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Diaper Rash Sneaks Up on Most Babies Sooner or Later

There are many remedies to prevent and heal severe diaper rash. Antibiotics and diarrhea are notorious for contributing to the causes of a rash.  A new food or an allergy to soap residue may also be suspect.  Another reason and this one breaks your heart,  is if your child is left in a soiled diaper too long.  Sometimes, simply changing your diaper brand will make your child break out.  Diaper rash usually begins to show up as a red patch or a raw looking area on and around the diapered area. Sometimes the rash will look like pimples or blisters. There are several causes of diaper rash.  With good skills of observation you can get your baby's discomfort in check quickly.


It's good to remember, that historically most babies were nursed.  There appears to be a strong correlation between nursing your child and having a baby who is NOT prone to rashes or to food allergies.  It is thought that many food ingredients are to blame for more prevalence in diaper rashes today.  Likely the synthetic materials often found in disposable diapers has also contributed to the problem.  Babies do have differences in their skin sensitivity. You can limit the opportunity for painful diaper rash for your baby by adhering to the following suggestions:
  • Use the super absorbent diapers and check your babies diaper every 3 hours.
  • Before replacing wet or messy diaper, clean the baby's bottom with warm water or a mild soap.
  • You can use baby wipes but make sure they are perfume, alcohol free and don't contain propylene glycol.
  • Be sure to wash and pat the bottom completely dry before replacing a wet or dirty diaper.


Diaper rash remedies that protect the baby skin from moisture include;
  • A and D ointment, zinc oxide, Desitin or Diaparene.
  • Maalox has been shown to prevent rashes too.
  • Another way to prevent painful diaper rash is by letting the baby lay without a diaper during nap time.
  • If you use cloth diapers boil for 15 minutes after washing.
  • Use 1 oz of vinegar to 1 gallon of water in the rinse.
  • Bath time is a great opportunity for diaper rash treatment.
  • You can follow up by applying ointments afterward.
  • Several baby experts recommend pouring and stirring into the bath water either 1 TBS of dried oatmeal or 2tbs of baking soda.
  • Another suggestion is to add 1 cup of sea salt and 1 cup of Epsom salt to the bath water.
  • Soak the baby for 10 -15 minutes at least 3 times a day.
  • After bath time you can continue diaper rash treatment by apply White petroleum jelly, bag balm, lanolin or zinc oxide.
  • Many doctors prefer using zinc oxide for severe diaper rash.
  • Bag balm works great, but it doesn't smell pleasant.

Determining Severity

If your baby has minor signs of diaper rash you should see your doctor if the rash persists longer than a couple of week or so.

If it looks like pimples, boils, bumps, weeping sores or crusts the rule of thumb is to utilize recommended products and call and follow the advice of your pediatrician.  Waste no time getting your child to the the doctor if the rash spreads to other parts of the body. You may be dealing with something other than common diaper rash.

If you have used the recommendations on how to treat diaper rash and there are no improvements after a week, make an appointment.  Also consult your doctor immediately if you notice white patches in your babies mouth, if your baby has a fever, loses weight or has a poor appetite.

These include:

  • using super absorbent diapers
  • changing baby frequently
  • washing baby well
  • applying waterproof barrier cream to baby after each soiled or wet diaper

Extreme Measures

When painful diaper rash occurs:
  • use petroleum jelly or a recommended new baby ointment
  • consider for babies over 3 months of age, use zinc oxide ointment or bag balm
  • let baby soak in either baking soda or oatmeal to help sooth and heal the rash
  • increase your baby's water intake
  • consider eliminating any fruit juices, especially citrus, which is often an issue
  • make sure the diaper is fitted loosely to allow breathing space
  • don't use plastic pants or other synthetic materials near baby's delicate skin

Historical Treatments

Food products that have been used historically to contain the discomfort of a bad diaper rash in days of old may surprise you.  We don't suggest using them but thought they might make you smile:
  • cooking lard
  • vegetable oil
  • cod liver oil
  • egg whites
  • 8 parts water and 1 part vinegar
Historically, many solutions to diaper rash parallel those advocated today.  It's interesting to note that historically, pure cooking grade ingredients were a mainstay in assisting with healing a baby's rash.
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