Babies can have a ton of little issues, and we worry ourselves silly over them, though most are no real threat to baby’s health.
Here are a list of the most common little ailments, how to treat them at home, and when to call the doctor.
· Diaper Rash –
Diaper rash is caused by baby’s bottom being constantly exposed to wetness.
For most babies, changing their diaper a little more often and applying an over the counter cream are enough to solve the problem.
If all your measures don’t work, or if the rash looks different than a typical diaper rash, call the doctor.
The main cause of diaper dermatitis is simply contact of urine on the skin.
Between diaper changes, urine begins to break down into ammonia and other chemical by-products.
Fecal matter in the diaper area, between diaper changes, can cause the rapid proliferation of bacteria and or fungus which can infect the already irritated diaper area.
Obviously, the breakdown of urine, its continual contact with the skin, and resulting skin irritation, begins the all too common diaper rash syndrome.
It was thought that Luvs, Pampers and other disposable diapers would be a better answer than the common cloth diaper.
The new diapers were better.
The most important treatment in healing diaper rash is PREVENTION!
Prevent urine from coming into contact with the baby’s tender skin by putting a barrier on the skin that prevents urine and fecal matter from contact with tender bottoms by barrier action.
Creams like Grandma El’s, or Aquapher as it’s smoothed on baby’s diaper area to create a barrier that allows the skin to breathe, while keeping moisture and other irritants from penetrating to the skin.
This preventative action of those creams is accompanied by a healing, soothing action to stop the beginning of irritation that produces the diaper rash.
It is important that the skin is always able to breathe to induce the healing process.
Many diaper rash products are heavy creams, pastes or lotions.
While some will create a barrier to keep moisture away from the skin, these products DO NOT have the capability of allowing the skin to breathe.
Thereby, the existing moisture can not be released and the healing process is hindered dramatically.
It is recommended that you use a semi-occlusive ointment such as Aquaphor or Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Remedy & Prevention.
These are some frequently asked questions about diaper rash:
What is diaper rash?
1. It is an irritation of the skin in the peri-anal area that is most often caused by ammonia forming due to urine breakdown.
What causes diaper rash?
1. It is caused by prolonged contact of a urine soaked diaper on a baby’s skin.
The skin turns red and tissue breaks down, creating a rash.
This worsens as the skin remains in contact with urine and feces.
2. Chafing or rubbing of diaper or pull ups on the area
3. Possible allergic reaction to diaper
4. Bacterial or fungal infection in rash area
5. Allergic reaction to food can cause urine to be irritating
Who can get diaper rash?
1. It is common on babies between the ages of 2-24 months
2. It also can occur on babies whose diapers are not changed frequently
3. It may also occur on babies who are taking antibiotics or are nursing while mother might be taking antibiotics
4. It can also occur on babies as they begin to eat solid foods (allergic reaction)
What are the symptoms of diaper rash?
1. Red, irritated, and possibly warm skin in and around the stomach, genitals, and inside the skin folds of the thighs and bottom
2. Pain, burning and itching, and an unhappy baby!
Is diaper rash contagious?
1. Diaper rash is almost never a contagious skin condition
What do I do if my child has diaper rash?
1. Apply Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Remedy and Prevention at every diaper change, after cleansing the area well, and blotting dry
How can I prevent diaper rash?
1. Apply any Diaper Rash cream with every diaper change
2. Change your baby’s diaper often, and keep the area dry and clean
3. Use a gentle cleanser formulated especially for babies’ skin
4. After washing your baby, gently pat dry the area, do not rub the area
5. Make sure the diapers used fit properly, so they do not rub against the skin
How long does diaper rash usually last?
1. In general without treatment, a diaper rash will last several days if not infected. If left untreated, a severe case can last up to 10-14 days or more
What types of products are not acceptable in treating diaper rash?
1. Ointments, with the exception of Grandma El’s are occlusive, preventing skin respiration. Only a semi-occlusive ointment, works properly.
2. Creams are usually somewhat drying, have no protective activity, and allow all types of external stimuli (urine, feces, and allergens) to contact the skin causing further problems. Therefore, creams are not a good choice for a baby’s rash treatment.
3. Lotions are not protective at all, and therefore have little value in treating or preventing diaper rash.
4. Some soaps and detergents can cause allergic sensitivity to further the breakdown of baby’s delicate bottom.
Should I call my pediatrician?
1. If after several days, the rash is still visible, consult your pediatrician
2. If the rash has blisters or bumps, is oozing pus or bleeding, consult your pediatrician
3. If your baby has a rash and fever, consult your physician
4. If your baby has a rash and has urine that smells stronger than usual, or many loose stools, consult your pediatrician
5. If after properly treating your baby’s diaper rash, it still persists, consult your pediatrician
What other types of diaper rash occur if proper treatment is not begun?
Rash can further break down allowing either bacteria, or fungus to take hold and infect the skin.
Common organisms causing the infection are E. Coli (bacteria) and other fungal infections such as Candida Albicans
How can I treat diaper rash infected with bacteria or fungi?
Consult your physician immediately and he or she will prescribe a suitable anti-bacterial or anti-fungal product to eradicate the infection
What other types of diaper dermatitis exist?
Contact irritants such as urine, fecal matter, poison ivy, oak or sumac, insect bites, soap allergy, rough rather than soft clothing causing skin abrasions, infrequent diaper changes, and poor skin cleansing techniques
Is diaper rash a common problem?
Yes, diaper rash is a common problem.
To help prevent diaper rash, change diapers frequently, keep the area dry, and use no cloth diapers.
Definitely use some Rash Remedy and Prevention cream and ask your pediatrician or nurse for advise and access to medication and support.
Cradle Cap –
Cradle cap is an oily, yellow scaling or crusting on a baby’s scalp.
It is common in babies and is easily treated. Cradle cap is not a part of any illness and does not imply that a baby is not being well cared for.
What causes cradle cap?
Cradle cap is the normal buildup of sticky skin oils, scales, and sloughed skin cells.
How is it treated?
Cradle cap is not harmful to your baby and it usually goes away by a baby’s first birthday.
Cradle cap is the presence of scales on the baby’s scalp, and usually occurs in very young infants.
It is actually a form of dermatitis, and usually is not bothersome to the child.
For most babies, a massage using petroleum jelly followed by a shampoo will take care of the problem.
Try this at every bath until the problem stops recurring.
Cradle cap is worsened by sweating, so keep your baby’s head cool, avoiding the use of hats.
If these measures don’t work, your doctor can prescribe an ointment or shampoo.
Babies typically outgrow cradle cap within the first six months of life.
· Mystery Fever –
Nearly all babies have this at one time or another.
A low grade fever, with no other accompanying symptoms.
If your baby is under two months of age, you should seek medical attention with any fever.
Otherwise, as long as the fever doesn’t go above 102°F, you need not treat it unless it is making your baby uncomfortable or unable to sleep.
Fever is the body’s way of fighting infection, so don’t rush to treat a fever, if your baby is otherwise healthy.
Keep her cool, give her plenty of fluids, watch and wait.
Talk to your doctor or consult your pediatrician about his guidelines regarding when to call him concerning a fever.
Regardless, any fever which reaches 105° rectally, or a fever accompanied by signs of dehydration (infrequent urination, sunken fontanel, dry lips), or a feverish baby who has a stiff neck, is limp or has purple spots on the skin, is an emergency and should be treated immediately.
These are three of the most common minor baby ailments.
Though it’s comforting to know how to treat these at home, never hesitate to call your doctor if you think it’s necessary.
A Mother’s intuition is a powerful thing.
If you think something’s amiss, it probably is, so check it out, even if it’s only to satisfy your own mind.