Expert Parenting Advice: How to stop diaper rash

One of the most frequent concerns young parents bring me when they come to my office is the unrelenting battle with diaper rash. I was really surprised however that when I met parents over childcare issues through my work on myBestHelper, the moment they realized I am a physician and a mother, I would also get so many stories of unresolving diaper rash issues!!!

So I thought I can share here the advice that has worked for countless patients over more than a decade as well as my own three kids:

– First of all, your child made be sensitive (not allergic, just sensitive) to the brand of diapers you are  using or in the case of non-disposable diapers – the detergent you wash them with. So before doing anything else, switch brands and see what happens after a week (and no, there isn`t one that is better than the others, they are just different and so is your kid).

– Second – use wipes as little as possible. They also irritate the skin no matter what it says on the box. Many wipes brands (including the ones labelled as natural) actually contain formaldehyde, and gradual exposure to even small amounts leads to allergic dermatitis which is one of the medical names for diaper rash. To read more see the work of Dr. Sharon, a North-American expert on chemical sensitivities in the skin in children and adults. Disposable diapers are so absorbent you can not use a wipe at all if its just pee or rinse the child with water and soap.  And try to not use creams of any kind – just let the skin breathe naturally as much as possible. Just these simple changes can make a huge difference.

– If that was not enough, the moment you see a bit of redness, you just give them a lukewarm bath (hot water dries the skin out), add a cap-full of unscented Aveeno baby soap into the bath and let them soak two to three times a day for 10-15 min – then air dry.  I want to be clear that I do not get any sort of compensation or reward from recommending this brand. It is simply an excellent solution for skin – oat derived and dermatologist recommended – and it works!

– If there is already a bad rash, you need to increase the frequency of diaper changes and the Aveeno soaks and let air dry as much as possible. It is more effort, but usually in 24-48 hours the skin starts to heal and more importantly, your baby is no longer miserable 😉

Please write to me if this is not clear or it did not work for any reason, and I will help you adjust it till you see success.

Dr. Mom – Alexandra T. Greenhill, family physician, mother of three, CEO of myBesthelper


One thought on “Expert Parenting Advice: How to stop diaper rash

  1. Marjolaine

    Being a mother of a young boy, I went through the same problem with my son. To a point that I was so concern , the poor thing, he was so in pain because his bum was so irritated, it was bleeding. I thought, it must be something else than “diaper rash”…My doctor prescribed me some corticosteroid cream but it was ineffective. I followed Alex’s advice and gave my son a bath with the ” Aveeno powder soak bath” for eczema and sensitive skin. In order for the rash to go away, I let my son bear bum…( no diaper, no underwear , no clothes) during the day…I used the diapers only at night. It was the ONLY way that the rash went completely away. Once his bum was cleared, after each change I put tons of Penatene zinc cream on his bum to protect him. The good news: It never came back!
    Another good news: kids grow up so fast, not matter what happens with them…it will pass! 😉
    Good Luck



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