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In The Guide
One of the least enticing aspects of new parenthood is diaper duty, and its dreaded companion, diaper rash.
Diaper rash is a skin inflammation characterized by bright red patches that appear on your baby’s derriere. In severe cases, fever and a widespread rash may develop.
Luckily for you, mom, diaper rash is highly treatable and usually resolves within days or weeks. And don’t be too hard on yourself when it shows up on your baby: WebMD finds that almost every baby will get diaper rash at least once during the first 3 years of life.
So, here’s your ultimate guide to the world of the diaper rash.
You’ll learn why diaper rash occurs and some simple, but effective ways you can rid your baby of the scourge of this particular form of dermatitis. And we’ll let you know in which cases the rash may require a conversation with your pediatrician.
You’re most likely to notice diaper rash when your baby is 9-12 months old. That’s the age range in which your little one is sitting most of the time, and also eating solid foods likely to alter the acidity of his/her bowel movements.
There are, however, certain factors that can make your baby more prone to diaper rash. Chafing, skin sensitivity, and wet or infrequently changed diapers are often the culprits, according to Mayo Clinic.
Diarrhea or frequent bowel movements can also make your baby more likely to get diaper rash, says Johns Hopkins’ Health Library.
Also according to Johns Hopkins’ Health Library, babies taking antibiotics or who are breastfed by mothers taking antibiotics are more susceptible.
Sometime, despite your best efforts, a diaper rash is inevitable.
Luckily you don’t necessarily have to bring your baby to the doctor to treat his or her rash. Follow these simple steps for a few days at home if the symptoms of your baby’s diaper rash appear mild to moderate.
To make the most of your pediatrician visit, Mayo Clinic provides some helpful suggestions. First, list your baby’s signs and symptoms, and for how long your baby has had them.
You will also want to list key information about the baby’s medical conditions and food intake. If you’re breastfeeding, include any medications or new foods your baby may have been exposed to through breast milk.
Then list all products that come into contact with your baby’s skin, including all laundry detergent, diapers, soaps, lotions, etc. You may even want to take a snapshot of the ingredient lists on the products with your cell phone so your doctor knows exactly what’s in them.
A severe or persistent diaper rash may require treatment beyond what you can do at home without a prescription. According to WebMD, if your child appears to have a candida (yeast) infection, your doctor may recommend antifungal creams or medications.
If your child has impetigo (a bacterial infection), your pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics. In many cases, your doctor may recommend a brief course of mild topical steroid cream or ointment if the rash doesn’t appear linked to an infection.
Following certain habits on a regular basis will likely to decrease the likelihood that your baby will get diaper rash. You may want to consider making these practices a part of your normal diaper routine, according to WebMD.
Diaper rash is a nearly inevitable consequence of diaper use, so don’t beat yourself up if it happens to your baby.
The key is to identify diaper rash before it gets severe; then take steps at home to treat the rash to hopefully avoid a trip to the pediatrician. If you do have to go to the pediatrician, the rash should be an easy fix and is likely not cause for major alarm.
Have you avoided diaper rash with your baby? If so, what worked for you? If your baby got diaper rash, what solutions were the most effective? Please share your experience in the comments section so other moms can learn your tricks!
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