I had to take Nick to the Doctor today, he had a crazy case of diaper rash that came up after a bout of diarrhea last week. I asked her a few questions about diaper rash in general, and then did a bit of research once I got home. Diaper Rash seems to be sort of a general term used anytime there is a rash or swelling in the diaper region, no matter what the cause (infection, moisture, etc).

When To See A Doctor For Diaper Rash

Nick had a rash for a few days before we called the Doctor, and then it took a couple more for him to actually get in to see her. This seems to be a pretty common reccomendation for timing a Doctors vist. Of course, this is concerning just a general redness in the area. If there are any sores or scabs or anything else wierd, I’d go see the Doctor right away – better safe than sorry I think.

What Causes Diaper Rash?

There are many things that cause diaper rash, but the most common is probably just having wet or dirty diapers up against the skin for too long. The extra moisture irritates the skin, and then the skin turns red. I also found evidence that new foods can cause a rash, and teething somehow can have connections too. There is also the possibility that the diapers are too small (this goes back to the wetness being up against the skin for too long), or a reaction to some product that you are using like diapers, laundry soap, or wipes. Finally, a yeast infection can also cause a really bad diaper rash.

Treating Diaper Rash

For most mild cases of diaper rash, all you need to do is treat the area with diaper cream. Diaper cream contains Zinc Oxide, which has a soothing effect on the area, as well as helping the rash to get better. My Doctor also specifically mentioned a bit of ‘naked time’ for the boy as a way to help the area get dried out and have air circulated around. If your child’s diaper rash is caused by diarrhea, I think it would be a REALLY good idea to wait for the diarrhea to go away before letting him loose in your living room sans diaper.

Preventing Diaper Rash
Preventing diaper rash is theoretically pretty easy – just keep the diaper area dry and well ventilated. This means changing the diaper as soon as it gets wet, cleaning the area well, making sure the bum is dry before putting the diaper on, and not doing the diaper up too tight. My Doctor specifically recommended washing the bum each time a diaper is changed – I’m not sure how that would work exactly, but perhaps just a wet cloth is enough (currently I use diaper wipes, not an actual wet cloth). Finally, if your baby tends to get diaper rash a lot, preventative use of diaper cream might be a good idea. We used to use diaper cream all the time, but it was so messy we stopped. It wouldn’t have helped in this case anyhow, but it might be something for us to reconsider.

I’m not a Doctor, and have no medical training. I just thought I would share some information that I dug up. I hope it is helpful to you. If in doubt, always check with a Doctor. I found a ton of great websites with diaper rash information, but the best was the Mayo Clinic’s site. The diaper rash article can be found here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diaper-rash/DS00069.