What Is Diaper Rash?
You hear your baby crying hysterically, and you run to his rescue only to find that while changing his dirty nappy, he has a reddened rash on the buttocks. Your baby looks at you and cries the sign of relief that “I’m safe now ,my mommy is here.” This is the exact scenario I experienced with my baby. Hello Mamas! today we are going to learn about diaper rash and breastfeeding with easy solutions to avoid it. I want to encourage all the breastfeeding Mamas to breastfeed your child for as long as you can because diaper rash occurs less often in breastfed babies, although it isn’t completely clear why. (Paid link)
Diaper rash is characterized by bright red, inflamed skin on a baby’s bottom. Most parents attribute it to environmental factors, such as sensitivity to dyes or perfumes, infrequently changed diapers, and chafing. But did you know that itching and inflammation could actually be caused from something in your little one’s diet? Doctor Latanya Benjamin, M.D., clinical assistant professor of pediatrics and clinical assistant of dermatology at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, California believes.
The Top Foods That Cause Diaper Rash
Citrus fruits and juices: These items are very acidic, which can be tough on Baby’s digestive system. Things to avoid include oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and juices made from any type of citrus.
Tomatoes and tomato-based products: Tomatoes are another highly acidic ingredient that can exaggerate symptoms of diaper rash. Your baby should also avoid spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, ketchup, and anything else that has a tomato base.
Strawberries: Even though strawberries have a pleasing flavor, the acidity of the fruit can irritate your baby’s digestive system.
Pineapples and other tart fruits: Just because pineapple is acidic doesn’t mean your little star needs to avoid all tropical fruit. Consider trying mango or papaya instead.
What’s more, if your baby has frequent loose stools, she might develop diaper rash. It’s smart, then, to also avoid common diarrhea triggers such as dairy, fruit juice, peaches, plums, prunes, and more. My recommendation is to start with one fruit per week, instead of trying too many fruits at one time. By trying it one by one you can more easily define the culprit causing the diarrhea.
Conquering Diaper Rash Through Diet
Many babies are fed plenty of new foods when they start solids, which makes it hard to discern exactly what’s causing the negative reaction. Here’s a solution: Introduce new foods one at a time, then watch your baby for three to four days as her digestive system adapts. If you notice any negative reaction to the food, such as diaper rash, she might have a sensitivity. Consult your doctor regarding next steps; if the reaction is small, he might suggest re-introducing the food at a later date.
If your baby does develop diaper rash, feed her starchy foods that digest easily. Reliable options include pasta, bread, rice, whole grain cereal, and crackers. These will ward of diarrhea (which makes diaper rash worse) and bulk up your baby’s stool. (Paid link)
What Are Some Of The Other Causes Of Diaper Rash?
Now lets not think that diaper rash is only caused by food. Diaper rash can be caused by anything from your child’s own urine to a new food. Here are the most likely causes:
Although a child left in a wet or soiled diaper for too long is more likely to develop diaper rash, any child with sensitive skin can get a rash, even if you’re diligent about diaper changes.
- Antibiotics. Children taking antibiotics (or children whose breastfeeding mothers are on antibiotics) sometimes get yeast infections because these drugs kill the healthy bacteria that keep yeast in check as well as the harmful bacteria that’s causing the illness. Antibiotics can also cause diarrhea, which can contribute to diaper rash.
- New foods. We just read this one. Diaper rash is also common when your child first starts eating solid foods or tries a new food. Any new food changes the composition of the stool, but the acids in certain foods (such as strawberries and fruit juices) can be especially troublesome for some kids. A new food also might increase the frequency of your child’s bowel movements. If you’re breastfeeding, your child could even be having a reaction to something you ate (although breastfed children are usually less likely to get a diaper rash).
- Bacterial or yeast infection. The diaper area is warm and moist – just the way bacteria and yeast like it. So it’s easy for a bacterial or yeast infection to flourish there and cause a rash, especially in the cracks and folds of your child’s skin. (Thrush is a type of oral yeast infection. Some children with thrush develop a yeast infection in their diaper area, too.)
- Wetness. Even the most absorbent diaper leaves some moisture on your child’s skin. And when your child’s urine mixes with bacteria from his stool, it breaks down into ammonia, which can be very harsh on the skin. That’s why children with frequent bowel movements or diarrhea are more prone to diaper rash.
- Chafing and chemical sensitivity. Your child’s diaper rash may be the result of his diaper rubbing against his skin, especially if he’s sensitive to chemicals, like the fragrances in a disposable diaper or the laundry detergent used to wash a cloth diaper. It could also be that a product you’re using during diaper changes irritates your child’s skin.
- sensitivity to baby wipes
- colon bacteria imbalance
- cloth diaper sensitivities (to detergents or materials in cloth diapers). (Paid link).
When Should I Seek Medical Attention For Diaper Rash?
Normally with some monitoring, you should be able to clear your child’s rash in three or four days without a visit to the doctor. But do see the doctor if the rash looks as though it may be infected. A diaper rash can be caused by a yeast or bacterial infection or other conditions, you should get your doctor to take a look at the rash if it has persisted for longer than a week. Signs of infection include:
- Pus-filled pimples
- Oozing yellow patches
- Open sores
The doctor may prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic for your child.
For a diaper rash caused by a yeast infection, your child’s doctor may recommend an over-the-counter or prescription antifungal cream or ointment.
Also call the doctor if your child develops a fever or her rash doesn’t go away after several days of home treatment. The normal body temperature of a baby is anything between a Fahrenheit temperature of 97 degrees and 100.4 degrees. One way you can tell if your baby has a temperature is by touching or kissing his/her forehead. If the child feels hotter than usual, it’s probably because he/she has a fever.(Paid link).
Best Tips For Treating Your Little Star’s Diaper Rash
If diaper rash develops, take these steps to heal your child’s skin:
- Dryness– Keep your child clean and dry by changing his diaper frequently. That may mean getting him up at night for a diaper change
- Clean well– Rinse his diaper area well at each diaper change. Don’t use wipes that contain alcohol or fragrance. Some parents keep cotton balls and a squirt bottle or an insulated container of warm water at the changing table for easy, gentle cleanups.
- Pat dry -Pat your child’s skin dry. Don’t rub!
- Use barrier protection – Use an ointment that forms a barrier on the skin to protect your child’s irritated skin from stool and urine. You don’t have to use ointment at each diaper change: Apply a layer that’s thick enough to last through a couple diaper changes. This helps prevent further skin irritation from too much rubbing. There are several good barrier ointments available that include petroleum jelly or zinc oxide.
- Loose fitting is key -Put your child’s diaper on loosely, or use a diaper that’s a little big on him to allow for better air circulation. If you buy disposables, try a different brand to see if that helps. There are varieties for sensitive skin, for example, and extra-absorbent options pull more moisture away from your child’s skin.
- Air exposure is great– When the weather is warm and your child can play outside, leave his diaper (and ointment) off for as long as possible every day. Exposure to the air will speed healing.
- Consider letting your child sleep with a bare bottom whenever he has a rash. A plastic sheet under the cloth one helps protect the mattress.
How Can I Keep Diaper Rash At Bay?
Here are some good preventive measures to keep diaper rash at bay:
- Always remember- dry bottom is the best defense against diaper rash, so change your child’s diaper frequently or as soon as possible after it becomes wet or soiled.
- Clean your child’s genital area thoroughly with each diaper change.
- Pat her skin dry – never rub it. You can also use a hair dryer set on low to dry the diaper area after a diaper change.
- If your child seems prone to diaper rash, spread a thin layer of protective ointment on her bottom after each diaper change.
- Don’t use powders or cornstarch because the particles can be harmful to a child’s lungs if inhaled. Also, some experts think cornstarch can make a yeast diaper rash worse.
- When your child starts eating solid foods, introduce one item at a time. Waiting a few days between each new food makes it easier to determine whether a sensitivity to a new food is causing diaper rash. If it is, eliminate that food for the time being.
- Don’t secure the diaper so tightly that there’s no room for air to circulate. Dress her in loose clothing.
- Use fragrance-free detergent to wash cloth diapers, and skip the fabric softener – both can irritate your child’s skin.
- Wash diapers with hot water, and double rinse them. You also might add a half cup of vinegar to the first rinse to eliminate alkaline irritants.
- Breastfeed your child for as long as you can because diaper rash occurs less often in breastfed babies, although it isn’t completely clear why.
- When your child does need to take an antibiotic, ask the doctor about giving her a probiotic as well. Probiotics encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, which may reduce your child’s chances of getting a diaper rash.
- If your child goes to daycare or preschool, make sure that her caregivers understand the importance of taking these precautions.
Diaper rash is quite common in babies wearing a diaper. It can have so many reasons for showing up in your baby. As a mom you should know what causes it and how to treat and prevent it. I have given you many tips and possible solutions to this condition. Never fail to see a healthcare provider if any condition is not improving. Never use power to treat a nappy rash because it can make matters worse. I wish you every success in your breastfeeding journey. Always ask God to give you His wisdom in every situation. He loves you and He cares. Thank you for visiting and do come again. Please comment and like this article if you really do. This website contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission from products and services you purchase through my links at no extra cause to you.
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