Wednesday, July 8, 2009

5 tips for treating 5 more kinds of diaper rash.

Since my last post on diaper rashes, I have had several questions about types of lesser-known diaper rashes. Though some of these rashes aren't exclusive to the diaper area, a rash that is in the diaper region often needs a slightly different method of treatment due to the extremes of the environment. Any time your baby has a rash that lasts more than a few days, and is peculiar in either the location or the appearance, you should consult your pediatrician.

1. For a diaper rash caused by heat, use cool water, cotton diapers and aloe vera.
Prickly heat is a common name for these itchy skin bumps caused by over-heating. The hive-like bumps normally appear in the most tender areas, like inner elbows, behind the knees or under arms. These red itchy bumps can also appear on your baby's undercarriage. The first thing to do is to get your baby cooled off, and make sure he is hydrated. Give him a clean wet cloth to suck on while you wipe down his body with another. Turn a fan on in the room if possible, or use whatever kind of make-shift fan you can fashion to blow air across your baby's behind. Treat the bumps with aloe vera, then if you have cloth diapers, put them on your baby. I would leave your baby in nothing but the cloth diapers for a bit while he cools off.

2. For a diaper rash from chafing, use bag balm, disposable diapers and a hair dryer.
Sometimes sagging wet diapers will rub between your baby's thighs and private parts causing some chafing. This bright red swollen and dry area, which is not generally located as if it were a result of contact with waste, can be quite painful for your baby, especially if any urine gets on it. Wash the area thoroughly, then use a hair dryer on the cool setting to make sure your baby's but and the chapped area are as dry as they can be. Then coat the entire area in a thick layer of bag balm. This should help the chafed area retain moisture, so that it can heal more quickly. Since these type of rashes happen more often with cloth diapers, I recommend that parents get a little pack of chlorine free diapers in one size smaller than your baby would wear normally (this is to encourage a snug and less-bulky fit), and use these until the rash is healed. If your baby needs to go down for the night, however, you can use the cloth diapers since chafing is caused by the friction between a wet diaper and your baby's legs while kicking and wiggling, which does not generally happen as much at night, especially if your baby is fully swaddled.

3. For fungal diaper rashes, use tea tree oil, lanolin and vitamin E.
The most common form of fungal diaper rash is caused by a fungus called "Candida Albicans", which is commonly referred to as yeast. There are other types of fungal rashes, however, but luckily they generally all respond to the same types of treatment. With any fungal rash it is very important not to use cornstarch, since fungus generally like to feed on the sugars in cornstarch, and it will only make the rash worse. In my first post about diaper rashes, I talk about some very effective treatments for yeast-based rashes, but there are a few more things you might try, for any fungal rash, even if it isn't specifically a yeast infection. First thoroughly clean your baby's bottom with water then spray a fine mist of tea tree oil (a powerful natural anti-fungal) and water (mixed in a ratio of 1 tablespoon oil to 2 cups water), over your baby's bottom and let it air-dry for as long as your baby is comfortable. Then apply a small amount of vitamin E to the red swollen areas. I do this by poking a pin into a vitamin E capsule and squeezing the oil out onto my son's bottom. After the vitamin E has had a moment or two to absorb, coat the entire area with lanolin. I used the small tubes of lanolin that I had purchased to help reduce nipple dryness while nursing. This should effectively seal the rash away from any contact with more waste or moisture, which should effectively starve the fungus, and allow your baby's bottom to heal more rapidly.

4. For a teething diaper rash, use Aquaphor, Johnson's medicated baby powder and sunshine.
One of the most difficult rashes to treat is the teething rash. The teething rash is caused both by increased acid in your baby's urine and diarrhea from your baby swallowing too much excess saliva. In my first post on diaper rashes I describe treatments for acidic rashes, but since the teething rash is sometimes resistant to the regular methods, these measures are a bit more drastic. First, wash your baby's caboose, then lay him bare booty side up on a safe surface with fresh air circulating, and if possible get some actual sunshine on his cute little rump (not more than 5 minutes or so, you don't want him to get a sunburn). When his hind end is nice and dry, slather on a thick layer of Aquaphor, cover everything with a dusting of Johnson's medicated baby powder, and replace your little peanut's diaper.

5. For a diaper rash that is the result of a fever, use chamomile tea, yogurt and baking soda.
Fevers can often cause a combination rash that is partly an acidic reaction rash, and partly a heat rash. For this kind of irritation, I find that calming the area with a gentle wash with a chilled chamomile tea helps sooth the pain while cooling the area off. Then a coating of cool plain non-sweetened yogurt helps neutralize acid and reduce the heat as well. Finishing off with a layer of baking soda keeps everything in place when you replace the diaper, and helps to neutralize the acids as well.

I think this will cover any possible diaper rash your little sugar lump is likely to encounter. If you try any of these tips and have either no improvement over the course of 3 days or your baby's rash gets worse, talk to your pediatrician. Most rashes are harmless and will go away pretty quickly once treated, however, there is the possibility that your baby could develop an infection if an open sore gets exposed to harmful bacteria. If your baby has open sores on her rear end, be sure to treat them with an antiseptic such as Neosporin before applying additional treatment. All babies get diaper rashes, and most parents will find their own favorite cures and treatments, hopefully having just a few more things to try if what you are doing isn't working will help wipe out your baby's diaper rash a bit faster. If you find these tips helpful, please do forward them to any other new or expecting parents. Questions and comments are welcome. Happy parenting!

By: Naomi Tripi


  1. thanks for he great tips I didnt even know there was a teething diaper rash makes sense now

  2. You're welcome! Thank you for the feedback.

  3. Wow, thanks alot. I was ready to ditch my daughter's nanny for blaming her raw-skin rash on excess acid & diarrhea from teething. I thought for sure she was just making excuses for not changing my princess as often as she should have. Thanks for posting this!