Signs and Symptoms of Diaper Rash
The skin in the diaper area becomes moist, painful, red, spotty and sometimes itchy. The skin may also be cracked and fissured. In male infants, a red, raw and occasionally bloody area may appear around the meatus (the opening at the tip of the penis).
Causes of Diaper Rash
Risk Increases when
- Hot, humid weather.
- Infrequent change of diaper.
- Improper laundering of diapers.
- Family history of skin allergies.
- Change diapers frequently.
- Do not use waterproof diapers at night.
- Keep diapers clean. After washing, rinse them twice to remove detergents and other chemicals.
- Observation of symptoms.
- Medical history and physical examination by a doctor.
- Urinalysis to rule out urinary–tract infection, which may complicate healing.
Secondary bacterial infection in the rash area.
Treatment of Diaper Rash
- Expose the buttocks to air as much as possible.
- Change diapers frequently–even at night if the rash is extensive.
- Don’t use soap or boric acid to wash the rash area. Cleanse with cotton dipped in mineral oil.
- Discontinue using baby lotion, powder, ointment or baby oil unless prescribed by your doctor.
- Apply small amounts of non–prescription petroleum jelly, lanolin–based ointment or zinc oxide ointment to the rash at the earliest sign of diaper rash, and 2 or 3 times a day thereafter.
- Add 1 cup of vinegar to the waterproof panties when it is half–full of rinse water. This neutralizes detergent residue.
No specific diet. Avoid foods that cause diarrhea.
The following occurs during treatment
- Pustules in the rash area.
- Male infant has a weak urinary stream.
- Female infant develops adhesions of the vaginal lips.
- New, unexplained symptoms develop.