At least two out of three babies get a sore bottom in their first year of life, often in connection with eating solid meals for the first time - i.e. between the ninth and twelve months of life, although this is not a fixed guideline. In addition, the natural protective acid layer of your skin is not yet fully developed and is therefore more susceptible to inflammation. Especially when they wear diapers, the moisture and heat can cause a skin rash: the so-called diaper rash. This article explains exactly what that is and how you can treat a baby's sore bottom properly and prevent further skin irritation.
Due to the baby's urine, body temperature and bowel movements, there is a constant warm and humid environment around the buttocks. The skin is at the mercy of this around the clock and can therefore soften slightly. This happens more often when a diaper has not been changed for a long time, for example after a long drive. It becomes even more stressful for the skin when a baby has diarrhea - then a red or sore bottom is not uncommon. In both cases, the dermatologist speaks of diaper dermatitis in infants or small children, which is divided into different degrees of severity. Typical symptoms of the rash include:
If there is talk of diaper thrush, yeast fungi (Candida albicans) have formed on the sore skin on the child's buttocks. Small pustules or scaly patches are typical of the skin disease.
In addition to the factors already mentioned, which are among the most common triggers of diaper rash, there are other reasons for a sore baby bottom: For example, was a new component added to the introduction of complementary foods that your child didn't like? Or has he eaten something that may have been overly spicy or spicy? Even fruit acid can cause the skin around the buttocks to become inflamed - so juices and fresh fruit should only be consumed in moderation by mother (if she is still breastfeeding) and child. Teething can also cause changes in bowel movements. Sometimes it is even the diaper itself that triggers skin irritation, or even a certain care product. It is therefore a great challenge for inexperienced parents to find the trigger for a sore bottom in the baby.
If your baby is suffering from a sore butt, you can use one of the following tips to soothe the irritated skin:
Change diapers more frequently than usual to reduce exposure of inflamed skin to moisture. And let as much fresh air as possible into your bottom.
Use a zinc-containing wound ointment (please apply only thinly!), for example from Bübchen or Penaten. It soothes and protects your baby's skin at the same time.
In order to rule out whether your child - or more precisely his skin - reacts to the diapers or wipes in particular, you should change the brand once.
Alternatively, a protective baby cream with herbal ingredients such as calendula, for example from Weleda, is also suitable for the diaper area.
If your child suffers from diaper rash more often, you could try cloth diapers in the meantime. In any case, it is important that the buttocks remain dry as much as possible (which is not very easy with fabric).
Another important note: If there are several allergy sufferers in your family, it is better to speak to a dermatologist before using care products - this can counteract early sensitization.
You can take preventive measures to minimize the likelihood that your child will develop diaper rash: for example, avoid using wet wipes in the first few months of life and only clean the baby's bottom with a washcloth and water. Then pat the wet areas dry without rubbing. Do not apply cream to the skin as a prophylactic afterwards, but only use a protective protective balm (with as few additives as possible) if the buttocks are red or sore. Make sure that the diaper is changed regularly (at least four to six times a day) and let your child kick around naked for a bit until the freshly cleaned skin is really dry - before putting on a new diaper. If you still want to use wet wipes, it is best to use ones without perfume or artificial fragrances.
You can usually get a sore baby bottom under control without medical help. However, if the rash is still there or has even gotten worse after a few days, despite the tips above, it is better for you and your child to see a doctor. Especially if your baby seems very weepy, has a fever or his bowel movements look different than usual. Other indications that speak for a doctor's visit are reddish spots on the edge of the diaper or purulent pustules. If the pustules are more whitish, your child has probably contracted yeast, which you can treat with an over-the-counter zinc ointment containing nystatin. Yellowish pustules, on the other hand, indicate a bacterial infection, which is also smeared with a zinc ointment (including an antiseptic). If you cannot interpret the color correctly or you do not feel up to the situation, a visit to the doctor is also recommended. Especially if you are a parent for the first time and you lack the necessary experience with diaper rash. Better once too much than once too little.
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