Generally, a diaper rash can be treated successfully at home. Make an appointment with your baby's doctor if the rash gets worse despite several days of home treatment, is severe or occurs along with a fever.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
- List your baby's signs and symptoms, and for how long your baby has had them.
- List key information about your baby's medical conditions and food intake. For example, has your baby been treated for any illness or given any medications recently? Has the baby's diet changed? If your baby is breast-fed also note any medications he or she may have been exposed to through breast milk, as well as changes in the mother's diet, such as an increase in tomato-based foods.
- List all products that come into contact with your baby's skin. Your baby's doctor will want to know what brand of diapers, laundry detergent, soaps, lotions, powders and oils you use for your baby. If you suspect one or more products may be causing your baby's diaper rash, you may wish to bring them to the appointment so your doctor can read the label.
- List questions to ask your doctor. Creating your list of questions in advance can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.
Below are some basic questions to ask your doctor about diaper rash.
- What is the most likely cause of my baby's rash?
- What are other possible causes?
- What can I do to help my baby's skin heal?
- What diaper ointments, pastes, creams or lotions would you recommend for my baby?
- When should I use an ointment or paste instead of a cream or lotion?
- Do you suggest any other treatments?
- What products or ingredients should I avoid using with my baby?
- Should I avoid exposing my baby to certain foods, either through breast milk or through my baby's diet?
- How soon do you expect my baby's symptoms to improve?
- What can I do to prevent this condition from recurring?
- Is the rash a sign of some other internal problem?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to talk about in-depth. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you first notice your baby's signs and symptoms?
- What type of diaper does your baby typically wear?
- How often do you or your baby's child care provider change your baby's diaper?
- What types of soap and wipes do you use to clean your baby?
- Do you apply any skin care products to your baby, such as lotions, powders, creams and oils?
- Is the baby breast-fed? If so, is the mother taking antibiotics? Are there any changes to the mother's own diet?
- Have you introduced your baby to solid foods?
- What treatments have you tried so far for your baby's rash? Has anything helped?
- Has your baby recently had any other medical conditions, including any illness that caused diarrhea?
- Has your baby recently taken any new medications?
What you can do in the meantime
In the time leading up to your appointment, avoid products that seem to trigger your baby's rash. Wash your baby's bottom with water after each diaper change. Avoid soaps and wipes that contain alcohol or fragrance.
Give your baby as much diaper-free time as possible, so that his or her skin can have a chance to stay dry and start healing. When you do use diapers, change them frequently and apply a diaper rash cream, lotion, paste or ointment to act as a barrier between your baby's skin and a dirty diaper.
May 08, 2015
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- AskMayoExpert. Diaper dermatitis (pediatric). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
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- Hajbaghery AM, et al. Shampoo-clay heals diaper rash faster than calendula officinalis. Nurse Midwifery Studies. 2014;3:e14180.
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- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 20, 2015.
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