Diaper rash always has a reason. It is not normal. Before you start applying diaper rash creams, start by evaluating what could be the potential skin irritant. Also realize that infant skin is very tender and can turn red just from pressure. I had a mom one time contact me about this rash it was like bumpy all over where the diaper was. I decided to have her come over so I could look at it. Sure enough it was red and pimply looking---it was a perfect imprint of the pilled fleece on the inside of the diaper much like ribbed socks on a baby's leg. In this case, we identified pressure marks on the sensitive skin and not a diaper rash at all.
Conditions that may Cause Diaper Rash
- Teething or illness. Not much you can do to change this that you aren't already doing. Barrier cream to protect the skin may be the choice needed.
- Acidic or allergic food intake by baby or by mother if baby is nursing. Generally presents itself as a round ring of red around the anal opening.
- Prolonged exposure to poop. Baby should always be changed immediately and thoroughly when poopy.
- Extended exposure to saturated diaper. Baby should be changed regularly during the day at least every 2-3 hours.
- Non-breathable diapers. Choose modern cloth diaper options like PUL, Nylon, Fleece and Wool. Avoid using plastic pants or vinyl coated diapers.
- Recent exposure to antibiotics can lead to a yeast infection. Breastfed babies can be exposed to antibiotics that the mother has taken.
- Detergent residue may be left on the diapers due to insufficient rinsing or use of a problematic detergent. Choose a detergent recommended for cloth diapering. Use the detergent in a proper amount for cloth diapering. Many people just starting out tend to use way too much detergent and it can lead to a rash in the diaper area. Realize that you may have to find a suitable detergent just for your baby from among the cloth diaper suitable detergents.
- Consider whether or not the baby's bum is being dried out and stripped of its natural oils by too much washing with soaps. Could it be the wipes you are using? the wipes solution? could it be related to bath products currently in use?
- Consider whether or not the baby's bum needs to be washed with water with each diaper change. My baby can pass gas that must be gaseous poo and a thin layer will coat the skin and be imperceptible to the naked eye. However, if it shows on a white cloth wipe and if I had failed to wipe would result in a bad diaper rash.
- In rare cases, diaper rash could be a fabric sensitivity. Often a detergent residue problem is misinterpreted as a fabric sensitivity. Consider if your baby has issue with the synthetic fabric in general. If polyester fleece or suedecloth is in question, consider whether or not the child has trouble with fleece clothing like sleepers. In rare instances, we have had baby's with wheat allergies also show sensitivities to hemp fabrics.
- Don't let your diapers be exposed to fabric softeners or dryer sheets. They contain chemicals that can be irritating.
More information on causes, symptoms and care available at mayoclinic.com