SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology

American Academy of Dermatology

December 09, 2014 12:04 ET

Prevent and Treat Diaper Rash With Tips From Dermatologists

SCHAUMBURG, IL--(Marketwired - Dec 9, 2014) -  Everyone wants a happy, healthy baby, however, babies often experience discomfort from diaper rash -- a condition that causes skin underneath the diaper to become red and tender. Help your baby by following dermatologists' tips to prevent and treat diaper rash at home.

"The best way to prevent and treat diaper rash is to keep your baby's skin as dry and clean as possible," said board-certified dermatologist Lawrence F. Eichenfield, MD, FAAD, chief of pediatric and adolescent dermatology, University of California, San Diego and Rady Children's Hospital. "With the right care, diaper rash should clear in about three to four days."

To prevent and treat diaper rash, Dr. Eichenfield recommends the following tips:

1. Change dirty diapers as soon as possible. The most important tip for treating and preventing diaper rash is to change all dirty diapers -- even if they are just wet -- as soon as possible. This reduces moisture on the skin that can inflame a rash.

2. Be gentle when cleaning the diaper area. Use water and a soft washcloth or baby wipes that are alcohol and fragrance-free. If the rash is severe, use a squirt bottle of water to clean the area, as doing so is gentler to the skin. Next, allow the area to air dry. Let your child go diaper-free as long as possible to let the skin dry and heal.

3. Apply a zinc oxide diaper cream. This is especially important if the skin stays red between diaper changes. If your baby has severe diaper rash, layer it on like you are frosting a cake. There is no need to remove the cream with each diaper change. It can be fully removed at the end of the day.

4. Call a doctor or board-certified dermatologist if your baby develops signs of a skin infection. Signs of a skin infection may include a fever, blisters, pus that drains from the rash, and a rash that does not go away after treatment or worsens. Another sign of a skin infection is if the baby is in pain or is hard to console.

"Babies have very delicate skin, and sometimes despite our best efforts, diaper rash still occurs," said Dr. Eichenfield. "If your baby's diaper rash is not going away, or if you have questions or concerns about caring for your baby's skin, consult a board-certified dermatologist."

The "Diaper Rash: How to Treat" video is posted to the Academy website and the Academy's YouTube channel. This video is part of the Dermatology A to Z: Video Series, which offers relatable videos that demonstrate tips people can use to properly care for their skin, hair and nails. A new video in the series posts to the Academy's website and YouTube channel each month.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or www.aad.org. Follow the Academy on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).

To view a media-rich version of this release, go to: http://www.pwrnewmedia.com/2014/aad/diaper_rash/

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