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A baby suffers diaper rash when her skin is sorely irritated by moisture in urine and bowel movements. Her skin turns red, tender and hurts whenever it is in contact with moisture. A diaper rash needs treatment immediately to prevent it worsening and infection setting in.

Every time the baby's diaper needs changing, take the opportunity to wash her bottom with mild baby soap and water. Lay her on a plastic mat and use a sponge for easier washings. Rinse her skin thoroughly to remove all traces of soap. Pat her dry. Let baby lie on her tummy with a diaper underneath to avoid soiling the mat. Airing her bottom helps to dry and heal her rash. Let her play for a while on her tummy before wearing her diaper.

It is good to get a diaper rash cream to soothe the affected area. Avoid baby powder as this sticks onto the sore. A cheap, effective cream is pure petroleum jelly. There are other uses for this traditional product that the entire household can also use. Observe the rash for a few days. If there is no improvement, bring your baby to your doctor for medical treatment.

In addition, there are special tips to prevent diaper rash occurring. Preventive medicine is the best medicine. Help your baby by changing her diaper as soon as you are aware that it is soiled. Wash and dry baby's bottom with each diaper change. Avoid using plastic pants as heat builds up and irritates the rash. If there are too many runny stools, reduce the amount of fruit juice from baby's diet. Avoid wet diaper wipes with alcohol content as this irritates the rash.

The age-old debate of using cloth versus disposable diapers is there. Disposable do not necessarily worsen the diaper rash. They are hygienic and do not pose the threat of having remnants of chemical detergents on them. Cloth diapers supposedly provide better ventilation for airing the rash but that is relevant only if you don't use an outer pant for baby. Another fault of cloth diapers is that you need to be very vigilant to spot the wet diaper immediately before it soaks into the baby's skin and hurts the rash.

Cloth diapers need to be washed thoroughly to avoid hosting germs and chemical detergents. The wastes need to be rinsed off before soaking in a pail of cold water. When you're ready to do diaper laundry, use hot water and mild soap or detergent. Rinse and put on a second rinse to ensure no chemical agents remain. Air-dry the clean cloths.

Diaper rash is serious if not properly taken care of. By exercising the above precautions, mothers can easily heal diaper rash for their babies.