The Diaper Rash That Will Not Go Away

Diaper rash that won't go away. Causes and what you can do.

Most pediatricians will tell you that diaper rash is normal. However, prior to disposable diapers, diaper rash was virtually unheard of.

There are many causes and remedies for a chronic diaper rash. Perhaps on of these ideas will help you clear up that diaper rash that won't go away once and for all.

Yeast Rash

That diaper rash may actually be a yeast rash. It looks a bit different than traditional diaper rash. Your child's doctor will prescribe a special ointment to clear it up.

Fruit & Vegetables

Fruit can be very acidic, especially in babies. While oranges and grapefruit are thought of as being very acidic, keep in mind that tomatoes are also quite acicic. Spaghetti sauce, lasagna and other meals are commonly prepared with tomato or tomato products. Tomatoes, loaded with acid, can burn your childs diaper area when they urinate. Eliminate fruits and vegetables that are acidic and instead give them mild foods.

Ill-Fitting Diapers

The elastic on disposable diapers is commonly too tight. Let the diaper "hang" or cut the elastic from the edges of diapers so air can circulate. Elastic is also a common allergen in babies. Eliminating the elastic may just provide a cure to the diaper rash that won't go away.


Cornstarch makes a yeast rash worse, but if it is a traditional diaper rash, you can make it into a paste or sprinkle it in your baby's bath. It is very soothing to their rashes.

Diaper Creams

There are several diaper creams available on the market today. While one may not work, another brand might. Get recommendations from your pediatrician or friends. You may have to try several brands before you find the one that works.

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly acts as a barrier and will protect your child's diaper area from the acid in urine and bowel movements.

Change Diapers More Frequently

Your baby's skin is ultra-sensitive. While it is not always feasable, change their diapers immediately after they urinate or have a bowel movement.

Don't Use Wipes - Use Water Instead

Many wipes have alcohol in them which can irritate an already sore bottom. Try using a washcloth with warm water instead. Also, don't rub, pat their skin dry.

Change Diaper Brands

Sometimes babies can become sensitive to certain types of diapers. Desiree was allergic to Huggies, but had no problem with Pampers. My youngest daughter has always been sensitive to all diapers except Huggies Pure & Natural - until she turned about 9 months old. Then all of a sudden, she had a rash for several months.

Food Sensitivies

Sometimes the rash is caused by a food allergy or sensitivity. Try putting your baby on a bland diet and introduce foods one at a time. Milk and other dairy products are common causes of allergies.

Change Detergents

Sometimes it is not the diaper that is the problem; it could be the detergent in the clothes. Try using a gentle detergent like Dreft or just use baking soda.

Naked Baby

Air is the best cure for diaper rash. Make sure they are done pooping for the day and lay them on a blanket. This can be more difficult for older babies that are already crawling or walking.

Cloth Diapers

After several months of a diaper rash that would not go away, it turned out that my daughter had become allergic to all disposable diapers. She is actually allergic to the material. Not only that, but disposable diapers are bleached and made with many chemicals that the skin could be having an adverse reaction too.

Although there are many new cloth diapers that look just like disposables, I decided to go with the old fashioned strips of cloth that my grandparents used. Diaper rash was unheard of back then. Once I put my baby in cloth diapers, she never had a diaper rash again.

Make sure they are unbleached and you can wash them yourself. I soak them in 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water, then I wash them by hand. You can also put in a little bleach to kill germs (never combine vinegar and bleach - it creates a poisonous gas.) I got my cloth diapers from Green Mountain. I ordered 2 dozen flat diapers for $24.

You will need to change cloth diapers more frequently and it can be gross to rinse the poop off, but if that is what my baby needs to be rash-free, then I don't mind. The doctors were perplexed, but I had a feeling all along it was the diapers. Not only am I eating and living chemical-free, but it turns out our baby is too!


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James R. Coffey
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