Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

Q and A with Rebecca: Managing Diaper Rash September 24, 2008

Got a parenting dilemma? Need more information about something you’ve read on my blog? Just ask!

Reader Question: My daughter is two-and-a-half and suffers from very bad allergies to anything with milk in it. If she even has one Goldfish cracker she steals from someone else, she breaks out in her diaper area. It becomes blistered and red like a sunburn!

Rebecca: How painful! I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s uncomfortable allergy. One of the first things you can do to relieve your daughter’s irritations is get her out of diapers and into underwear. When delicate skin is irritated, the most important thing you can do is keep it clean and dry. The average age most children are potty-trained in the US is 2.75 years, so you are right on target. Begin by allowing your daughter to run about the house “bare-bottom” while you train–this will help her to get to the potty on time while she is learning—and allow her bottom to heal.  

Reader: I’ve been trying to potty-train her because my ped said it will help her sensitive skin once she is out of diapers.

Rebecca: When my son Joseph was a baby, he suddenly developed a horrible diaper rash. His bottom blistered and cracked, and he was in a lot of pain. We were on vacation, and the diaper ointment I was using did very little to help him. A mother overheard me trying to console him and recommended a natural, low-cost and highly-effective treatment which can be found at the grocery store: cornstarch! (—the kind in the yellow box, or use organic, like I do.)  Just sprinkle it generously on your baby’s clean and dry bottom after every change. It will clear up a rash that day!

Reader: Actually, she doesn’t get the rashes unless she accidentally eats something containing milk [thank goodness] but that is a very helpful hint and I might pick some up just in case. You know what else I have found that works? Egg whites. I know, that sounds crazy but it really, really does work [and quick!]

Rebecca: The egg white thing has been used successfully by thousands of moms around the world, but it isn’t risk-free. Please allow me to share my concerns: Babies under one are highly susceptible to allergic reactions, and while your daughter is over two years, readers are cautioned not to try this with younger babies. Secondly, I’m concerned about the possibility of salmonella developing in the warm, moist regions of the diaper area. The close proximity of the urinary tract in females increases the risk of infection from the egg whites, and/or infection from soiled diapers.  Urinary tract infections are extremely painful, frustrating to treat (nothing can be done to ease your baby’s pain), and can be avoided by using cornstarch and potty training as soon as possible. Please let me know how things go and if this advice helped. My heart goes out to you and your little one!

Hit ”Comments” with your health or parenting question(s), and I’ll do my best to respond within 24 hours. Your privacy is respected; I will not publish real names without permission.

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