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The 10 Best Tips to Treat and Prevent Diaper Rash

by Vannessa Rhoades 07 Nov 2022
The 10 Best Tips to Treat and Prevent Diaper Rash

Diaper rash, or diaper dermatitis, is fairly common – most babies develop it at some point. Still, as a caregiver, it can be upsetting to find your baby's tender tush and inner thighs covered in uncomfortable, tiny red bumps. Diaper rash can be caused by a number of factors:

  • Chafing or rubbing
  • Leaving on wet or soiled diapers too long
  • Developing a bacterial or yeast (fungal) infection
  • Using a new diaper material, detergent, or hygiene products
  • Introducing a new food
  • Using antibiotics
  • Having sensitive skin

Babies have very delicate skin, and sometimes despite a parent’s best effort, diaper rash still occurs. Let’s take a look at a few tips and treatments that can help heal it.

1. Change baby’s diapers frequently. 

Clean, dry diapers reduce the risk of diaper rash. It takes only a tiny bit of trapped moisture to irritate a baby’s delicate skin and cause a rash. Be aware and change your baby’s diapers right away if they are wet or soiled, even if they aren’t fussing to be changed. 

2. Keep baby clean and dry.

The most important thing you can do to prevent diaper rash is to keep your baby’s bottom clean and dry. During a diaper change, gently cleanse the area with a soft cloth or a little squirt of water from a water bottle. Hypoallergenic wipes are best – avoid anything containing alcohol. If the diaper area is irritated, a daily bath will help remove debris, irritants, and possible bacteria. 

Gently and effectively clean your baby's face, body and diaper area with Mustela Stelatopia® Replenishing Cleansing Wipes. Mustela ultra-soft, fragrance-free baby wipes are specially designed for eczema-prone skin and are 47% thicker than Mustela  classic wipes. Stelatopia® Replenishing Cleansing Wipes will relieve and moisturize delicate eczema-prone skin while leaving your baby’s skin feeling soft and comfortable. Perfect for quick clean-ups -- no need to rinse with water!


3. Give baby time to “air out.”

Consider putting down a towel or waterproof pad during changes so your baby can have a little diaper-free time to “air out” their bottom. Ideally, try to allow the area to dry out several times a day for about ten minutes or so. Pressed for time? Gently blow on the area or fan baby dry using a clean diaper. 

4. Ensure the diaper is the correct size.

A too-tight diaper can trap extra moisture and actually encourage a rash, especially overnight. Too-big diapers can cause chafing and irritation that makes the problem harder to heal. Check your little one’s diaper size and switch to a different one, if necessary. Diapers should be snug enough to contain leaks, but still leave a little breathing room so that it doesn’t cause friction or rubbing.

5. Use disposable diapers during an outbreak.

Cloth diapers are a great choice for many babies, but they may not be the best option for a baby who has a diaper rash. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents consider using ultra-absorbent disposable diapers until the rash heals in order to keep baby drier.

Honest Diapers Size 1 are super absorbent and made with natural and sustainable materials and are gentle on your baby's delicate skin. Now with an improved fit and advanced leak protection like never before, this super soft diaper is designed to perform.


6. Switch the products you’re using.

Take a look at the products in your baby-changing arsenal. Have you switched to a new lotion or soap recently? Perhaps you’re using a new detergent to wash cloth diapers? Avoid using perfumed products, including fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free are much less irritating for many little ones.

You should also avoid using baby powder or cornstarch on your infant. It’s easily inhaled and harmful to their little lungs. In fact, cornstarch can actually worsen a diaper rash triggered by a yeast infection. 

7. Coat the skin with a thick layer of barrier paste.

Fragrance-free zinc oxide and petrolatum products are excellent choices for treating diaper rash. The paste is essentially a protective shield that protects the skin from whatever is inside the diaper. If the paste is clean, you don’t need to wipe it off during a change; just add a bit more on top. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Dermatology, there’s really no such thing as too much diaper paste. They advise applying it in a thick layer, like frosting on a cupcake. 

Treat and prevent diaper rash with Burt's Bees Baby Diaper Rash Ointment. Formulated with 40% zinc oxide and sweet almond oil for maximum protection, this ointment creates an emollient layer that shields the baby from wetness that can irritate delicate skin. No more fear of what lurks under the diaper - nothing but a smooth, healthy bottom.


8. Wash your hands after diaper changes.

Hand-washing can help avoid spreading any germs that may cause infections that lead to diaper rash.  

9. Consider natural home remedies.

While these methods aren’t backed by scientific studies and haven’t been researched, many parents swear that alternative remedies provide better soothing relief for their little ones. Use caution if you decide to try one of these options and discontinue if the rash gets worse or isn’t healing.

Popular natural treatments include:

  • aloe vera gel
  • breast milk
  • witch hazel ointment
  • shampoo clay
  • calendula cream

10. See the doctor.

Most diaper rash clears up on its own with the home treatment options above, but the rash can become infected. A pediatrician should treat an infected diaper rash.  Signs of a skin infection may include:

  • blisters
  • pus that drains from the rash
  • a rash that does not go away after treatment or worsens
  • fever
  • baby is in a lot of pain or is hard to console

Your pediatrician may prescribe medication to treat the infection. Follow the instructions carefully as some medications for diaper rash are only safe to use for short periods of time.

The Bottom Line

Though most baby bottoms have to endure diaper rash at some point, there's plenty you can do to keep those breakouts to a minimum. Talk with your pediatrician if you have any questions about diaper rashes and how to treat and prevent them.

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