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First Aid & Emergencies

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Diaper Rash Treatment

Diaper rash is very common, especially in babies who have started to eat solid foods. Here are ways you can help your child.

Call Doctor If:

  • The rash seems severe (crusty, oozing, spreading).
  • The rash appears along with other symptoms, such as a fever or diarrhea.
  • The rash happens while the child is taking antibiotics.
  • The child seems to be very irritable or in pain because of the rash.

1. Change Diapers Often

  • Change your baby's diaper as soon as it's wet or soiled.
  • Use warm water and gentle soap -- or skip the soap entirely.
  • Avoid fragranced wipes or wipes all together.

2. Let the Area Dry

  • After a change or bath, pat the diaper area dry. Don't rub.
  • When possible, put your baby down on a cloth without a diaper and let the skin air dry.
  • Never put on a new diaper until your baby's skin is completely dry.

3. Soothe the Skin

  • Protect the skin with a thick layer of petroleum jelly or zinc oxide cream. This creates a barrier between skin and moisture.

4. Avoid Irritants

  • Avoid baby wipes that are scented or contain alcohol.
  • If you use cloth diapers, don't wash them with a scented detergent.
  • Don't use rubber or plastic pants over the diaper, since they trap moisture and heat.
  • Make sure your baby's diapers aren't too tight.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 15, 2015

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