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Is it Diaper Rash or Worse?

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  • Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? 1 of 8

    Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? Decoding your baby’s skin irritation The first thing you want to do before treating diaper rash is determine what your baby’s rash is actually from. (Take it from a mom who had to bring her baby into the ER — twice! — to diagnose a particularly angry tushy.) There are several different kinds of diaper rash, and they each require different treatments, so before you start, take a closer look at what’s irritating your babe.

  • Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? 2 of 8

    1: Irritant/Contact Dermatitis (Plain Ol’ Regular Diaper Rash)

    Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? Decoding your baby’s skin irritation Caused by friction or prolonged exposure to moisture and acidity, this will show up very suddenly as varying degrees of redness around your child’s anus and is generally contained within the diaper area. It might be hot to the touch and usually won’t appear in the creases of the skin, where wetness can’t reach. If it’s really bad, your child’s bottom can start to look chapped. This is easily treatable at home and requires a trip to the drugstore where there are balms galore.

  • Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? 3 of 8

    2: Thrush

    Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? Decoding your baby’s skin irritation This is a yeast-like fungal infection known as candida or minilia (which make it sound much more horrific than it is). Thrush shows up as clusters of red dots that are spread across the bum (including between the folds of fat) and might even extend to the thighs outside of the diaper area. Usually it’s there in combination with a regular diaper rash, but it will look noticeably different. If it’s really severe, it can look like whiteheads or even small open sores. Often thrush outbreaks start in the child’s mouth or even on the mother’s nipples, so check those places, too! Definitely get your doctor’s opinion, and ask her to teach you how to treat this at home (it’s really only scary until it’s been professionally diagnosed!).

  • Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? 4 of 8

    3: Fissures

    Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? Decoding your baby’s skin irritation If your kiddo is constipated, passing very solid stools can cause painful micro-tears in the skin around the anus. Fortunately, this can be soothed with antibiotic ointment and zinc-oxide and clears up pretty quickly, within a week or two.

  • Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? 5 of 8

    4: Allergies

    Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? Decoding your baby’s skin irritation Very rarely, kids will develop allergies to latex or to the dyes used in diaper patterns. These often show up just around the leg band and waistband areas and are usually itchy. Occasionally, children will develop sensitivity to the detergent used by a cloth diaper service. If you suspect an allergy (your child’s rash is localized to these areas, and he seems to be scratching at it rather than crying in pain when you touch it), talk with your doctor.

  • Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? 6 of 8

    5: Bacterial Infection

    Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? Decoding your baby’s skin irritation Sometimes serious bacteria can attack your baby’s sensitive skin. An existing skin irritation (regular diaper rash) can make a cozy breeding ground for infectious bacteria like streptococcus and staphylococcus (Note: We’re not talkin’ your run-of-the-mill strep throat. Strep/staph skin infections are awful and could require antibiotics — not a welcome situation for those little kiddoes!). Pus-filled, angry red lesions, raw skin, blistering, and extreme sensitivity to the touch could be indicators of this, and you should call your doctor immediately.

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        When to Call the Doctor

    Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? Decoding your baby’s skin irritation

    There are times when what looks like a diaper rash can actually indicate something more severe. Other, less common irritations, can be caused by Psoriasis, Eczema, or Seborrhoeic Dermatitis and can only be diagnosed by a doctor. If you see pus, dry and peely skin, or anything otherwise creepy, crusty, or strange, get it
    professionally identified!

    Other signs it’s time for the doctor:

    • Your child develops a fever in conjunction with the rash

    • The rash gets worse, even with treatment

    • The rash spreads to other parts of the body

    • You see pus or blood

  • Is it Diaper Rash or Worse? 8 of 8

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