Solutions for Serious Diaper Rash

diaper rash

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Solutions for Serious Diaper Rash

Diaper rash can pop up at any time for any reason, or at least that is what it feels like as a parent. Seeing your baby’s poor irritated bum can really be heartbreaking. You feel responsible. All three of my boys suffered severe diaper rashes caused by everything from food and detergent sensitivities to just extremely sensitive skin. Everything would be completely fine and then — BAM — it would be a horror scene. Finding out what the cause is can be just as difficult as knowing how best to treat it, but with a few simple tips you can save both time and misery.


Finding the culprit

If you cloth diaper and have been noticing that your babies have been having more frequent rashes, add ½ cup of distilled white vinegar to the diapers each time you wash them. This strips the ammonia that builds up in the cloth, neutralizes odors, and removes any detergent build up from the cloth. All of that build-up can cause severe rashes.

Food can often be a trigger for acidic poop that causes the terrible open sore-type diaper rash. When my oldest was a baby cantaloupe was his absolute favorite food, but I found that he could only have so much because after he digested it his poo would be so acidic that it would literally burn the skin off his bum. I felt terrible that it took me so long to catch on that this happened every single time he ate a large quantity of cantaloupe in one sitting. Cantaloupe isn’t a citrus fruit or a common allergen, so at first it did not occur to me to be the reason for the problem. It wasn’t until I took one of my twins to the allergist for asthma that I learned that children can actually have digestive sensitivities to food. So my advice is to be watchful. Foods that are commonly known to cause acidic poop, but are normally part of a toddler diet, could also be causing diaper rash for your child. These are apples, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and peaches. Try eliminating the common causes from their diet and bring them back in one by one to exclude or include any of them as the cause for your baby’s diaper rash.

If you cloth diaper your detergent can also be a diaper rash trigger. Baby skin is so very sensitive. Try switching out the brand you use for your next wash and see if it makes a difference. Make sure that whatever brand you are using is free of perfumes and dyes. I have also found that powder detergents cause much less build-up in the diapers versus liquid detergent.IMG_20130702_085134_430

Medications like antibiotics are known causes for sudden diaper rashes. If you have started a new prescription recently and have noticed that your baby has a rash, contact your pediatrician immediately. Depending on the illness they may switch you to another prescription right away, or they could provide you with a prescription-strength diaper rash cream to help you power through until the end of the prescription. Either way, do not stop taking the medication that is causing the irritation without first consulting with your doctor. Giving your child probiotics to restore good gut bacteria could also help.

If your child suffers from frequent diaper rashes make sure that you are using wipes that are free of alcohol, dyes and perfumes. This tends to cause even more irritation to the inflamed area. Look for wipes with the sensitive/unscented label.

Calming the inflammation

Naked time every day for as long as you are able is really great for reducing and healing diaper rash. For a small infant you can simply lay them on a large towel wearing only a t-shirt on your kitchen linoleum. If you have a boy it helps if you drape a hand towel or bath towel over their diaper area. Any type of breeze seems to turn on the sprinklers immediately. Covering the area helps to make sure that you don’t get peed on from 3 feet away.

Soaking your baby’s bum in water prior to naked time neutralizes the ammonia from the urine that has pressed up against their bum in their diaper. Try to do this for 20 minutes once a day. If the area is extremely inflamed and raw try adding 2 TBSP of baking soda to the water.


Daily Treatment and Prevention

In order to treat the diaper rash you will need to use a topical ointment or spray at every diaper change. This creates a waterproof barrier for your baby’s bum, blocking any moisture from causing irritation. Zinc oxide products are recommended for the treatment and prevention of diaper rash, and one of my favorite brands is Dr. Smith’s. The Dr. Smith’s Diaper Rash Spray is especially helpful to avoid cross-contamination between your twins when one has diaper rash. If your baby suffers from frequent rashes it is important to use the zinc oxide cream or spray at every diaper change as a preventative measure. Otherwise you find yourself always playing catch up, treating the irritation instead of blocking the occurrence altogether. If you notice open sores, contact your doctor immediately as your baby could have a fungal infection.

Finding out what works or doesn’t work for your baby can feel time consuming and at times defeating. All babies, even twins, have different reactions to different things. What works for one baby isn’t necessarily going to work for the other, but if you follow some of these common tips you should find yourself well on your way to healing the rashes much quicker, if not resolving them 100% for good.

destiny effertzDestiny Effertz is a stay at home mom to 3 boys under 5. Prior to having children she worked as a paralegal in a large civil litigation firm. Now she uses those research and organizational skills formulating new pie recipes and planning family vacations. For more articles by Destiny on Twiniversity, click here


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