Mommas this one is for you – especially you newbies! Seems like every bump, scratch or red mark on our new little creation causes a sea of panic in our chests! What to do? How to resolve it? What shouldn’t I do?
Let’s look at a very common concern for new parents; the dreaded diaper rash.
Diaper rash is a very common skin irritation that can cause a baby's skin to become sore, red, and inflamed. Typically the skin will appear red and irritated, although there may also be some swelling and ulceration. The rash usually occurs because the skin is irritated by dirty diapers that may have been left on for too long; rubbing from the diaper; certain brands of detergent, soaps, or baby wipes on the little one’s very tender skin. The plastic that prevents diapers from leaking also prevents air circulation, thus creating a warm, moist environment where rashes and fungi can thrive. Yuck. As if the poop wasn’t bad enough.
Also, the introduction of new foods can change the content and frequency of a baby's poop, which can sometimes lead to a diaper rash. And diarrhea can make a diaper rash worse. Double yuck.
Diaper rash that lasts for more than a few days, even with changes to the diapering routine, such as increasing changing times, might be caused by a yeast called Candida (a type of fungus). (I had to deal with this one folks! Thank goodness it was only one of my twins!) Candida is usually diagnosed by a doctor or nurse. This form of the rash is usually red, and presents as smooth shiny skin that can be slightly raised, and has small red dots extending beyond the main part of the rash. It often starts in the creases of skin and can spread to skin on the front and back of the baby. You should visit your doctor, naturopath or homeopath if this is what is going on.
So can you avoid living through this? Diaper rash can be prevented by exposing the skin to air and sunlight. Preventative measures include abstaining from diaper use when possible, using cloth diapers that are loose fitting and cleaning the area gently but thoroughly with each diaper change. Try not to use any soap unless the area is very soiled. Use only a mild soap if soap is needed. Seriously, water is a pretty great solvent. Also, best to avoid using baby wipes that contain alcohol and/or propylene glycol.
But if this nasty little rash has sprung up, here are some tips!
How to Heal:
Use a Calendula ointment or lotion. It will help reduce inflammation and redness. You can also apply topically Vitamin E two to three times daily. I personally used propolis and / or goldenseal mixed with my calendula lotion (3 drops per tablespoon). When bathing the little critter, you may add 2 Tbsp of baking soda to a baby tub, a basin of warm water, or a bathtub.
Don’t worry mom (or dad), you will get through this. And their little tush will survive as well!