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Diaper Rash

Diaper Rash

My baby has a severe diaper rash that does not clear readily. When I change the diaper in the morning, there is a strong odor. What can I do?

Doctor’s Advice:

From the description of the rash associated with odor it is likely that the odor is similar to ammonia and is noted each time diaper is changed. Ammonia is very irritating to the skin; even small amounts may cause trouble.

Ammonia rash is seen when the diaper is left on for long periods of time. The ammonia develops in the urine after the child has urinated. It is not yet present in the urine at the time of voiding.

The basic principle in the treatment of ammonia rash is to have thoroughly clean diapers. At times it may be necessary to sterilize, the  diapers by boiling them to destroy the germs that produce the ammonia. Hang the diapers in the sun to dry as one means of preventing the offending germs from growing. After rinsing the diapers, put them into a water bath with a small amount of vinegar or borax added, to decrease growth of the offending germs.

Irritation in the diaper area also may be caused by irritating soap or bleach. Thoroughly rinse the diaper to make sure that this irritation is much less likely to occur.

A rash may appear if the baby has diarrhea. With improvement of the diarrhea there should be healing of the rash. Diaper rash usually can be prevented by using only very mild soaps and bleaches and thoroughly rinsing diapers. Various ointments are seldom beneficial unless diaper care is improved.



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