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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Diaper Rash: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Skin Conditions

Diaper Rash

Alternate Names : Diaper Dermatitis

Diaper Rash | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Prevention is the first measure for diaper rashes. When a diaper rash develops, treatment may include:

  • frequent diaper changing.
  • leaving the infant's bottom exposed to air as much as possible each day.
  • rinsing the skin with warm water. If the rash causes raw skin, warm water soaks in a tub can be used a few times a day. A few tablespoons of baking soda added to the water may decrease itching and promote healing.
  • changing the diaper during the night until the rash heals.
  • applying an ointment, such as zinc oxide paste. This ointment, when applied to the affected areas, helps to keep stool and urine off the skin until it heals.
  • applying an antifungal cream, such as nystatin or clotrimazole, for rashes due to yeast infections. If the skin is quite inflamed, it may also help to apply a mild hydrocortisone ointment. The baby's healthcare provider should evaluate a rash before this is done. Stronger cortisone preparations should be avoided. These may cause thinning of the skin of the genital area, which is very sensitive to cortisone.
  • antibiotics, if bacterial infection of the skin occurs.
  • The caregiver may also need to provide extra comforting to a fussy infant.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    There are usually no side effects to changing a diaper and cleaning the infant's skin frequently. If powder is used, the caregiver should be careful to use a small amount and limit the powder to the diaper area. This is because an infant can easily inhale powder dust. There are possible side effects to ointments and cortisone creams including further rash. Strong hydrocortisone creams can cause thinning and scarring of the genital area. If an antibiotic is used, there may be side effects from the antibiotic. These include stomach upset and allergic reaction. A healthcare provider should be contacted if side effects develop.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    After a diaper rash is treated and goes away, there is no further treatment needed. If an infant has a diaper rash that persists despite treatment, the baby's healthcare provider should be consulted.

    How is the condition monitored?

    The parents can often monitor the rash at home to make sure it is getting better. If a rash does not improve, the caregiver should consult a healthcare provider for further evaluation and monitoring.

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    Diaper Rash: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 07/24/01

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