Diaper Rash

Diaper Rash

Q) How do I clean the diaper area of my baby?

This is the most important of all the steps to prevent diaper rash.

There are a few basic precautions like:

Always clean the area from front to back, especially in girls to prevent urinary tract infections from the fecal bacteria near anal canal.

Never try to pull apart the foreskin in boys which is fused for the first two to three years.

It should be ensured that the creases and the folds are cleaned and that there is no hint of moisture left. Moisture is a breeding ground for infections.

Please use a sheet whenever you change the diaper in public places to prevent transmission of infections.

Air drying is better than pat drying. The latter is still preferred over rubbing or not drying at all.

DO NOT use wipes which contain alcohol or fragrance. The wipes should be used only when cleaning with water is not available. Minimize the use of wipes as much as possible.

Q) What causes rash or eczema on my baby’s bottom?

Multiple factors predispose this area to irritant diaper rash. Prolonged contact with faeces, urine and repeated cleaning disturbs the sensitive skin in this area, hence causing rash. Not using proper cleaning practices or neglect can result in diaper rash.

Q) What should I do to treat the diaper rash?

  • Firstly follow proper cleansing practices as outlined above. 
  • Avoid using harsh soaps and hot water. Try and use a gentle cleansing lotion (pH of around 5.5) to a soap bar. 
  • Always try to wash the area with cleanser and water rather than a wipe whenever  possible. 
  • Apply a skin moisturizer first followed by a barrier cream. A barrier cream, generally containing zinc oxide in higher percentage, forms an occlusive film to prevent contact of the skin with faeces. 
  • This should be done at every diaper change. 

Q) Should I prefer a cloth diaper or disposable ones?

Actually a disposable diaper is preferable to cloth diaper. The cloth diaper should be promptly changed once soiled. The disposable diaper can be changed every four hours or so. There is no difference in rash if either is used.

Q) Will changing the type of diaper help my child?

The chances of getting a rash are same for all types of diapers-- whether they are stick on type diapers or pant sized diapers. The only type of diapers that are slightly better than others are the ones which are super absorbent as they can be used for a slightly longer duration.

As a Dermatologist and a first time parent, I was also bewildered while making the right choice for my child. I hope this addresses few of those doubts and concerns. Please feel free to ask any queries related to diaper rash and I shall be happy to help you.

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