Diaper rash is a common skin condition that most babies will experience. It is mostly caused by wetness in the diaper area and is usually not as a result of negligence. The rash usually shows up when babies are between the first nine and twelve months of life.
Signs of diaper rash include redness, irritation, bumps and sometimes dryness in the diaper region. If the rash is severe, signs may extend to adjacent areas not covered by diapers. While the condition is not considered serious, it can be a source of discomfort and pain to your baby.
It is not uncommon for moms to associate diaper rash with teething. Teething often starts when baby is around 6 months old and continues for the next 2 years. During that time, about 20 teeth will be gained. Babies mostly develop issues associated with teething at early stages of the process. This article investigates the connection between teething and diaper rash.
Can teething cause diaper rash?
Why do babies get diaper rash when teething? Can teething cause diaper rash? So far, no study has been able to unearth undisputable evidence that teething causes diaper rash. So why do they seem to be linked?
Many changes take place in a baby’s body during the first months of development. It is during that period that the immune system is being introduced to all sorts of potentially dangerous organisms and substances. This can trigger an array of events which may end up in diaper rash.
Another theory is that the excess drool produced by babies during teething causes diarrhea. If you are familiar with the common causes of diaper rash, you know diarrhea is one of them.
Diarrhea doesn’t necessarily cause diaper rash. What it does is increase the risk of irritation in diaper region caused by fecal matter. Fecal matter contains different types of enzymes and bacteria which end up irritating the diaper region and thus causing a bit of rash. Matters get worse when fecal matter mixes with urine. The mixture contains ammonia, which is a mild but a guaranteed source of irritation.
Diarrhea during teething is common. It is not always caused by swallowed drool. Babies can easily pick up bacteria and other forms of dirt from objects as they try to ease itchiness caused by emerging teeth. Again, no one has as of yet proven that teething and diaper rash are related.
What are the symptoms and causes of teething diaper rash?
There are several things that seem to recur during teething. These include:
- Increased urge to bite
- Rubbing of gums
- Lack of appetite
- Slight increase in temperature
Issues such as diarrhea, bowel movements, high fever, vomiting and non-facial rash are not directly related to teething. Moms tend to associate the process with unexplained issues because it is much more conspicuous, more like the “obvious” reason.
If your baby is having prolonged or severe diaper rash when teething, have them checked by a doctor. You could be dealing with a case of bacterial or yeast infection. Common signs of a diaper rash include:
- Papules and pustules
- Inflammation or edema
- Scaling or flaking
A mild diaper rash presents with skin redness or pinkness but rarely signs of discomfort or pain. You may notice small papules on the affected areas. Moderate to severe diaper rash is characterized by redness, bumps and inflammation. Affected skin may be broken or cracked. Most babies will feel pain and discomfort especially when touch. See diaper rash blisters pictures.
What causes baby boy or baby girl diaper rash during teething? Why do babies get diaper rash? What causes diaper rash in infants? Any of the following can cause diaper rash:
- loose stools or diarrhea
- new products such as different brand of diapers
- new foods
- yeast overgrowth
- bacterial infection
Babies are more likely to get diaper rash when they:
- are have having diarrhea
- are in their first year of life
- have just been introduced to new foods
- are on antibiotics or breastfeeding from moms on antibiotics
- have to spend long periods of time in soiled diapers
Teething diaper rash treatment
Medical teething diaper rash treatment is done with antifungal creams or antibiotics. As mentioned earlier, check with a doctor if your baby doesn’t improve within 5 days of treatment at home. A mild hydrocortisone cream may also be prescribed as part of treatment.
But even before you consider medical treatment, below are several things you can try:
- Change diapers frequently – it is advised that you make diaper changes after every 2 hours, regardless of whether the diaper is soiled or not. It helps reduce irritation due to exposure to fecal matter.
- Avoid chemical irritants – baby’s skin is very fragile and delicate. It can easily become irritated once exposed to even mild chemicals in soaps, wipes, detergents or even diapers. Ensure to use mild soaps and washing detergents. In fact, you can try apple cider vinegar for disinfecting cloth diapers.
- Change diapers appropriately – the process of changing diapers is not a straightforward one. It involves using the right diapers, protecting with a zinc oxide or Vaseline petroleum jelly, using the right powder and so on.
- Allow some free time – whenever you have the time, let your baby spend some time without diapers. Yeast grows best in dark, moist and warm environments. Frequent aeration may help prevent the growth.
- Wash thoroughly – before and after diaper change, ensure to wash your hands thoroughly. It helps prevent spread of infection. Cloth diapers should also be washed thoroughly before next use. Since some washing detergents may contain irritants, consider using apple cider vinegar. Finally, ensure to get rid of any fecal debris from baby’s skin, preferably with plain water.
You can also try giving your baby frozen items to chew on so as to keep them from picking germs on dirt objects.
Teething diaper rash remedies you can try
The diaper rash associated with teething is usually caused by diarrhea. The teething diaper rash remedies discussed below may help.
Keep your baby hydrated:
Diarrhea is fairly often in babies. It is considered potentially dangerous if it is to last for more than a day. In that case, ensure to check with your doctor. Moms are advised to give a lot of fluids to their babies during diarrhea bouts. It helps prevent fatal dehydration.
The BRAT diet:
BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. The diet is supposed to help prevent loose stools or diarrhea. You can also include some green leafy vegetables to ensure a balanced diet.
Probiotics are said to promote growth of good bacteria. This may not only help stop conditions such as diarrhea but also prevent yeast overgrowth in the diaper region. A good example of a probiotic you can try is yogurt.
Let your baby get enough rest:
When the body gets enough rest, it is able to allocate enough resources to fighting infection. This is very important when dealing with acute diaper rash from diarrhea.
Diarrhea causes a lot of irritation in the diaper area. This is what results in irritation and rash. There are many home remedies that can help with both irritation and rash. They include:
- Essential oils – essential oils such as frankincense oil and lavender oil are good options for irritated skin. They also help stop growth of yeast and bacteria. Other examples include coconut oil and olive oil.
- Baking soda – baking soda promotes skin hydration and also reduces pain. It can be used directly but use in baths is more recommended. Baking soda is known to help with yeast diaper rash treatment. Prolonged use of baking soda can cause further irritation. Use on broken skin is advised against.
- Oatmeal – colloidal oatmeal is known to restore skin hydration and promote healing due to presence of proteins. To use, prepare an oatmeal bath and let your baby soak in for 15 minutes. Oatmeal baths are also used to relieve diaper rash in adults symptoms.
- Breast milk – breast milk is a good option because it involves no chemicals whatsoever. It contains antibodies that may promote skin healing. Don’t use breast milk for diaper rash if yeast overgrowth is the suspected or identified cause.
- Homemade creams – since the list of considerable natural remedies for diaper rash is long, you can consider making a homemade diaper rash cream. It gives you the opportunity to take advantage of several remedies in a single product.
When to see a doctor
It is very tempting to associate health problems with teething. If teething is to cause problems, they definitely will not be serious enough to cause signs of infection.
See your doctor for diagnosis if your baby has lethargy, is vomiting, their body temperature reaches 102°F or manifests staph infection diaper rash symptoms. Also seek treatment if diaper rash doesn’t improve with home treatments.
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