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Types of Diaper Rash: Identification & Treatment

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Taking care of your little one’s health is a full-time job. When you notice a rash, your first instinct is to wonder where you went wrong!

Don’t worry. Your baby’s skin is the very definition of delicate. Since your child is still growing, they’re still susceptible to everyday issues such as rashes, bumps, and irritation. Diaper rash is the most common rash by far and isn’t easy to avoid.

What are the different types of diaper rash and how do you treat them? Read on to learn more about identification and treatment of this frustrating issue!

How Common are Diaper Rashes?

You’re not a negligent parent when your baby gets a diaper rash. Notice we said when and not if! Due to just how delicate your baby’s skin is, occasional irritation and rashes are inevitable.

It’s common for babies between the ages of three and fifteen months to get rashes every few months. If you notice diaper rashes are more frequent, it’s possible their diet or an underlying skin issue could be a problem. Always check in with your pediatrician when you notice anything out of the blue.

The type of diaper rash will also let you know the source and best mode of treatment.

Related: Why Do Babies Cry in Their Sleep?

What are the Different Types of Diaper Rash?

Part of being a new mother is learning dermatology. Your baby’s skin is quick to reveal anything uncomfortable, especially inside the notoriously dirty diaper.

Acidic Stool

Your baby’s stool communicates several things. Depending on the consistency and the color, you’ll learn details about the efficacy of their diet, your breastmilk, and any underlying health issues.

Acidic stool is a frequent issue when your child starts eating solid food. This problem is caused by the baby’s digestive system becoming more active than usual, leading to a higher amount of acid passed. If you’re still breastfeeding your baby, acidic poop can be an issue, too. 

Remember that whatever you eat will pass onto your baby in trace amounts. Try to keep spicy and acidic foods to a minimum to reduce your baby’s acidic stool issues.

Irritant Dermatitis

Babies are always wiggling, crawling, and dancing. These actions are how they learn about their bodies and their environment! Sadly, there’s a side-effect to so much movement: irritant dermatitis.

This term refers to the rubbing and chafing your baby experiences wearing their diaper. You’ll notice sensitive pink and red areas where the diaper rubs, such as the inner thighs, buttocks, or waistline.

Not Changing the Diaper in Time

When your baby starts getting fussy and annoyed, it’s time to change the diaper. Waiting too long drastically increases the chance of a rash.

If you don’t change your baby’s diaper in time, you may notice angry red rashes where the pee and stool collects.

Related: How To Change A Diaper

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How Do I Treat Diaper Rash?

Thankfully, diaper rash is extremely easy to treat. You can easily find over the counter treatments at your grocery store or pharmacy.

We highly recommend using baby-specific creams made with zinc oxide or petroleum based jelly ointments. These medications will moisturize the skin and speed up the natural healing process. 

If the rash doesn’t start healing within a few days, you may need to check in with your pediatrician.

How Do I Prevent Diaper Rashes?

The best way to treat diaper rashes? Prevent them from happening in the first place. While we touched on prevention tips above, we have a few more to keep your baby happy.

Apply Regular Ointments

Be proactive with your baby’s skincare routine. Provide regular moisturizing and ointment to keep their skin soft, moisturized, and glowing.

Change the Diaper Size

If you’re noticing specific rashes cropping up in the same spot, your baby may have an ill fitting diaper. Switch to a looser or softer diaper brand to reduce irritation.

Give Your Baby a Diaper Break

Your baby needs a break from their diaper sometimes. Give them a few times a week to enjoy some air on their bare skin (though keep them on a towel for any surprise messes).

Related: How to Bathe Your Newborn Baby

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Know When to Call a Doctor

The different types of diaper rash you encounter will say a lot about what your baby is dealing with. Mild rashes are inevitable, but can be kept to a minimum with a few changes.

Pay close attention to your baby’s diet (and your diet if you’re breastfeeding) to reduce the chances of acidic stool. Double-check your baby’s diaper for ill-fitting materials and give them a break from wearing a diaper a few times a week. If you have a stubborn and serious rash, reach out to your pediatrician for skin allergies.

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