Diaper rash (Diaper dermatitis) is one of the most common skin conditions in neonates and infants. Highest frequency of diaper dermatitis occurs at 9-12 months of age. Appropriate skin care routine that minimizes skin wetness, support skin barrier function and protects skin from urine and feces may help to prevent/cure diaper rash. How to establish an appropriate diaper changing routine? Parents may have different choices, but the principles should always be the same.
- Choose a proper diaper. Diapers help minimize skin wetness of diaper area by absorbing most urine, at the same time prevent PH increase on skin
Disposable diaper, traditional cloth diaper, and new material modern cloth diaper are the most commonly used diapers. Disposable diapers are proven to be superior to traditional cloth diapers in numerical clinical studies (1, 2, 3). However, the literature on the new material (with microfleece surface) cloth diaper is very limited to conclude. Microfleece surface has water repelling property that makes it hold a tiny amount of water, at the same time it is highly water permeable, which wicks moisture away from baby’s skin and keeps baby’s skin dry).
I used disposable diaper on my son’s skin at the beginning, but he developed very bad diaper rash in his first one week. We were not sure whether the chemical residue on disposable diaper was a co-factor, so we decided to try the microfleece topped cloth diaper. The result turned out to be amazing. My son’s diaper rash cleared up within one week, and it started to work on the very first day. I would recommend microfleece topped cloth diaper for babies with sensitive skin until their skin can tolerate the chemical residue of disposable diaper. After my son graduated from cloth diapers, he starts to use disposable diapers. I tried many brands and product lines. Huggies little snuggle and Pampers Swaddler worked best on my son’s sensitive skin. I will cover cloth diaper and disposable diapers in detail in later posts. Following are the cloth diapers I have tested with good performances, and the disposable diapers that did not cause allergy on my son’s skin.
Flip cloth diaper cover and insert
Flip stay dry inserts – 2 sizes: one size fits all or for newborns up to 12 lbs
Charlie Banana cloth diaper with inserts
Disposable diapers: Huggies little snuggler and Pampers Swaddler for sensitive skin
- Use a diaper rash cream to protect skin from urine and feces and support skin barrier function
Recent pediatric dermatology review on diaper rash management concluded that the application of ointments containing zinc oxide or petrolatum with or without vitamin A seems to have similar effects on diaper rash treatment or prevention. However, a better formulation of the same active ingredients could be more effective. I have tried different diaper rash creams, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Diaper Rash Ointment works best on my son. I also love Burt’s Bee Natural Diaper Rash Cream which can be used as a heat rash treatment as it finishes with a dry touch and is formulated with Zinc Oxide as an active ingredient.
- Change diaper more frequently if your baby is experiencing diaper rash. Changing diaper helps to keep diaper area dry. Although microfleece material or the disposable diaper topper don’t hold much water, the wetness on the diaper surfaces may still make diaper rash worse.
- Clean diaper area with baby wipes or wash with a mild cleanser. Removing urine and feces residue from baby skin helps to maintain skin barrier function and prevent diaper rash. Baby wipes and washing with a mild cleanser are both proven to be effective on diaper area cleansing. Most baby washes are considered as mild cleansers.