The best treatment for diaper rash is prevention. Keep baby's bottom clean and dry. Diaper rash thrives in a warm, wet environment. Change baby's diaper as soon as your baby's diaper becomes wet or is soiled. Let your baby go without diapers from time to time to allow your baby to get air to his or her bottom. Make sure your baby's diaper is not too tight because a too tight diaper may rub against baby's skin and cause irritation. Be careful with commercial baby wipes because the chemicals in the wipes can irritate baby's delicate skin as well.
Consider disposable diapers. Although disposable diapers are not as good for the environment as cloth diapers, they may be better at helping to prevent diaper rash. This is because disposable diapers are more absorbent and keep baby drier. Cloth diapers, especially when used in conjunction with plastic pants, can trap heat and moisture against baby's skin and lead to diaper rash. Detergent used to wash cloth diapers can also irritate baby's skin.
To treat diaper rash, make sure baby's bottom gets plenty of air. Keep baby out of diapers for at least a couple of hours per day, until the rash has cleared up. This may be messy, but it really does work. Place a waterproof pad under baby to help minimize the amount of cleaning up you will need to do.
Use warm water to clean baby's bottom while baby has a rash. Avoiding the use of soap, during this time, will help to prevent further irritation of the diaper area. If you must use soap, use a very mild type and use just a small amount.
Purchase and use a diaper ointment that contains zinc oxide to dry up diaper rash and protect baby's skin from moisture. Avoid the use of powder on baby. Powders containing talc can get into your baby's lungs and irritate them. Cornstarch can actually worsen a yeast infection.
Contact your baby's doctor if any of the following occur: the diaper rash persists for more than a few days, baby develops a fever, the rash spreads to other parts of baby's body, the rash begins to look strange to you, or the diaper rash seems to be getting worse in spite of your treatment efforts.