Diaper Rash Prevention
There are many steps that you can follow for preventing diaper rash. It is recommended that you change diapers often, clean your baby's bottom thoroughly, and allow some airflow (do not tighten the diaper too much). If your child gets frequent diaper rashes, prevention strategies may also involve applying certain creams or ointments prior to diaper use.
Preventing Diaper Rash
The key to preventing a diaper rash is to keep it clean, cool, and dry. Here are some diaper rash prevention suggestions that might help:
- Change diapers often: The longer skin is exposed to irritating urine and stool, the higher the chances for a diaper rash.
- Cloth versus disposable: No research has shown that cloth or disposable diapers are superior to the other in preventing diaper rashes. The key is to change diapers often, regardless of the type. If a rash does develop, it is recommended that you use disposable diapers. They are specially designed to wick moisture away from the skin, which will help in the healing process.
- Clean well: Make sure that all the stool is removed from your baby's bottom with each diaper change.
- Pat, don't scrub: When cleaning your child, be gentle. Baby skin is sensitive. The more gentle and careful you are when cleaning it, the less likely damage will occur.
- Baby wipes or no wipes: Warm water and a soft washcloth are often recommended as the cleaner of choice for a child's bottom. However, this is not nearly as practical as baby wipes. If you use baby wipes, look for ones that are unscented and do not contain chlorine, alcohol, and/or heavy moisturizers.
If your baby is prone to diaper rashes, high-quality "sensitive" baby wipes that are now available are a good choice, even when a diaper rash occurs. Just don't use them on areas where the skin has been broken.
- Don't overtighten: Tight diapers limit airflow, which can increase the moist environment. They also increase the chances of chafing.
- Use a cream or ointment: If your child gets frequent diaper rashes, you might want to consider using a diaper rash cream or ointment for prevention. Look for barrier creams, which have petroleum jelly, lanolin, or zinc oxide. Some products include Desitin®, A&D Ointment®, and Vaseline®.
- Let it dry: Give the area time to completely dry before putting on any creams or ointments and the new diaper.