Diaper Rash Causes and Prevention

Diaper rash is one of the more frustrating things that you and your new baby can have to deal with. If you want to get through those diaper rash days, you need to know what it is that can cause diaper rash, as well as some of the kinds of things that can be done to prevent it.

Here are some of the particular kinds of issues that can contribute to diaper rash:

  • Moisture in the area of the diaper
  • Prolonged exposure of the skin to urine and to feces
  • Diaper area chafing
  • Baby having diarrhea
  • An allergic reaction to something that your baby has eaten
  • Irritation of the diaper area caused by a particular chemical or fabric

In addition to watching for these things and trying to avoid them whenever possible, here are some of the kinds of things you can do to help keep diaper rash from occurring:

  • Make sure that the elastic around your diapers or plastic pants isn’t too constricting on either the legs or on the belly. You want them to fit loosely enough that air can circulate, but you want them to be tight enough that they don’t leak.
  • Change your baby’s diaper regularly, even if you find that it’s only just slightly wet.
  • Try to let your baby go for a little while without a diaper for several times each day. This keeps the diaper area dry, and therefore helps to avoid diaper rash.
  • When you change your baby’s diaper, use ointment. You might consider an ointment that contains a white zinc oxide, although other parents do prefer to use petroleum jelly. The downside to petroleum jelly is that it tends to easily wipe off your baby’s skin.
  • If you use cloth diapers, watch out for laundry soaps that have fragrance or other chemicals that might irritate your baby’s skin.
  • If you suspect that your baby has a food allergy, talk to a doctor. Try to eliminate certain foods one at a time so as to know for sure which may be causing the diaper rash and the allergic reaction.

If your baby’s diaper rash is particularly severe or long-lasting, you should talk to your doctor.