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Baby Diaper Rash

Updated on November 7, 2008

Diaper Rash

The almost universal skin problem of babies is diaper rash. Many remedies are offered, but it is useful to remem­ber that the less remedies we apply to a baby's skin the better off he or she is likely to be. In primitive tropical societies where few clothes, if any, are worn by small chil­dren, diaper rash is said to be nonexistent.

Since the connection and conditions of our society de­mand the use of diapers, the best that can be done is to prevent and to treat the rash. Although ointments are generally banned or prohibited, zinc oxide ointment (pur­chasable without prescription) applied to the buttocks and anal region at every diaper change is suggested. This spreads a protective blanket between the baby's skin and the urine and stool. (Zinc oxide is the ingredient member of com­mercial preparations for babies' bottoms.) The combination of two or three washings of the region every day and the application of the zinc oxide is about as far as the mother can go in defending the baby against diaper rash. Even with the best of care, the baby can have diaper rash, and it will take at least three or four days to heal. With a marked rash which does not respond to treatment, or perhaps as a first step, leave the diapers off altogether. Healing is predictable.

Plastic panties, because they hold in heat and shut out air, undoubtedly aggravate rashes. If you are washing your baby's diapers, be sure to rinse out the soap thoroughly. An extra rinse may be necessary.

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