Brush up on the causes and treatments of irritated baby rumps.
Red, irritated skin on baby’s bottom is an unfortunate side effect of wearing diapers. No matter how diligent you are about whisking baby’s diaper away at the first sign of wetness, your little one will likely encounter discomfort on her sensitive skin sometime during her first years of life. Here’s what you’ll need to know when that day comes.
A diaper rash can take many different forms, depending on its type (surprisingly, there are several) and severity. If things are looking funny down below, use this guide to identify and treat baby’s rash so you can get her back to her typically cheerful self ASAP.
Contact rash. Flat, irritated, red skin is likely a contact rash from exposure to diaper contents; if it gets bad, the skin might blister or peel.
Treat it: Allow baby plenty of air time by laying her diaper-free on a waterproof mat. When she’s wearing a diaper, use a zinc-based diaper cream.
Allergy rash. If your baby develops a red ring around her anus, it could be indicative of a food allergy. If she’s eating solids, take note of her recent diet; if she’s breastfeeding, the reaction may be from something you ate.
Treat it: Once you identify the food trigger, eliminate it from her diet (or yours). A soothing ointment can ease discomfort until the rash has cleared.
Intertrigo rash. Baby’s chubby rolls can get irritated at the creases (particularly around the diaper area), resulting in a red, burn-like appearance.
Treat it: Allow the creases to dry thoroughly after baths and diaper changes (try blowing gently while holding the rolls back) and offer relief with a petrolatum-based ointment.
Yeast rash. Caused when damaged skin is irritated by yeast from the intestines, yeast rashes often occur when babies are being treated for illness with antibiotics. The bright red and raised rash will be primarily over the genitalia but often spreads over baby’s backside as well. (And yes, both boys and girls can get yeast rash!)
Treat it: Ask your doctor to recommend an over-the-counter antifungal cream or provide a prescription.
All diaper creams are not created equal, and different moms swear by different kinds. Buy small tubes of various brands to find the one that works best for you and your baby.
The cream: pure lanolin-based
Best for: easing discomfort and treating mild rashes
We like: Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment
The cream: ingredient combo
Best for: severe rashes
We like: Triple Paste Medicated Ointment for Diaper Rash