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My baby has a red bottom: how can I soothe it?

Babies have sensitive skin that is easily prone to redness. This is especially true for the diaper area, which undergoes constant friction due to the continuous wearing of diapers. What should you do if your child has diaper rash? What actions can help soothe it? Find some answers in this article.

Summary
Published April 11, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

What is diaper rash?

Just like adults, babies can also suffer from skin inflammation, particularly diaper rash. Several factors are responsible for these redness, such as prolonged contact of the buttocks with a wet diaper or an allergic reaction of the baby's skin to an irritating substance in the diaper, cream, or soap. A bacterial or fungal colonization can also be the cause of diaper dermatitis.

Even though they are often benign, redness on a child's buttocks requires special attention and monitoring because their comfort depends on it. The irritation is not just visual, it also causes itching and tingling, which are difficult for a baby to endure as they do not understand the cause. Moreover, without appropriate treatment, the redness can spread to other areas of the body, or even become infected. To avoid this, prompt intervention is necessary.

How to alleviate diaper rash?

Even though diaper rash can be treated relatively easily, the prevention remains the best option.

The management of a baby's diaper rash focuses on two main objectives : speeding up the healing of the damaged skin and preventing a new diaper rash. The first step involves rebuilding the child's weakened skin barrier. For this, the use of gentle cleansing care with a rich formulation containing emollients (squalane, glycerin, panthenol...) and lipid-replenishing active ingredients (ceramides, vegetable oils...) is recommended. These treatments will not only help the epidermis regain its integrity but will also strengthen the hydrolipidic film, which is naturally fragile in newborns.

We recommend for this purpose our cica-repair balm. To be used twice a day on your baby's buttocks, this treatment promotes the reconstruction of the skin barrier thanks to its dressing-like texture. Our balm also combines the sanitizing action of the copper-zinc complex with the soothing effect of Centella asiatica to immediately soothe the skin and make it more comfortable. It also contains baobab oil, rich in fatty acids and possessing nourishing and lipid-replenishing properties.

Frequent diaper changes (every one to three hours) are also essential in managing diaper dermatitis as they help to reduce the risk of infection. It is also important to avoid rubbing or friction during diaper changes and to gently clean the area, rinse it, and pat it dry to minimize skin trauma. Ideally, an infant with diaper rash should also have diaper-free rest periods to expose the damaged skin to the open air and reduce its contact time with the moisture from the diaper.

While the use of "traditional" moisturizing preparations is generally sufficient to eliminate mild redness, moderate to severe diaper dermatitis requires more advanced medical management. In the event offungal infection, agents such as nystatin, clotrimazole, miconazole, ketoconazole, or sertaconazole can be applied to the baby's buttocks with each diaper change. In the presence of bacterial colonization, the pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics. Applying mupirocin twice a day for five to seven days is generally effective in curbing the infection.

Finally, mild topical corticosteroids can also be used, for a maximum period of two weeks. 1% hydrocortisone is one of the standard treatments for babies, as stronger corticosteroids can lead to serious side effects in this vulnerable population, such as skin atrophy, intracranial hypertension, growth delay, or Cushing's syndrome.

Sources

  • KANTI V. & BLUME-PEYTAVI U. Prevention and treatment of diaper dermatitis. Pediatric Dermatology (2018).

  • MICETIC-TURK D. & al. Diagnosis and management of diaper dermatitis in infants with a focus on skin microbiota in the diaper area. International Journal of Dermatology (2018).

  • CICCONE A. & VARBANOV M. Diaper Rash, Advice and Treatments. Pharmaceutical News (2020).

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