How to Treat Diaper Rash

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Everyone wants a happy, healthy baby, however, babies often experience discomfort from diaper rash – a condition that causes skin underneath the diaper to become red and tender. Help your baby by following dermatologists’ tips to prevent and treat diaper rash at home:

  1. Change dirty diapers as soon as possible. The most important tip for treating and preventing diaper rash is to change all dirty diapers – even if they are just wet – as soon as possible. This reduces moisture on the skin that can inflame a rash.
  2. Be gentle when cleaning the diaper area. Use water and a soft washcloth or baby wipes that are alcohol and fragrance-free. If the rash is severe, use a squirt bottle of water to clean the area, as doing so is gentler to the skin. Next, allow the area to air dry. Let your child go diaper-free as long as possible to let the skin dry and heal.
  3. Apply a zinc oxide diaper cream. This is especially important if the skin stays red between diaper changes. If your baby has severe diaper rash, layer it on like you are frosting a cake. There is no need to remove the cream with each diaper change. It can be fully removed at the end of the day.
  4. Call a doctor or board-certified dermatologist if your baby develops signs of a skin infection. Signs of a skin infection may include a fever, blisters, pus that drains from the rash, and a rash that does not go away after treatment or worsens. Another sign of a skin infection is if the baby is in pain or is hard to console.

Babies have very delicate skin, and sometimes despite a parent’s best effort, diaper rash still occurs. If your baby’s diaper rash is not going away, or if you have questions or concerns about caring for your baby’s skin, consult a board-certified dermatologist.

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