A diaper change can be a stressful event for your baby, especially with the presence of a rash or skin irritation. Knowing how to help mitigate the risk for diaper rash can help to promote your baby’s comfort and lead to a better night’s sleep for you. Let’s look at a few simple tricks for maintaining healthy skin.
- Change & Check: Remove diapers containing poop as soon as possible to help minimize the impact of irritants on baby’s skin. Check the skin for signs of irritation at every diaper change.
- Thorough and Gentle Cleaning Every Time: Use properly formulated baby wipes that are designed to effectively remove urine and poop. They’ll be gentle on skin to keep it healthy, and they’re pH balanced to match the slightly acidic pH of infant skin.
- Keep Baby’s Skin Dry: Select diapers that have a breathable outer cover, designed to quickly absorb fluid and lock it away from your baby’s skin. Huggies® Little Snugglers®, with wetness indicators, help you know when it's time to change the diaper.
- Gentle Contact on Skin: Maintaining an intact skin barrier is essential for rash prevention. Using products that are made with gentle materials and specifically designed to minimize friction can help to mitigate the risk of skin barrier damage. It’s been demonstrated in research that the use of properly formulated baby wipes that gently glide across the skin while cleaning can be superior to cloth and water, especially for delicate skin.
- Maintain Healthy Skin pH: Baby’s skin pH is slightly acidic, which is very important for maintaining skin barrier function, maintaining a healthy microbiome and protecting skin from harmful bacteria. An increase in skin pH has been associated with increased susceptibility to diaper rash.
- Use Barrier Creams: Ointments or barrier creams can help to prevent the onset of diaper rash or reduce severity by protecting the skin from damage by exposure to irritants, excess wetness and friction. Ensure that products used are made with ingredients known to be gentle and safe for baby’s skin.
- Look for Other Risk Factors: Frequent poop or diarrhea, antibiotics use, food allergies, compromised skin or underlying skin conditions can increase the risk for irritation and rash.
Did you know your baby’s infant skin is delicate, and it’s still maturing during the first year of their life? Although it’s well documented that the main causes of diaper rash are prolonged contact of skin with irritants present in poop and urine, many other factors can contribute - and it may not be easy to identify the root cause.
If your baby’s diaper rash lasts more than 3 days, with symptoms getting worse, consult a medical professional to identify the root cause of irritation and develop a skin care plan that considers the unique needs of your baby.
Karien Rodriguez, PhD Biomedical Engineering
Debbie Ngai, BS Chemical Engineering
Endorsed by Dr. Peter Lio, MD, FAAD, Board Certified Dermatologist; Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology & Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Founding Director of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Center
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