The three main causes of diaper rash are dirty diapers, food allergy or sensitivity and bacterial or yeast infections. It’s important to identify which type you’re dealing with so you can treat it most effectively.
The most common cause for diaper rash is unprotected skin that has contact for too long with dirty diapers. We’ll call this “common diaper rash” because it is common. All babies get it and it doesn’t mean that you didn’t take care of your baby’s pristine new skin!
Different babies will have different tolerances for how long they can be in a dirty diaper, so you will learn by experience how long is “too long” for each of your children. Poopy diapers definitely tend to be more problematic than wet diapers, especially with today’s diapers that are so good at keeping the moisture away from the baby’s skin.
Food Allergy or Sensitivity
New foods may also cause diaper rash and may indicate a food allergy or sensitivity. Pay attention to what foods your baby ate right before you saw the diaper rash. Babies’ bodies are efficient and the rash will appear within hours of eating a problematic food. You may also notice a rash around your baby’s mouth if you’re dealing with an allergy issue.
If the rash is mild and it only happens once or twice, then it’s not a big deal. If there’s a consistent pattern with a specific food, it’s best to avoid that food for a while. Pay extra close attention when you’re introducing certain high-allergy foods like eggs, wheat, milk and fruits.
The easiest way to tell that you dealing with more than just a common diaper rash is when the irritation is worse in the folds of the skin. The folds are more protected and tend to be less irritated with common diaper rash. Yeast, however, loves the moist folds and thrives in it. Another sign that you are dealing with a yeast infection is yeast in the mouth. This will look like dried milk that you can’t scrape off.
Talk to your doctor if you suspect a yeast infection. You will need an anti-yeast cream to properly treat the rash and drops for the mouth.
This is the most serious form of diaper rash and you need to get antibiotic treatment from your pediatrician. If the bumps are filled with yellowish fluid, it is probably a bacterial infection. Common diaper rash causes red “irritated” bumps that are raised but don’t have fluid in them.
Here are some great tips to get rid of diaper rash and more tips to prevent diaper rash.