It is better to treat any ailment if we understand it better. The diaper related rashes can occur due to many reasons. If you can pinpoint any of the reason mentioned below, you can treat it easily.
1. Diaper Dermatitis
The most common cause of rashes in babies is due to the contact with ammonia present in baby diapers. This can also happen due to the perfumes, dyes and other chemicals used in the manufacturing of these diapers. Check if you have changed to a new brand of diapers. This may trigger dermatitis.
If the baby is on antibiotics, topical or oral, may cause rashes on the skin. This is due to the fact that some antibiotics will kill the good bacteria favoring the yeast to grow abundantly. The most common yeast that causes the rash is Candida albicans. If you are breastfeeding and if you are on any kind of antibiotics this can also affect the baby's friendly bacteria. Make sure you improve the friendly bacteria count in the baby by minimizing the use of antibiotics. Use probiotics which are specially manufactured for babies. Refrain yourself from using cornstarch if it is a yeast infection. You can use apple cider vinegar application with a cotton bud over the affected area.
3. Teething illness
As a dentist, I have seen many infants who are in the stage of developing their first dentition (teething) tend to develop these problems. This can be attributed to the fact that during teething babies tend to keep anything in the mouth that reduces the 'itchy' feeling of the developing teeth. They also drool a lot at this time. This may develop infections and may also kill the friendly bacteria in gut resulting in diarrhea and rashes. Make sure that the baby is not keeping any unwanted things in the mouth. Check if the baby is developing any teeth. If the baby is frequently keeping finger or thumb in the mouth, you can approach any nearby pediatrist who will give you a habit breaking appliance.
Some external physical agents, moisture, urine, and stool may trigger allergic reactions on the skin. Analyze that if there is any diet change that happened recently. Avoid the food that is suspected to cause this. Also avoid any new physical agents such as floor cleaners, perfumes etc.
Certain bacterial infections at the site can cause rashes. Topical application of antibiotics will cure these rashes. Make sure that it is bacterial infection before using any topical antibiotics because some of them may worsen the condition.
Apart from the above factors, you can minimize the rashes by:
Avoiding wipes that contain perfumes or alcohol.
Minimizing the use of diaper as much as you can.
Apply coconut oil to the affected area.
Check for the baby oils, powders, and creams that are causing irritation and replace them with others.
Other home remedies include:
1. Use of essential oils as a topical application.
2. Tea tree oil can also be applied.
3. Apple cider vinegar application.
4. A combination of shea butter, coconut olive oil, olive oil and zinc oxide can be made as the cream which will act as an excellent protective barrier between diaper and skin.
If nothing helps, contact pediatrician as well as dermatologist as soon as possible.
Dr. V. Shashikanth