Recognizing A Severe Diaper Rash
While most parents quickly learn how to treat diaper rash, a case of severe diaper rash may leave them wondering what they need to do, and also wondering how the rash became so bad in the first place. Diaper rash is usually a form of dermatitis, and is in fact sometimes referred to as diaper dermatitis, although the term diaper rash is much more commonly used.
A Diaper Rash Is Common – A Severe Diaper Rash Is Not - A diaper rash is somewhat difficult to avoid completely since it doesn't take long for a wet or soiled diaper to begin to irritate a baby's tender bottom. Most cases of diaper rash are mild to moderate, but even a mild rash can sometimes become quite uncomfortable. Unless the parents are consistently doing a poor job of monitoring a child's diaper status, they will seldom have to content with a severe diaper rash. A severe rash can occur even under the best of care, but seldom does so. Nevertheless, it's always good for parents to know just what constitutes a severe diaper rash and how best to deal with it.
Mild And Moderate Rashes - A rash would be considered to be mild to moderate when the skin in the buttocks or groin area is somewhat pinkish, with perhaps some deeper redness seen in one or two small areas. If only a small area is pinkish, and only a very small area is red, the rash could be considered to be mild. If a larger area is pink, the reddish areas are a very intense red, the rash could be considered a moderate rash. Even if the larger area becomes more red than pink, the rash would be considered moderate unless the area of intense redness become quite large.
Severe Rashes - The characteristics of a severe rash are redness, often intense, over a large area, accompanied by raised bumps, called papules, and/or bumps containing fluid, called pustules. There may be some swelling present. In very severe cases of diaper rash, the above characteristics may be accompanied by skin loss and/or bleeding. There would likely be a larger number of pustules present as well. Complications can sometimes develop in cases of a severe rash, since the conditions causing the rash can also cause a yeast or fungal infection to develop. This type of infection is usually caused by Candida albicans, a yeast that normally resides in the intestines, and therefore can also be present in the baby's stools. In addition, open lesions have the potential to play host to a bacterial infection. For that reason alone, an infant having a very severe diaper rash should be taken to a doctor for treatment. Even if the rash is only moderately severe, a doctor should be called in if it persists for a week or more.
There are many who think diaper rash is a normal part of a baby's life. After all, a baby's skin is extremely sensitive, and the chemical mess that can form in a soiled diaper can most certainly irritate the extremely sensitive skin to the point a rash will occur. As it turns out, those who think diaper rash is a normal occurrence are perfectly right. While there are things that can be done to help prevent diaper rash from occurring, it usually will occur at one time or another, so the primary effort often is that of treating a rash once it does occur, while keeping the baby as comfortable as possible in the meantime.
Preventing Or Treating Diaper Rash - Changing diapers often is the best way to either prevent diaper rash or prevent a rash that has occurred from becoming too severe. If the diaper is soiled and not just wet, it's important to change it as soon as possible. If cloth diapers are used, care must be taken not to wash them in a detergent that is apt to irritate the baby's skin. In olden days, some mothers would boil soiled diapers, then hang them out in the sun to dry. That method worked, but may be impractical in this modern world. Creams and lotions can also be used to prevent diaper rash, or treat a rash that is already present to keep it from getting worse. There are creams and lotions on the market which are specifically formulated to deal with diaper rash. Finally, once the diaper has been removed and the baby's bottom has been cleaned, it never hurts to leave the baby sans diaper for a brief time, to allow its bottom to dry out.
It's very important that a great deal of attention be paid to a severe diaper rash, or any rash that persists for several days, as with each passing day the chances of it becoming worse increases, and the chances of it simply going away will begin to decrease. A rash that lingers can increase the probability of a fungal or bacterial infection setting in. A mild diaper rash seldom lasts for more than a day if diapers are changed frequently, and even a moderate diaper rash should go away after a day or two, especially when a diaper cream is used.