What is a diaper rash?

Ellen Whitehurst
Health Education

Diaper rash is nothing but harmless bacteria that live on the skin but feed on the urea, or nitrogen part of baby's urine. It's the waste product, ammonia however, that causes the rash itself. Because these bacteria are what's called 'anaerobic,' oxygen kills them so the first line of defense when treating diaper rash is to air baby's bottom as much as possible until condition clears. One way to relieve baby's discomfort is to mix a few drops of Vitamin E oil with a few of extra virgin olive oil and add a drop of petroleum jelly and then smooth over the bare bottom. And, then, powder that same bum with corn starch before putting a diaper back on. Bottoms up!

Deborah Mulligan
Deborah Mulligan on behalf of MDLIVE
Diaper rash describes any rash or irritation in the area covered by the diaper. The first signs usually include redness or small bumps on the lower stomach, genital area, and skin folds around a child's upper leg.  There are two kinds of common diaper rashes.  One rash comes from irritated skin and the other from yeast infection.  Although pediatricians are not sure why, infants who are breast-fed seem to suffer diaper rash less often.