Generally, a diaper rash can be treated successfully at home. But, if your baby has signs and symptoms of diaper rash that don't improve after several days of at-home treatment, are severe or occur along with a fever, make an appointment with your baby's doctor.
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.
- Write down your baby's key medical information, including other conditions for which your baby has been treated and any prescription or over-the-counter medications your baby has recently taken. If your baby is breast-fed, also note any medications he or she may have been exposed to through breast milk.
- 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.
- Write down 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 dermatitis. If any additional questions occur to you during your visit, don't hesitate to ask.
- What is the most likely cause of my baby's rash?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- What can I do to help my baby's skin heal?
- What diaper ointments or creams would you recommend for my baby?
- When should I use an ointment instead of a cream, and vice versa?
- Are there any other treatments you'd suggest?
- Are there any products or ingredients that I should avoid using with my baby?
- Should I avoid exposing my baby to any 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?
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?
- Do you suspect any particular triggers for your baby's condition?
- 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?
- What laundry detergent do you use to wash your baby's clothes?
- Is your baby breast-fed?
- 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, and 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 or ointment to act as a barrier between your baby's skin and a dirty diaper.
May 22, 2012
- Horii KA. Overview of diaper dermatitis in infants and children. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 7, 2012.
- What can I do if my baby gets diaper rash? American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/diapers-clothing/pages/Diaper-Rash-Solution.aspx. Accessed April 2, 2012.
- Scheinfeld N. Diaper dermatitis: A review and brief survey of eruptions of the diaper area. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2005;6:273.
- Shin HT. Diaper dermatitis that does not quit. Dermatologic Therapy. 2005;18:124.
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