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Diaper rash affects two-thirds of babies at least once, but most of the time the rash is mild and disappears within 24 hours. All rashes, however, have the potential to become more severe and need to be monitored. The first sign that diaper rash is developing is redness on the baby's bottom. The baby may become irritable and may cry more frequently. In more serious cases tiny blisters may appear, growing together to form a crush on the skin. Yeast infections can develop on pre-existing rashes. Diaper rash is caused by exposure to urine, feces, or other chemicals by the baby's sensitive skin. It can also be caused if the diapers are worn too tightly or too long. Babies' skin can also become sensitive to detergents used to wash cloth diapers or substances inherent in disposables causing skin allergies to develop.


WAYS TO AVOID DIAPER RASH

1. Change diapers frequently.

2. Use the proper size diaper for your baby.

3. Avoid diapers that trap moisture.

4. Avoid using soaps which may irritate baby's bottom.

5. Use water to clean baby's bottom instead of diaper wipes.

6. Expose the diaper area to air for an extended period each day. (e.g. naps)

7. Make sure baby's bottom is dry before putting on another diaper.

8. Wash your hands before and after each diaper change.

9. Wash cloth diapers with bleach or boil 10-15 minutes before washing to kill germs.

10. Use different types of diapers if rashes are recurrent.


TREATMENT

For Bacterial Infections:

Antibiotic creams are available for diaper rash. Be sure to use one that contain zinc oxide. Herbs such as burdock (taken internally), plantin, comfrey, and pansy (all used externally) can be used to relieve diaper rash. Aloe vera and vitamin E gels can be applied to soothe the rash.

Note: Acidophilus supplements should be given if antibiotic creams are used since the use of antibiotics may cause a yeast infection to occur.

For Yeast Infections:

Anit-fungal creams are available to relieve a yeast infected rash. Acidophilus supplements should also be given to combat the infection.