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You’re about to change your baby’s diaper and what do you see? Bright red skin! You’re immediately overcome with stress, wondering “what’s wrong” or “is this normal”? Well, take deep breaths. Your baby probably has some diaper rash and that is completely normalbut there are ways to prevent it. Before we find out how, let’s see what a diaper rash is.

What is a diaper rash?

Diaper rash is the irritation of your baby’s perinatal skin by your baby’s wee or poo. It is one of the most common problems in infancy. How does this irritation occur? Urine (wee) contains a large amount of a substance called urea. Urea is broken down to produce ammonia. Ammonia causes skin irritation.

What are the symptoms of diaper rash?

The skin in the genital area is irritated and looks red. Early treatment is of particular importance because otherwise the area can be easily infected with fungi. When the area is infected with candida (fungus infection), the redness spreads to the inguinal folds, blisters might appear and in some areas the skin peels off.

How to prevent diaper rash?


Change your child's diaper regularly.

Use very absorbent diapers

Avoid elastic panties over diapers.

It is important to use a protective cream with every diaper change. The cream must have the following characteristics: 

To have emollient and soothing action
Inhibit the growth of germs.
To inhibit the growth of moisture.

How you can treat your baby's diaper rash

Use creams containing zinc, they help to cure the rash.

Visit your paediatrician if the diaper rash persists, to rule out fungal infection of the area. In this case, the Dr may advise you to use antifungal ointments. When the problem is severe, your doctor may prescribe a cortisone cream. DO NOT use a cortisone cream for more that 4-5 days. Uncontrolled use of the cream can lead to complications. Alternatively, there are many creams that do not contain cortisone and have the following qualities:
a. Relieving action
b. Healing action.
c. They bind poo and wee enzymes that irritate the skin.
Authored by Dr. Adamos Hadjipanayi, Paediatrician