If your baby is crying for no reason while you put her/him to sleep, or if while changing diapers, a child shows signs of irritation, it could be symptomatic of rashes.
Known causes of rashes include bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. Symptoms include redness, white or yellow scales, itching, pearly pimples, bumps, or cysts. say experts.
What does diaper rash look like?
If your child’s diaper area is irritated and red, chances are, it is a rash. The skin may also be a little puffy and warm when you touch it. Diaper rash could be mild and start with a few prickly red spots in a small area and then spread out with tender red bumps up to the tummy and thighs.
”If these are not addressed, they can lead to secondary bacterial infection. The parents should not think that only talcum powder can heal a rash as it may even feed the bacteria. Gentle oil massage and leaving the area open to dry may be a good solution and the rashes may heal fast, “ says, Dr CC Sowmya, Consultant Pediatrician at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru.
How does a rash erupt?
Wetness is the main cause. Even the most absorbent diaper leaves some moisture behind. “When a child’s urine mixes with bacteria from his stool, it breaks down and forms ammonia, which can be very harsh. That’s why children with frequent bowel movements are more prone to diaper rash,” says Dr Jayashree Murthy, Consultant Gynecologist,Motherhood Hospital.
When to consult a doctor?
See a doctor if the rash looks infected. Signs of infection include blisters, pus-filled pimples, oozing yellow patches, or open sores. The doctor may prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic to your child. For a diaper rash caused by a yeast infection, he may recommend an over-the-counter or prescription anti-fungal cream.
Also see the doctor if your child develops a fever or her rash doesn’t go away after several days of home treatment.
How to heal and prevent a rash
Breastfeed your child for as long as you can. Breastfeeding boosts your child’s resistance to infections in general and makes her less likely to need antibiotics, which can contribute to diaper rash.
Keep your child clean and dry by changing his or her diaper frequently. That may mean waking him or her up at night for a diaper change
Rinse the diaper area well during each change. Don’t use wipes that contain alcohol or fragrance.
Use an ointment that forms a protective barrier on the skin after every diaper change to help protect your child’s irritated skin from stool and urine. There are several good barrier ointments in the market, including petroleum ointment or petroleum jelly, nonpetroleum jelly, lanolin products, and white zinc oxide.
Put your child’s diaper on loosely or use a diaper that’s a little big to allow for better air circulation. If you buy disposables, try a different brand to see if that helps.There are varieties for sensitive skin and extra-absorbent options will pull more moisture away from your child’s skin.
Consider letting your child sleep with a bare bottom whenever he has a rash. A plastic sheet under the cloth one will help protect the mattress.
When your child does need to take an antibiotic, ask the doctor about giving her/him a probiotic as well. Probiotics encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, which may reduce your child’s chances of getting a diaper rash.