Diaper Powder, Baby Oil, Baby Lotion, and Diaper Rash

Baby powder is a luxury after a bath, but its ability to absorb moisture is practically nil. Use of large amounts of baby powder in the pubic area can "suffocate" the pores of the skin, causing the outer layer of skin on the pubes to die and flake off in huge pieces, leaving the raw living dermis beneath exposed to air and friction. This is an excruciatingly painful experience for the baby. Whether the public is aware of it or not, the real reason baby powder is so successfully marketed to mothers is that itís perfume (vanilla) makes stinky little babies smell sweet and clean after a bath or quick cleanup.

Baby oil and lotions are good for a massage (see the baby massage under the Baby Care section of this Website) but has limited use for preventing diaper rash and destroys vinyl pants. Lotion should be used after babyís bath to treat extremely dry skin with an emolument. Rub the lotion well into skin before diapering, and if necessary, wipe the excess oil with a clean, dry paper towel before diapering.

Diaper creams that are either viscous (zinc oxide based) or Creamy (Desidin) should be rubbed into the affected area only. Cover with a clean, dry cloth diaper.

Treatment of Diaper Rash:

Diagnostic Criteria:

Diaper rash comes in two forms; minor irritation and actual infection. Mere irritation from ammonia burns produces reddened skin with small bumps on the skin (papules) that have no white caps or pussiness. The margins of irritation gradually fade into unaffected skin. Infections are caused by a fungus (yeast) infection and are more difficult to treat. Monilia and Candida are two medical terms for this condition. This type of rash is easy to identify. The area of rash has a raw, fiery red appearance. Tiny pustules with white pussy caps that look like multiple small, infected pimples may be present. The boundaries of the infection are sharp and clear. The margins of the angry yeast-infected skin abruptly change to normal skin.

Treatment Methods:

Preventing diaper rash is easier than curing it. Prophylactically you should:

  1. Make sure that the babyís diapers are absorbent enough to handle his nighttime urine output so that the wetness becomes distributed in the deeper layers of the diaper rather than resting against his skin all night. If he wears a cloth diaper, fold another cloth diaper over in thirds lengthways to make a "soaker" panel to be placed in the middle of his diaper. Make sure that the diaper that he uses as a soaker does not have a waterproof outer shield like the "Bariguard" shield found on one brand of diapers. A waterproof shield will defeat the purpose of the soaker. Diaper Pail Friends (www.dpf.com ) markets a number of styles of cloth diapers with optional soakers, although they are a bit expensive. If youíd like to shop around on the Internet, try going to www.google.com and enter adult cloth diapers as your query.

If your baby uses disposable diapers, there are several ways to increase their fluid capacity:

a.) You can purchase disposable diaper soakers in the baby section of the grocery store, or

b.) You could cut the waist "wings" off of a toddler-sized diaper, then make multiple punctures with the point of a scissors through the outer plastic shell of the toddler diaper to allow excess fluid to drain into your adult diaper. This can be very effective because most baby diapers now have a cloth-like hydrophobic lining to keep moisture away from the babyís skin.

c.) You could "double up" on the babyís disposable diapers and use two, with drainage holes through the inner diaper as in method (b), or

d.) Switch to an Ultra absorbent diaper like Molicareís Super, which have a fluid capacity of 1500ml (in the large size). The most oft cited supplier of Molicare diapers in Texas by Web Search Engines does not offer discrete delivery services, however, a company named HDIS ( www.hdis.com ) offers free home delivery in discrete packaging. They also offer a personalized delivery plan which will automatically ship you an order at intervals that you specify with a 5% discount off of their regular case price. In their last price list, a case of Molicare (large - the most expensive) was $71.24 per case (48). Among a number of other diaper products produced by different manufacturers, they also carry Attends, Serenity, Depends, cloth diapers and inserts as well as a large selection of barrier creams, skin protectants, etc.

2.) Cleanse the pubic area with an antibacterial wash every night after the babyís last urination before he goes to sleep. This will lower the numbers of bacteria which metabolize the urea in his urine into ammonia, which is the primary cause of irritation. Next apply a protective barrier such as De0sitin. Their newest version, Desitin, Creamy (Ultra Smooth Formula) is an excellent soothing treatment for mild diaper rash and is a good barrier cream. Unlike the older style creams, itís non-greasy and washes off easily.

3.) Remove the wet diaper each morning and cleanse the babyís pubic area with an antibacterial wash as was done the previous night and apply a thin coat of Desitin before redressing the baby.

Irritated skin: The techniques given in the prophylactic area are sufficient to cure ammonia antagonized skin. (Hint: Do your diapers smell like ammonia in the morning? Thatís a good clue aside from the directions for observation of the rash area that follow.)

Infected skin: Requires a visit to the doctor. The treatment of choice, Nystatin Cream, is only available by prescription. Home remedies and self-treatment without an anti-fungal agent as the primary medication are ineffective. The prophylactic treatments above must be modified to prevent contaminating the uninfected skin with the fungal spores. Do NOT use anti-bacterial washes or soap! Bacteria and fungi are mutually antagonistic and attack each other. Bacteria attempt to "eat" fungus, while fungi release natural antibiotics to interfere with the reproductive or metabolic processes of bacteria. In this case, the bacteria on your skin is your friend!

Important! The skin should be rinsed (instead of washed) with clear, cool water! (Again, no antibacterial washes or soap) DO NOT scrub the skin! Just rinse and pat dry with a soft cloth or a thick pad of clean, dry toilet paper. Patting means to lay the cloth or paper directly on the skin and lifting straight up with NO side-to-side or up-and-down movement. When you are done, apply a thin layer of the Nystatin Cream followed by a thick layer of barrier cream. The recommended minimum application of treatment for continent, bedwetting adults is once upon retirement to bed and once again upon waking the next morning after removing your wet diaper, rinsing and drying your pubes. Donít attempt to clean the previous nightís layer of Nystatin Cream off when you rinse, just apply the new layer on top of the layers of old medication and barrier cream. Once the rash is under control, continue using it every other night (until the medication is gone) to prevent old spores from reinfecting you while your immune system recovers and your skin bacterial/yeast ratios come back into balance. The severity of the infection may cause your physician to recommend more frequent treatments or a different treatment altogether. Follow your physicianís recommendations.