Diaper Rash

Q:  “My 6-month-old has terrible diaper rash. What can I do?”

A:  If your baby’s diaper rash lasts for more than a day after you’ve cleaned and dried the area, and kept her diapers fresh and dry for several changes, she may have a yeast infection.

If her skin is very red and tender in the folds and creases of the diaper area, and the rash lasts more than 3 days, it is almost certainly a yeast infection. You can clear it up quickly by applying zinc oxide cream to the area and changing diapers often. Your pediatrician may prescribe an antifungal cream as well after seeing the rash.

Avoid any cream that contains peanut oil, as these products have been linked to an increase in peanut allergies. If you use cloth diapers, a fabric softener or detergent may be irritating your baby’s skin. (It’s not a good idea to use fabric softener on diapers, anyway, because it coats the diapers and makes them lose their absorbency. Vinegar can be used as substitute softener.)

In any case, it’s always helpful (although sometimes messy) to let her go diaperless for a while each day. Fresh air can clear up nearly any rash.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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