Making sure your baby stays happy and healthy can sometimes feel like an impossible feat. No matter how hard we try to protect them, they can still be vulnerable to injuries or health problems.
Diaper rash is common in nearly one out of every three babies in the United States. There are many different types of diaper rashes with different levels of severity or concern. This article will tell you what to do if your baby has a diaper rash with white bumps.
Causes of Diaper Rashes
Your baby's diaper rash could be caused by one of several reasons. Continue reading to decide if any of these reasons might explain your baby’s diaper rash.
Introduction to new foods.
Chafing or rubbing from diapers or clothing.
Irritation from a new product, such as diapers, wet wipes, or laundry detergent.
Bacterial or fungal (yeast) infection that could be due to antibiotics, poor hygiene, or new products.
Development of allergies.
Sensitive skin conditions, such as dermatitis or eczema.
Irritation from urine or stool, especially if the stool is frequent or diarrhea.
Causes of Diaper Rashes with White Bumps
When you first sport white bumps on your baby, your first thought may be that they are pimples. It makes sense that you would think so because that is exactly what they look like. However, if the bumps are under the diaper region and, especially, are accompanied by red skin, then you are probably looking at a diaper rash.
There are many different causes of diaper rashes with white bumps and most are easy to prevent or treat without a pediatrician’s assistance or expensive prescription medication.
1. If the white bumps fade shortly after a bath, then you can be confident in knowing that something in the bath routine is causing them. Staying in water too long could be stripping your baby's skin of its protective oil, which is leaving it dry and vulnerable to external infections.
2. If you live in an especially hot and humid area, your baby's white bumps could be what is known as heat rash (or miliaria rubra). If the bumps are primarily located on the folds of your baby's skin (such as inner thighs) and seem to get worse when out in the heat, it may be a heat rash.
3. If the weather where you live is particularly cool, and the bumps are also located on the face, cheeks, neck, arms, or legs, then the rash may be due to eczema. Eczema may either look like a heat rash or may result in a dry and scaly rash.
4. If your baby's white bumps are accompanied by a deep red or swelling and the vulva is discharging a white substance that resembles cottage cheese, then you may have a yeast infection on your hands.
Preventing Diaper Rash
Diaper rash may be a common issue with even the healthiest babies, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any steps that you can take to prevent them. Some remedies may even prevent an existing diaper rash from spreading or worsening in severity.
Check your baby for wetness every other hour.
Let your baby sit or lie without a diaper for approximately 15 minutes after each diaper change.
Avoid scrubbing your baby's bottom and opt, instead, for patting dry.
Only put a diaper on a completely dry bottom.
Consult your physician about the safety of using baby powders.
Don't fasten the diaper too tightly and consider going up a size until the rash heals.
Use only plain water on your baby's bottom instead of scented wet wipes.
How to Treat Diaper Rash
If you do a quick search online or ask other mothers for advice, you’re sure to run across a plethora of different suggestion, tried and true methods, old wives tales, and home remedies. Whichever treatment is the best option for your baby depends heavily on the exact nature of his or her rash and any other possible existing conditions.
Clean your hands thoroughly and with a good antibacterial soap before and after every diaper change.
If you think your baby may have a yeast infection, you can apply an antifungal cream or a yeast rash diaper cream. Ask your pediatrician to prescribe this cream or purchase it over the counter.
Apple cider vinegar could also be a good home remedy for inflamed skin due to its antimicrobial properties. Be sure to dilute the vinegar with plenty of water.
If your baby has diarrhea in combination with the diaper rash, you may want to avoid fruit juices, citrus fruits, and wheat cereals. These foods can increase the acidity in your baby's poop and make the diaper rash worse.
If, on the other hand, your baby has not been pooping much, then it could be due to sensitivity or allergies to dairy products, nuts, or corn.
If you and your pediatrician have ruled out a dairy allergy, then you might want to consider feeding your baby probiotics, such as organic yogurt. Probiotics can aid in the growth of good bacteria.
Apply a protective diaper cream that contains zinc oxide at every diaper changed to soothe irritated skin.
When to Notify Your Baby’s Pediatrician
Diaper rash is common in many babies and is usually not a cause for too much concern. However, there are definitely cases in which you should notify your baby’s pediatrician immediately.
If the diaper rash lasts longer than 3 days even after applying an antibacterial cream, increasing diaper changes, or changing food or products, then you should notify your baby’s pediatrician, especially if the rash seems to grow or worsen in severity.
While rashes are common on a baby’s bottom, face, and neck, if the rash spreads to any other parts of the body, then a physician should be notified immediately
Call your pediatrician right away if you notice any bleeding, oozing, open sores, blisters, or raised red bumps as these signs could both cause an infection or be the result of one.
Another sign of infection is a diaper rash that is accompanied by a fever of 100 or more.
To Wrap Up...
As you can see, most diaper rashes, though uncomfortable, are not a reason to panic. Practical good parenting, good hygiene, and good common sense and most rashes can be prevented or cleared up in a matter of a couple of days. Please remember that you should always consult a physician before following any advice that is suggested by others.
Does your baby have a similar diaper rash that you don’t think was covered here? Do you have any additional questions or concerns about your baby? If so, drop us a quick comment below.
Atherton D.J.; Mills K. (2004). "What can be done to keep babies' skin healthy?". RCM Midwives Journal. 7 (7): 288–290.
Borkowski S (2004). "Diaper rash care and management". Pediatr Nurs. 30 (6): 467–70. PMID 15704594.
James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk (2005). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. (10th ed.). Saunders. ISBN 0-7216-2921-0.