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What are the Different Kinds of Diaper Rash Treatments?

By Mandi Rogier
Updated May 17, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments

By bear78 — On Mar 07, 2014

@SarahGen-- Good question.

It's not easy to tell apart yeast infections from diaper rash in babies. Our pediatrician told us to try diaper rash treatments first. If the rash does not respond to those treatments, then it's probably a fungal infection and an anti-fungal cream can be used in that case. I think this is the only way to know.

I highly recommend natural diaper rash treatment with lanolin. This type of ointment is very effective. Lanolin is made from sheep's wool and has a waterproof effect on skin. So when used regularly, it prevents diaper rash and will also treat it.

Be careful with hydrocortisone creams. Don't use these unless the doctor specifically tells you to. This is a steroid cream and can cause more problems in the long term. It can affect the baby's immunity an cause the rash to worsen. I personally feel that hydrocortisone creams should be the last option for diaper rash treatment and it should always be a temporary treatment under the supervision of a doctor.

By SarahGen — On Mar 07, 2014

How do I know whether to use anti-fungal cream as a treatment for diaper rash or something else? Is it possible to distinguish yeast infections from a typical diaper rash?

By donasmrs — On Mar 07, 2014

My grandmother helped raise both my brother and I. According to my mother, my grandmother used lard as a diaper rash remedy for both of us. Yes you heard it right, good old lard from the kitchen. Apparently it worked very well, along with some cornstarch to serve the purpose of baby powder.

I have a baby now and although I like using natural remedies, I don't think I could get myself to put lard on my baby's bottom. I think I will stick to zinc oxide baby rash cream.

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