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Diaper Rash

Intro

It is usually not necessary to call the doctor for a simple diaper rash. Keeping the diaper area clean and dry should prevent most diaper rashes. However, even the best prevention is sometimes not enough.

Call your doctor if these conditions develop:

  • The rash does not get better despite treatment in 4-7 days.
  • The rash is getting significantly worse or has spread to other parts of the body.
  • The rash appears also to have a bacterial infection, with symptoms such as a puslike drainage or yellowish colored crusting. This is called impetigo and needs to be treated with antibiotics.
  • You are not certain what may be causing the rash.
  • You suspect the rash could be from an chronic disease. The doctor can help you pinpoint the possible allergen.
  • The rash is accompanied by diarrhea  continuing for more than 48 hours.

It is very rare to need to go to the hospital for diaper rash. However, should your child appear to be in severe pain, or if you notice rapid spread of the rash with fever, you should seek medical attention.

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Diaper Rash Treatment Self-Care at Home

Proper skin care is one of the most important treatments for diaper rash. The following techniques may help alleviate or shorten the duration of diaper rash.

  • Diapers should be changed more often than normal.
  • skin should be washed with a very mild soap and air dried or lightly patted dry.
  • The skin should be cleaned, but avoid any rough scrubbing, which could lead to further skin irritation. After cleaning, the skin should be exposed to air, leaving the diaper off for several hours if possible.
  • Avoid using plastic pants during this time.
  • Certain foods may seem to worsen the rash. If this is the case, avoid these foods until the rash has cleared.
  • If the rash is caused by a contact or allergic dermatitis, stop using any new soaps or detergents that may be causing the rash.
  • If the rash appears to be caused by a candidal infection, it may be treated with topical, over-the-counter antifungal creams.
  • Topical steroids can be used for diaper rash caused by allergic, atopic, or seborrheic causes but should not be used for fungal infections.
Zinc oxide may also be effective Prevention

Prevention is the most effective way to treat diaper rash.

  • Diapers today are highly absorbent and can wick away excess moisture from the skin. However, it is still a good idea to change the diapers every few hours to prevent urine or feces from coming into contact with skin.
  • Before putting on a new diaper, be sure that the skin is dry and clean.
  • When applying the diaper, avoid tape adhering to the skin, because this can also lead to breakdown and irritate the skin.
  • Good hand washing is a must to help prevent infections of all kinds.

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