DIAPER RASH FAQ

At some time or another, most of our babies do come down with various diaper rashes despite our efforts to prevent them.  Gathered here are some of the solutions or remedies suggested often on the SAH-AP list.


 


  • Q. How do I know if my child has a yeast diaper rash?

    A.
    A diaper rash caused by yeast usually is bright red and raw, covers a large area, and is surrounded by red dots.  You can suspect yeast as the cause when a treated rash doesn't disappear in 3-4 days.

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  • Q. What is the best way to get rid of a diaper rash caused by yeast?

    A.
    Many people use LotriminAF on a yeast diaper rash.  This product used to be given only by prescription but is now available over the counter.  Some would rather try other remedies before using this though.  Some of those remedies include:
    • Let your baby go diaperless in a sunny spot as much as possible. Yeast thrives in a dark, moist environment, so sun and air will help. If you're living in a place that isn't sunny right now, try one of the full-spectrum light bulbs used to treat SAD.
    • Both of you should start taking acidophilus, to help get your systems in balance again (and in your case, to prevent thrush on your nipples). Also avoid sweets and yeast! You can also apply acidophilus directly to your baby's bottom.
    • Use a decoction of white oak bark, which has anti-fungal
      properties. You take 4 tablespoons of white oak bark (the actual bark, which you buy from a herbalist). Simmer it for 20 minutes in one quart of water, then strain. Return the liquid to the pot and simmer it until it has reduced its volume by about half. Store it in the fridge for 2-3 days, and apply to the baby's bottom (or your nipples, if you get thrush) frequently.
    • Paint baby's bottom with gentian violet (once a day for 3-4 days), which you can buy from small drugstores. It usually works very well, but is also very messy - it turns everything purple! Also it can irritate the skin.
    • Make a very weak vinegar solution (1 T white vinegar to 1 cup of water) and swab your baby's bottom with it. It will make your baby's bottom inhospitable to yeast.
    • Check your health food stores for a papaw ointment. In
      Australia, it is "Lucas' Papaw Ointment". The only active ingredient in it is fermented papaw.  It is good for boils, burns, chaffing, cuts, cracked skin, gravel rash, splinters, open wounds, insect bites, and *nappy rash*. It does have 0.1 mg/g Potassium sorbate, as a preservative. (Thanks Laura M. and Lizo for passing much of this information along to us!)

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  • Q. What are the risk factors for diaper rash?

    A. Here is a list of the common risk factors:
    • Infrequent diaper changes.
    • Friction from rough diapers.
    • Improper laundering of diapers.
    • Family history of skin allergies.
    • Hot, humid weather.
    • Diarrhea.

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  • Q. What can I do to prevent diaper rashes?

    A.
    There are many things you can do to help lessen the number and severity of diaper rashes.  These include:
    • Change diapers frequently.
    • For cloth diaper, rinse them twice to remove detergents and other chemicals after washing.
    • Leave diaper off for 10-30 minutes between diaper changes for air exposure.
    • Corn starch reduces friction and can be used at diaper changes to prevent diaper rash. Avoid talcum powder because of the risk of inhalation pneumonia.
    • Experiment with different types/brands of diapers.
    • Place properly fitting diapers on your infant.
    • When changing baby, gently wipe from front to back and pat the area dry.
    • Avoid moisture trapping diapers or clothing.
    • Don't use irritating soaps to clean the baby's bottom.
    • Use plain water instead of diaper wipes.
    • Apply a thick layer of protective coating to tender skin.

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  • Q. What are some common remedies for a regular red, sore diaper rash?

    A.
    Here are some possible remedies:
    • Expose the buttocks to air frequently.
    • Change diapers frequently.
    • Avoid rubber or plastic pants.
    • Use disposable diaper liners, which allow urine to pass through to the diaper while keeping the baby's skin dry.
    • Discontinue using baby lotion, powder, ointment or baby oil unless prescribed to you.
    • Apply non-prescription petroleum jelly, lanolin-based ointment or zinc oxide ointment to the rash at the earliest sign of diaper rash, and 2 or 3 times a day thereafter.
    • Anti-inflammatory ointments or creams, such as hydrocortisone, nystatin or miconazole, applied to the skin may help relieve the rash.
    • Avoid foods that cause diarrhea.
    • Wendey H. says she uses a "zincoxide cream from a Canadian bath shop called "Dans un Jardin". This bottle is HUGE and will probably last through all our kids, and we plan at least 3."
    • Tana suggests laying the "naked baby on a lambskin or near a sunny window."
    • Mix 2 drops each of essential oils of sandalwood, peppermint (Mentha piperita), and lavender (Lavandula officinalis) in 4 tbsp. of a carrier lotion or oil such as sweet almond oil; gently apply the lotion to the reddened area of skin.
    • Calendula (Calendula officinalis) cream may relieve diaper rash.
    • Here is an ointment you can make at home:
      1 tbsp. each: dried chickweed (Stellaria media) leaves, powdered marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) root, and powdered comfrey (Symphytum officinale) root.
      1/8 tsp. goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) root powder.
      1 cup sweet almond oil.
      1/4 cup beeswax.
      *In a cast-iron pan, heat the herbs in the oil for 5 to 10 minutes. Don't let them burn. Add beeswax and let it melt. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate until solid. Apply when you diaper your baby. The rash should improve after three or four applications. Discard after two months.

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  • Q. And what would you suggest using on an extremely painful, red, bleeding diaper rash?

    A.
    Most of the suggestions listed in the above answer can also be applied to a more severe rash.  Here are a couple more suggestions:
    • Triple Paste - it is a cream you can have your pharmacist order for you if they don't have it stocked.  It is an OTC cream and is very gentle and effective.
    • Dommeboro - This is a product commonly used for rashes like poison ivy, etc and is very soothing.  You can mix one packet of the powder into 2c. warm water. Then soak a soft washcloth in the mixture, and apply cloth to baby's bottom for 10-15 minutes.  If you have an active toddler or baby that won't sit still for the treatment, you can place inside their diaper or a diaper cover for the 10-15 min.  This should be repeated several times.
    • Mylanta - yes it is for heart burn but it works. Let the bottle of Mylanta sit on the table until it separates then pour off the top of the bottle that is mostly water then use a little of the remainder on the diaper rash until the rash is gone.
    • Use vinegar in the bath water and let the child soak for about 10 minutes - fill tub to waistline, and add bout 1/4 -1/2 cup white vinegar.
    • Just rinse the baby's bottom in the sink at each change instead of using wipes.
    • Other creams to try: Dr Smith's Diaper Ointment or Fanny Cream - you may have to ask your pharmacist to order it for you.

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      *Please consult your doctor or health care provider if a rash doesn't disappear after 3-4 days of home remedies or if the rash worsens.*


      Disclaimer:  Information here is not intended as medical advice and should not be used to replace your child's doctor's opinion.


      Information for this page was collected by Donya Platt.

 

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