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Diaper Rash and How to Prevent It

Based on content from Johnson & Johnson's Baby Care Basics: The Essential Guide for New Parents.

Diaper rash begins when trapped moisture and friction begin to irritate the skin. The irritation continues over time, and the harsh urine and stools inside a soiled diaper can make the situation worse. Some babies can also develop a diaper rash when they are sick or teething. Diaper rash is not only uncomfortable for the baby, but if it is left untreated, or doesn't resolve itself, it can even lead to infection.

Diarrhea, which can be caused by illness, changes in your baby's diet or use of prescription antibiotics, can also lead to diaper rash. When your baby's stools are loose, change diapers more frequently, and use a preventative treatment containing petrolatum.

Diaper rash is a very common condition. In fact, nearly all babies develop it at one point or another, so don't let yourself feel guilty if your baby develops diaper rash. It doesn't mean you're not doing a wonderful job caring for your baby - dealing with diaper rash is just part of being a parent.

To help keep your baby's diaper area healthy:

  • Change diapers frequently, avoiding prolonged contact of wet or soiled diapers
  • Apply a diaper rash ointment such as DESITIN® Rapid Relief Cream to create a barrier against wetness and irritants. If your baby already has a rash, choose a product with zinc oxide and other ingredients that soothe the skin and promote healing, such as DESITIN® Maximum Strength Original Paste You may also want to leave your baby's diaper off for a short time to allow your baby's skin to dry.
  • If your child's skin has blisters or open sores, is severely red, or does not respond to diaper rash treatments, call your pediatrician. A prescription medicine may be required