Diaper rash can interrupt the peaceful routine of an otherwise carefree baby, and it won't do much for a parent's quality of life either. Babies have a knack for making their problems their parents' problems, and if your baby has diaper rash, well, you'll know about it.
During the first 2 to 3 years of a baby's life, just about every parent shares in the diaper rash experience at least once. It's not surprising, given that the most common rash-triggering irritants come from what is typically found in baby's diaper: bowel movements and urine. Thankfully, nearly half of all diaper rashes go away by themselves within 1 day. But the other 50 percent can last 10 days or more (though it might seem longer).
Here's some other diaper rash trivia: In some babies, diaper rash may be a harbinger of future skin problems such as eczema or sensitive skin. Also, breastfed babies have less diaper rash than bottle-fed babies, and this resistance continues long after a baby is weaned.
Enough trivia. Here's some advice on how to help your little one feel better.
Morris Green, M.D., was formerly chairman of the department of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.
Anne Price is a former educational coordinator for the National Academy of Nannies, Inc. (NANI) in Denver.