5 Causes of Diaper Rash, and How to Treat It

Being a baby is tough. They can’t talk, they can’t walk, and their bums are forever at risk of being itchy. Diaper rash is a real threat to little ones, leaving them cranky and uncomfortable, completely at your mercy for relief.

But what causes diaper rash? And what can you do to help?

  1. The Diaper: Seems simple enough, right? After all, they call it “diaper rash” – or “Nappy rash” in the UK – for a reason. (Actually, it’s called “diaper rash” because it occurs in the diaper area—but you get the point). Diapers can often be the cause of those itchy, red areas of skin your baby is suffering from. They may be experiencing a reaction to the chemicals used in the diapers, or they may just be getting a rash as a result of too much wetness. Chafing can also be an issue to contend with when diapers are in use.
  2. Food Sensitivities: If it’s not the diaper, it could be that your baby is allergic to something he or she is eating. This may be especially true if the rash is also on other parts of the body.
  3. Introducing Foods: But your child doesn’t have to be allergic to what they are eating for a diaper rash to result. The simple act of introducing new foods can have an affect on their bowel movements, which can result in a greater risk of diaper rash.
  4. Infection: Did you know that babies are just as capable of getting infections down there as you are? A yeast infection could absolutely be to blame for a bad diaper rash.
  5. Antibiotics: Antibiotics are sometimes necessary for getting healthy, but they have the downfall of destroying some of the good gut bacteria that usually keeps the bad at bay. If your baby has been on antibiotics recently, that could explain the rash.

Treating diaper rash is usually something you can do from the comfort of your own home. First, strip your baby down and let him or her go diaper free as much as possible while the rash is healing. Some parents find that putting some towels down on the ground for baby to roll around on, simply anticipating accidents will happen, can be worth the fresh air and all its healing qualities.

You should also have a good over-the-counter diaper rash cream on hand for at least the first two years of your baby’s life. You never know when that might come in handy! Avoid the use of zinc oxide diaper creams on broken skin, as it can further irritate raw skin.

Keeping baby clean and dry can help to prevent diaper rashes, and avoiding diapers and wipes with alcohol or fragrance in them can also help.

If you are dealing with a rash that seems particularly resistant to at home measures, make an appointment with your pediatrician. There may be an infection going on that requires stronger treatment.

Written by Leah Campbell, infertility advocate, adoptive mama, writer and editor. Find me @sifinalaska on Twitter.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general informational basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.