycare, make sure that caregivers understand the importance of taking these measures to prevent diaper rash.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks dear for this info..most mums dont know about this. My son is 16mnts old and has never had diaper rash,i use sudocream each time i change his diaper. More strength to we mommas!!