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The Kid’s Doctor: how to deal with diaper rash

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Use a non-perfumed, hypo-allergenic wipe when changing your baby’s diaper.

By Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Newborn babies have the softest little bottoms, and they also have a lot of poop! The combination often leads to a raw, red bottom and a diaper rash. Newborns often poop every time they eat, and sometimes in between. And you don’t even realize they have pooped again.

Even with the constant diaper changing (Would you have believed you would use eight to 12 diapers a day?), it is very common for that newborn to develop their first diaper rash. Not only will the skin be red and raw, but it may even sometimes be so chapped that it may bleed a bit. This diaper rash causes a lot of parental concern and will often result in the first of many calls to their pediatrician.

A patchwork of inflamed, bright red skin on the buttocks. Source: Mayo Clinic

A patchwork of inflamed, bright red skin on the buttocks. Source: Mayo Clinic

A new baby is supposed to poop a lot, so you can’t change that fact, but you can try all sorts of things to protect that precious bottom and treat the diaper rash. After using a diaper wipe (non-perfumed, hypo-allergenic), I sometimes bring out the blow dryer, turn it to cool and dry the baby’s bottom a bit. Then I apply a mixture of a zinc-based diaper cream (e.g., Desitin, Dr. Smith’s, Triple Paste), which I mix in the palm of my hand with a tiny bit of liquid over-the-counter antacid. I don’t measure it. I use a lot of diaper cream and small amount of antacid so it won’t be runny and put a really heavy layer of this on the baby’s bottom.

If after several days the rash is still not improving, it may have become secondarily infected with yeast so I add a yeast cream (Lotrimin AF, Triple Paste AF) to the concoction. If it has yeast this should do the trick to treat all of the problems.

I will also sometimes alternate using Aquaphor on the bottom with the aforementioned diaper cream concoction. It will take some time for it to totally go away, but you are trying to get a barrier between the poop and the skin on the baby’s bottom. So keep something on there after each diaper change.

After a few weeks of constant pooping, the number of stools does slow down a bit and that will help heal that new baby’s bottom as well.

(Dr. Sue Hubbard is an award-winning pediatrician, medical editor and media host. “The Kid’s Doctor” TV feature can be seen on more than 90 stations across the U.S. Submit questions at http://www.kidsdr.com. The Kid’s Doctor e-book, “Tattoos to Texting: Parenting Today’s Teen,” is now available from Amazon and other e-book vendors.)