Diaper rashes are common in infants and young children. Diaper rashes can vary from a mild redness (the most common kind) to painful open sores in the area of the abdomen, buttocks, genitals, and within the folds of the thighs. The causes are many, as are the prescriptions and non-prescription creams, ointments and powders that parents use to manage these rashes. Excessive wetness, diarrhea, diaper sensitivities, food sensitivities and antibiotic use are just some of the precipitating factors. Avoidance of commercially available wipes (even the scent-free, alcohol-free ones) may help prevent diaper rash in the first weeks of life. Cotton balls, gauze and soft cloths (cloth diapers as wash cloths) with some warm Dove-soapy water may be used, particularly when not on the go.
Many parents find Vaseline useful as a protector before re-diapering. If an irritative rash is noticed, change diapers frequently and keep the area as dry as possible. Creams and ointments, such as zinc oxide, A&D, Balmex and Desitin may be used for simple irritative diaper rashes. Some parents prefer powders such as cornstarch or Caldescene, applied carefully and limited to the diaper area. Yeast rashes or blistering rashes may be more stubborn. If a diaper rash is persistent, a call or visit to the office may be necessary.
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