What is a Diaper rash (dermatitis)?
Diaper rash is a most common form of inflamed skin (dermatitis) that may look like red patch work on your newborn’s bottom, or red scales in the genital area. Such rashes grow in warm, moist places. No matter how careful you are, your baby will possibly get diaper rash at some point or other. Diaper rash (dermatitis) is often linked to infrequently changed diapers and skin sensitivity.
Diaper rash can annoy your baby, but it can be cured with easy treatments, such as air drying, frequently diaper changes and ointment. Try these easy home treatments and make your newborn get rid of diaper rash. The moment you discover a tiny red bumps on your baby’s bottom, you will definitely get freaked out. No need to worry at all! Diaper rash is a normal part of the baby package. It will remain a potential problem as long as your little one is using diapers. It is most commonly seen in infants between the ages of 2 and 12 months. It can happen if your baby has a sensitive skin or when urine or stool in the diaper touches skin for long.
Symptoms of Diaper rash in Newborn
- Red patch work, dry skin on your newborn’s bottom (diaper area) i.e. buttocks, thighs and genitals.
- The skin of diapered area may become raw or even bleed.
- Baby may seem uncomfortable, especially during diaper changes. Newborn having diaper rash will cry when the diaper area is washed or touched.
- If the rash also has reddish pink bumps surrounding a red patch in the diaper area or around your baby's mouth, it may have already advanced to a yeast diaper rash, which needs to be treated with topical antifungal medication.
Types of diaper rash in Newborn
- Impetigo – It is a bacterial infection marked in the form of blisters which weeps and further oozes yellow fluid before blister completes its phase.
- Eczema – Dry itchy red patches which can weep anytime.
- Intertrigo – A red patch of skin that may ooze white or yellow fluid.
- Cradle cap – A red rash mostly seen in baby’s head but can also appear in the diapered area.
- Chafing – Red patches along with small spots are seen in the area which suffers high friction.
Causes of Diaper rash in Newborn
- Leaving your baby wearing wet or dirty diaper for too long
- Rubbing against the diaper itself
- Yeast infection - Yeast infections are bright red. Their borders are sharp. Small red bumps or even pimples may occur just beyond the border. Proper treatment of diaper rash should be cured in 3 days. If not, that shows it has probably been taken over by yeast. Anti-yeast cream will be perfect for its solution.
- Bacterial infection - This is less common than yeast rashes. Bacteria cause sores, yellow scabs, pimples or draining pus. Their appearance is like impetigo i.e. a local skin bacterial infection.
- Allergic reaction to diaper
- Reaction of antibiotics which you take and are nursing too. It can also be due to antibiotics which your baby is taking. When a baby takes antibiotics, bacteria that keep yeast growth in check may be depleted, resulting in diaper rash due to yeast infection. Extreme use of antibiotics may lead to diarrhea as well.
- Babies having diarrhea - Rashes around the anus are common during diarrhea. Diarrhea stools also contain enzymes that digest food and irritate the skin.
- Irritation from stool or urine - Long exposure to urine or stool can irritate a newborn’s skin because it contains bacteria. Your newborn baby may be more susceptible to diaper rash if experiencing frequent bowel movements or diarrhea.
- Skin sensitivity - Babies having sensitive skin may be more likely to develop diaper rash.
- Cellulitis – It can be a serious condition for your newborn. Here, bacterial infection spreads into the skin. It gives redness that spreads out from the blister. In this condition, the red area is painful to touch.
- New food in baby’s diet - As babies start eating solid foods, the content of their stool changes. This increases the risk of diaper rash. Change in your baby's diet increases the frequency of stools, which can lead to diaper rash. Your baby develops a diaper rash even in breast-fed stage in a response to something that mother has consumed.
- Allergies – Several types of detergent, soaps, diapers or baby wipes can give adverse effect to newborn’s sensitive skin and can result to a diaper rash.
- Prickly heat - Moisture and humidity can lead to prickly heat. It is caused when body of a newborn sweats and is unable to evaporate. Small pink bumps shows up in the skin folds in the diaper area, mainly where the plastic lining of a diaper touches baby’s skin. To prevent this, do not overdress your baby and ensure that his skin remains dry.
Preventive measures for Diaper rash in Newborn
- Parents need to make a practice of changing the diapers of newborn babies more often. Try preventing skin contact of your baby’s skin with stool for as lesser time as possible.
- Always rinse your baby’s skin with warm water while cleaning stool or as part of each diaper change. For this purpose, you can use a sink, tub or water bottle. Avoid depending on diaper wipes to cleanse your newborn’s skin. If willing to use soap, opt a mild soap which is free from any fragrance.
- Make sure that you have clean off stool from all the skin folds.
- Let your baby’s skin dry completely before putting another diaper.
- Don’t scrub your baby’s bottom to dry. Always gently pat the skin with clean towel and let it dry. Scrubbing can irritate your baby’s soft skin.
- Avoid over-tightening the diapers. Tight diapers interrupts the flow of air into diaper area which further moist the area, making it favorable for diaper rash.
- Whenever possible, keep your baby without diaper. Exposing baby’s skin is a natural way to keep it dry.
- If your baby is prone to get diaper rashes more often, make it a practice of applying ointment during each diaper change to prevent excess skin irritation. Petroleum jelly is the most proven and effective ingredient in several ointments.
- Use disposable diapers only which has thin layer of lotion on the top sheet to help keep baby’s delicate skin dry.
In earlier times, talcum powder was used commonly to protect baby’s skin and absorb moisture. But now, doctors ask to avoid its use as inhaled powder can irritate baby’s lungs.
How To Make Your Newborn Get Rid Of Diaper Rash
- Make a practice of washing your hands before and after every diaper change.
- Do check baby’s diapers frequently and try to change it as soon as it becomes dirty.
- Use warm water whenever you need to get the poop clean off your newborn’s skin. You can also use mild cleanser along with warm water for the same.
- Pat dry the skin affected from Diaper rash. In fact, one should avoid rubbing and use of harsh soaps on baby’s delicate skin.
- Medicated creams and ointments containing zinc oxide or petroleum jelly helps to soothe skin and protect it from moisture. Apply thick layer of ointment (recommended by baby’s doctor) at each diaper change or to prevent urine from contacting the affected skin.
- For few hours, let your baby go off without diapers. It will give diaper rash affected skin a chance to breathe and dry naturally. Best way is to place your newborn baby in a crib with waterproof or leak proof sheets or on a large towel on the floor.
- If you notice diaper rash, try to ramp up newborn’s bare butt time to approximately 15-20 minutes before placing a new diaper.
- Don’t use wipes in case of diaper rash. Instead use cotton balls or any soft clean cloth.
- Mostly, when a varied diet is given, what baby poops out is even more irritating to baby's delicate skin. Too much juice is proved affecting the amount of urine newborn produces and the pH (acidity) of baby’s stool and this could either be a reason of baby’s diaper rash. Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no juice for babies under the age of one. Don’t give citrus fruits which can create caustic poops.
- Do not share creams and ointments with other children. Stop the practice of touching the affected skin and then putting your fingers back into the jar. Use a different finger if you need more ointment.
- Call your health care provider if the rash doesn't clear up after a few days, or if blisters or pus-filled bumps appear.
When to contact a doctor
If you notice no improvement in baby's skin diaper rash after a few days of home treatment, consult with your baby’s doctor. Sometimes, you need a prescribed medication to treat diaper rash. Try to identify whether it:
- Is showing severe symptoms
- Is getting worse despite home treatment
- Bleeds, itches or oozes
- Is causing burning sensation or pain with urination or a bowel movement
- Is accompanied by a fever or baby seems lethargic
- Signs of Eczema?
No need to panic in situation where you see your baby having diaper rash. Just stay calm. Diaper rash normally goes off within 2-3 days with some careful steps and home care treatment. Although, it can last longer if ignored or not treated properly. Call your doctor immediately if it does not improve, gets worse, you see open sores, or it appears extremely painful.