by John Brasington
Simple Relief for Diaper Rash
Diaper rash, or ‘diaper dermatitis’ as the experts call it, is unfortunately a very normal part of childhood. It happens because a baby’s delicate, sensitive skin is exposed to urine and feces – sometimes for long periods if we can’t find anywhere suitable to do a quick diaper change when we’re out and about. It irritates the skin, causing redness, inflammation, and it can be pretty uncomfortable for baby, too.
Common Treatments for Diaper Rash
If you pop to see your pediatrician, they may advise using a diaper rash cream if your baby’s skin is very badly irritated. Diaper rash creams work really well, but some parents are a little wary about using it. Many creams contain zinc oxide that reduces inflammation and irritation, but there are some concerns about the safety of it. The good news is that these concerns are just that – concerns – and there’s very little evidence supporting the fact that diaper rash creams containing zinc oxide could be dangerous. However, some parents are starting to look into alternative ways to relieve symptoms of diaper rash.
An Alternative Solution
One of these ways is substituting diaper rash cream for a Petroleum Jelly product, like Vaseline. Once again, there are a few concerns about using Vaseline on babies. Is Vaseline safe for babies? Does Vaseline really work to relieve symptoms of nappy rash? And if so, how does it work? As a parent, it’s important to ask these sorts of questions so you know exactly what you’re putting on your baby’s skin.
Is Vaseline Safe for Babies?
Let’s start with the first question: is Vaseline safe for babies? Vaseline is actually one of the safest products you can use on a baby’s skin – yes, really! It’s hypoallergenic so it poses very little risk of irritation, and it’s recognized by the National Eczema Association as being safe to use even on the most delicate and sensitive of skin. When buying Vaseline, you also know that you’re getting a product that is triple filtered for purity. For skin that’s already sore and painful, using a Petroleum Jelly product like Vaseline is ideal. Vaseline even makes a product that’s especially designed for babies, too – Jelly Baby.
Vaseline and Diaper Rash
Unfortunately, diaper rash isn’t something that we can always prevent entirely. As long as sensitive little bottoms are exposed to irritants like urine and feces, diaper rash will always happen, and the National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that nearly half of all children aged between 1 month and 24 months will experience diaper rash at some point.
It’s important that you don’t obsess over trying to completely eradicate diaper rash from your life. Instead, focus on safe and effective ways to relieve discomfort in your children, and reduce signs of irritation and inflammation. Vaseline can help.
Petroleum Jelly products like Vaseline Jelly and Vaseline Jelly baby tackle symptoms of diaper rash in two ways. Firstly, the jelly locks in moisture that’s already in your baby’s skin, so that if irritation does occur, the skin won’t dry out as quickly and become cracked and flaky. A cracked bottom isn’t any fun. Secondly, it acts as a protective barrier so that the diaper simply slides across the skin when your wriggly baby moves around, rather than dragging and pulling at the skin and making the irritation worse.
How to Use Vaseline for Diaper Rash
Here’s a step-by-step guide to incorporating Vaseline into your baby’s skin care routine:
- Cleanse the Skin
If your baby is already showing signs of diaper rash, give the wipes a miss as these could irritate the skin further. Instead, some good old cotton balls and clean water are all you need. It may take a little longer to clean up, and it may be a little messier, but it will be worth it.
- Dry the Skin
Ensure your baby’s skin is completely dry before moving onto the next stage, as if the skin is still wet when you put a new diaper on, it could lead to irritation. The best way to dry inflamed skin is to gently pat (not rub) it with a soft towel or cloth, being careful not to drag the skin.
- Apply Vaseline Jelly
Apply a thin layer of Vaseline Jelly or Vaseline Jelly Baby to your baby’s bottom, taking care to cover any areas that may be at risk of rubbing against the diaper, and any areas that are likely to be exposed to urine or feces. Use soft, gentle motions to avoid pulling or tugging at the skin.
- Put on a Fresh Diaper
When you put your baby’s clean diaper on, try to fasten it a little looser than you would normally if the skin is already irritated. Some parents even prefer using a diaper that’s a little too big as it helps to improve airflow, reducing the risk of irritation. One thing to be mindful here is of the risk for ‘accidents’!
So, there you have it – everything you need to know about treating diaper rash and keeping your kids bottoms happy.
Read more on kids’ health…