Diaper Rashes Solved

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Diaper rashes can be a complicated thing for new parents and baby, especially if it just won't go away. Local doctor, Christopher Keefer, M.D., weighs in.

That uncomfortable, sore, prickly stuff happens, and both you and Baby hate it. Diaper rashes are common for babies, but not many new parents understand why it occurs or how to treat it. We asked local moms to share what they find works best for pesky rashes. First, it’s important for you to understand how diaper rashes start in order to help prevent and treat them. Here’s how you can be prepared for your little one:
“Simple diaper rash occurs in babies and young children when skin is exposed to moist and/or soiled diapers for a prolonged period of time,” says Christopher Keefer, M.D., associate professor and pediatrician at Meharry Medical College. “Your child’s risk for this type of rash often increases during illnesses associated with diarrhea.” Knowing this, new parents must remember to change baby’s diaper often during illnesses with diarrhea.
But what if there’s no real known reason for a diaper rash to occur?
“Occasionally a simple diaper rash may be complicated by a yeast infection of the skin, especially during or shortly after taking antibiotics,” says Keefer. “If the rash doesn’t improve with over-the-counter diaper creams, talk with your pediatrician, as additional treatment may be required.”

Make a Barrier on Baby’s Bottom

“The best ways to prevent and treat the rashes are frequent diaper changes and the application of barrier creams/ointments, such as A+D or Desitin, to any skin exposed to the diaper material,” says Keefer. “When using these, it’s important to ensure the skin is dry before applying the cream.” With that in mind, new parents may also want to keep backup ways on hand. Sometimes, what works for one baby will not work for another. Many moms say applying petroleum jelly on Baby’s bottom at every change keeps moisture from wetting the diaper away from the skin.

Local moms share home remedies for diaper rash:

  • “My grandmother told me about old dirt dobbers’ nests,” says local mom Misti Voorhies. “Crush them into a powder and sprinkle it on the diaper rash; the rash is guaranteed to be gone by the next diaper change. Used it on all three of my kids, works wonders! Also the cream for breastfeeding mothers works wonders as well.”
  • “I tried Happy Hiney, and it literally blistered his bottom,” says local mom Kendra Hermon. “Triple Paste works well, but I have recently fallen in love with Butt Paste — the extra strength in the red tube. It’s 40 percent zinc oxide and works. Also, Aveeno makes a diaper rash bath that works wonders!”
  • “If you mix Aquaphor and Neosporin together and apply a thin layer onto the rash it will get dramatically better overnight,” says local mom Jami Waller. “You can also mix in an antacid like Maalox and it will help as well.”
  • “If it’s from a yeast infection, add about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a couple of cups of warm water and sponge on,” says Piete Ferguson. “Then, dry with a cool blow dryer (cool, NOT hot) with each diaper change. It’s a remedy from an old pediatrician from more than 20 years ago, and it works great. Also works for adults with yeast on skin (between skin folds, etc.).”
  • “Breast milk! Gently poor warm milk over bottom and allow to air dry,” says local mom Erica Hannahan. “Put on diaper and repeat as needed. It does amazing things.”
  • “My daughter was allergic to most creams. Her diaper rash got so bad it was cracked and bleeding,” recalls local mom Rebecca Toner. “I tried coconut oil, breastmilk, airing it, nystatin and almost every cream out there, but what finally worked was Bag Balm. It comes in a green tin and is made for cow utters. Yep, had to go to Tractor Supply Company for my baby, but it was a miracle worker for only about $6.”

Kiera Ashford is associate editor of Nashville Parent and mother of three.

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