Diaper rash is a common skin irritation found on the bottoms of babies. While this red, bumpy irritation is not usually a cause for serious concern, it can be very uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are many diaper rash treatments that can ease and even prevent this problem, including soothing creams and medicated ointments. Keeping a baby's bottom dry and letting the baby's skin "breathe" without a diaper on for several hours a day can also help treat a diaper rash.
One of the most common diaper rash treatments is a soothing cream. There are many diaper rash creams on the market and nearly any choice will do the job. These creams serve to form a thick barrier between the skin and irritants such as urine and stool that can aggravate this type of rash.
Hydrocortisone cream, anti-fungal cream, and zinc oxide are all good diaper rash treatments. Zinc oxide is the mildest choice. Anti-fungal creams are the best choice when you are concerned with yeast infections in the area. Hydrocortisone cream is a very strong and effective treatment. This should not be used for more than a few days at a time, however, as long-term use of this treatment can be harmful to the skin in this area.
You can also treat diaper rash by airing out the infected area. Constant friction between the skin and the diaper may worsen the skin irritation. Lay the baby on her belly on a water proof towel or mat for a few hours during the day to allow the area to thoroughly dry and air out.
While babies do not need to be bathed on a daily basis, frequently cleaning and drying the diaper area are other effective diaper rash treatments. Rinse the area off with clean water at least once a day if the baby has a persistent rash. Avoid using harsh soaps or scented body lotions. Pat the area dry with a soft cloth before dressing the baby in a new diaper. Leaving the bottom damp when diapering can worsen the rash.
Change the baby's diaper frequently and avoid leaving her in a dirty or wet diaper for too long to keep diaper rashes at bay. Thoroughly clean the area with a wipe when the baby is dirty. Make sure the diaper fits comfortably and is not chafing against the skin too much.
Some babies are also sensitive to certain diapers or wipes. Overly sensitive skin is more susceptible to diaper rashes and can be irritated simply by regular diaper use. Most manufacturers now offer special diapers and wipes for sensitive skin. Switch to these options to further ease a persistent rash.