How do you cure chronic diaper rash?

I promised myself I wouldn't cry...
I promised myself I wouldn’t cry…

Today’s “Ask the Doctor and the Dad” question is a real pain in the butt:

My baby’s diaper rash won’t go away! I’ve tried over-the-counter creams like Butt Paste, Desitin and Aquaphor. Our pediatrician prescribed us a couple of different medicines and ointments to use, too. But nothing helps! How can I cure this chronic diaper rash?
– Heidi

Ouch, Heidi. We feel your (baby’s) pain.

First off, let us remind everyone that Amber here has a PhD in developmental psychology – so her area of expertise focuses more on brains, and less on bottoms – and nothing we’re about to tell you constitutes medical advice.

That being said, we do have some personal experience in this department that might be able to help you out!

Our first baby’s bottom was everything a parent could ask for: round, cute, and pinchable for days. Oh, and it hardly ever suffered from diaper rash. Whenever a little irritation did appear, a healthy schmearing of Butt Paste always cleared it right up.

So when our second baby came along, we expected more of the same.

And while this brand new baby butt was super cute like the first one, it also turned out to be way more sensitive.

In fact, we went through pretty much the exact same situation you’re talking about – trying just about every cream and paste they had at the drug store, as well as multiple attempts with prescription ointments our pediatrician recommended.

While some of these creams seemed like they might be helping for a day or so, any improvements to the diaper rash we may have seen were only temporary, and before long, our poor babe’s bum went right back to being red, raw and really sore.

Until something happened that was so amazing, it literally blew our pants off!

(Okay, it didn’t literally do that. But it was still pretty amazing.)

During an out-of-state family get-together, we ran out of diapers, and The Dad’s Sister offered to pick some up for us at the store.

What she came back with was a package of those all-natural, chemical-free, 100%-organic diapers that you’d rather not have to buy for your kid all the time because they’re so darn pricey.

But after putting them on our baby, the diaper rash that had us – and our doctor – stumped for months miraculously went away!

If you feel like doing a bunch of research on whether or not chemicals, Super Absorbent Polymers and other weird-sounding stuff they put in diapers really do cause rashes and irritation on babies’ butts, feel free. There are plenty of studies, articles and opinions out there.

Or you could just get some diapers that don’t have all those things in them and see if they do the trick for your little one! They certainly did for us!

So for Heidi, and anyone else who may be wondering how to make a stubborn diaper rash go away, the solution might be as simple as:

Buy some natural diapers! (Like these, these or these!)

The extra cost might feel like it’s burning a hole in your wallet – but that’s better than letting some cheaper diapers burn a hole in your baby’s butt!


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8 thoughts on “How do you cure chronic diaper rash?

  1. We also found that lots of diaper free time around the house, while sometimes a bit messy, helped a lot too.
    And as an added bonus, you get to see that cute little baby bottom for a while too.

  2. interesting! we didn’t have an issue with diaper rash but it turned out to be a case of ezcema (like mother, like son). it also helped to wash his booty/diaper area a few times a day (sort of like a really bothersome bidet) especially after sleeps/poos. gave his bottom a chance to refresh!

  3. Stop using plastic diapers. Only use cloth diapers. We never had one rash raising our daughter EXCEPT the one time we used baby wipes to clean her bottom. My brother’s four kids all routinely had diaper rash and were potty trained on average 14 months later than our daughter. The ones we had we sold later for more than we bought them for and were super easy to wash and put on (Velcro). Give me a try and you also will help prevent sticking the item which comprises the world’s most prevalent item found in the world’s waste areas – plastic diapers

    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Trent. If chemicals are bugging your baby’s butt, then cloth diapers should definitely do the trick!

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