Diaper Rash That Wont Go Away. Help!

Updated on December 08, 2008
A.M. asks from Los Alamos, CA
34 answers

My baby, well he is 18 months old, has had a diaper rash FOREVER! I have tried so many products and nothing seems to work. I took him to the doc 2 times for it. First doc said it was from the uric acid, hence change him more frequently. I did, nothing changed. I have tried: butt paste, desitin, generic desitin, a&d ointment, aveno diaper cream, 2 different yeast meds, lotrimin, caldesene powder, breastmilk topically, going naked for almost a whole weekend, cloth diapers, underware... He does not show any other rash on his body, so I am pretty sure its not an allergy. Unless, he is allergic to the diapers. Oh, he itches it terribly. Has anyone else experienced this. Im going back to the doc but thought you mamas might be able to help me better than him!

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So What Happened?

Ahhh! Thank you ladies! There were so many great responses, ultimately I think it was the cortisone cream that is doing the trick. I was reluctant to use it since it says it is not for diaper rash. But the doc (a different one) said exactly what some of you mamas said. Fungus meds, cortisone and a barrier of some sort on top of it all-- in that order. It has had amazing results, almost immediate. She also said he probably has several issues going on, just like many of you all said. There were yeasty sattelite spots, along with what she thinks is diaper irritation up a several inches below his belly button--thats the one he itches until he bleeds since he can slip his hand down his diaper. Yes, I have tried Arbonne, and all natural creams (Jasons by earths best specifically), vaseline and I use fragrance free wipes, G-diapers when he was young were too hard to keep from leaking. But I could try them again. I am changing him so frequently that I dont want to waste the money on expensive natural diapers, but will if I can't get it under control this way. Docs suggestion is to just keep a barrier on him at all times even when cleared up. I will definitely try the cornstarch and baking soda in the bathwater, and neosporin too. Thanks again, Im sure I will be here again, so this will all help nip it in the bud next time!

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S.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,

Have you tried a brand called Arbonne Baby Care? The diaper rash cream is very effective and very safe for sensitive skin. And the products are 100% guaranteed. Give that a try and I bet you'll be so glad you did! :)

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D.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

My baby also had a bad diaper rash that wouldn't go away. Until a friend of mine told me about Zinc Oxide. It worked like magic! And it costs less than $2 bucks at Target (you can find it on those shelves behind the pharmacy counter). Zinc Oxide is the main ingredient of those expensive diaper creams out there, but without the fragrance or all the extra stuff. I hope it helps!

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M.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter had the same thing for for a couple of weeks and tried the same things, had it looked at by the doctor and she said it was probabaly the diapers. So I switched back to huggies from luvs and it's gone.

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C.Y.

answers from Honolulu on

The worst diaper rash my youngest daughter (of 5) had ( she also has excema) was a sudden onset very nasty one..Like yourself, I tried just about everything. My health care practitioner, also a mom, suggested it might be her 2 yr. old molar coming in and suggested Teething Tablets by Hyland Pharmacies. It is a homeopathic remedy that helps to balance baby's Ph which turns acidic when they are cutting teeth - not a pain killer!. Since they dissolve on contact with saliva, there is no danger of choking and they don;t taste bad. It worked!!! I was so relieved to put away the creams and cloth diapers!! You might want to give it a try. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.! I know you've gotten this rash to pretty much go away but did want to say that "Yes" he could be allergic to the diapers. My daughter is allergic to Luvs and so was my cousins lil boy. All other diapers are fine with her but Luvs gave her a rash that I just couldn't get rid of. Took me a while to figure out it was the diaper. So, if it comes back you may want to try switching to a different brand of diapers. Best of luck.

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

A.,

My money would still be on a food allergy. In kids who are toilet trained, a classic sign is a bullseye rash around the anus. But in a diaper wearing babe, diaper rash is really common with food allergies. My two year old is allergic to soy (hives, screaming, green poop, diaper rash) and intolerant to dairy (screaming, green poop, diaper rash). He tested negative on the blood tests for food allergies but the evidence says, he's got issues with dairy and soy. A simple elimination diet would answer your question really quickly. You might also want to consider having his poop tested for trace amounts of blood. It isn't uncommon for kids with food allergies/intolerances to have bleeding in their intestines that isn't obvious unless you test for it. Long term, this type of bleeding can lead to anemia and failure to thrive along with other GI issues.

T.

:-)T.

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R.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have a friend whose kids are allergic to wheat. The only physical sign was a diaper rash that wouldn't go away. You should talk to your doctor about testing him for food allergies. Especially if this has been going on for a long time. My daughter has been getting a rash if I feed her yogurt. Her dad has the same problem...
Talk to your doctor before mixing medications, even 'all natural.' It is still medication.
Good luck!
R.

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R.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,

I dont know if anyone mentioned that your child might have a yeast rash, which no cream with make go away unless it is a cortisone cream, which should be a last resort.

Try giving him probiotics...or if you are breastfeeding, drink it (it takes like yogurt)and his rash will go away. Whole Foods and other health food stores carry it. It wont' hurt your son at all...it will help balance the yeast in his system.

I had the same problem with my now 2 1/2 year old. After two days of drinking a little of the probiotics, my son's rash disappeared.

i hope this helps. Good luck!

R.

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C.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

I had that problem with my son when he was younger too. My cousin, who is a pediatrician told me to mix a creme that is one part zinc oxide (desitin), one part clotrimazole (foot creme), one part hydrocortisone creme (1%), and one part neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment. Mix it all up and use it only 3 times a day using desitin or other zinc oxide creme in between. It usually cleared up within a week...
I don't know if it will work for you or not, but hey, it's worth a try! Ask your doctor about it if you're worried.

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Try a prescription of Nystatin. That always worked for us, but if it's a burning rash, my doctor recommends Mylanta. I KNOW - I know, it sounds weird, but it really does take the "burn" out of the diaper rash. Dab it on with a cotton ball and allow it to dry and then apply another coat and allow it to dry before putting the diaper back on. I have 3 boys and it's worked with all of them.Good luck.

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T.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Try an all-natural rash remedy like corn starch or coconut oil.
I've also heard people mention grapeseed oil but I don't know much about that.

As far as commercial stuff goes, Burt's Bees and California Baby rash creams are what my pediatrician recommended when my daughter had a horrible diaper rash when she was newborn. We used the Burts Bees with success.

How long did you cloth diaper him? Might want to give that another shot, for a longer period of time. Use a diaper like Fuzzi Bunz that has a lining with "wicking" action that keeps the moisture off of the skin.
There are chemicals in disposables that he could be reacting to. I believe the disposables made by "Tushies" have none of the gel and chemicals that regular disposables have, so you might try those.
G-Diapers are another option, sort of a reusable/disposable "hybrid."

You can get reusable cloth wipes wherever you buy cloth diapers, or you could use baby washcloths, or even make your own (surge the edges of a piece of soft material) if you are so inclined.

Just remember that anything with chemicals on or in it will only exacerbate his condition so try to keep it as pure and natural as possible, whatever you try.

Best of luck to you - I hope your sweet boy gets some relief soon!

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A.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

My sister's daughter had a really bad one and nothing worked. Turned out it was her diapers. She just had to switch brands. My favorite diaper cream however is triple paste - they have it at Target or sometimes behind the counter at the pharmacy in your local market - it's great!

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J.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Time for a second opinion maybe?? It sounds like yeast if it itches, but I am not sure. You can try getting something called Jarro-dophilus, they have it at health food stores. It is a combo of 6 or 7 of the naturally occuring "good" bacteria. I battled thrush early on in breastfeeding and it is the only thing that worked. I know you said you tried yeast infection meds, but so did we, for almost 2 months and they did nothing. I had it on my brests and it was painful. I was so happy to find this stuff, it worked in less than a week. If it is not a yeast infection it won't hurt him to take it anyways so you can't loose. Good luck and make sure you let him air out after changes for a good while if you can. They say ten minutes each change, but how realistic is that. I do it once a day for my dd and she is a year old now and we got rid of the thrush 6 months ago and it has not reared its head again. : )

Just saw your update, but it reminded me to tell you about another amazing product. It is made by Alba and it is called unpetroleum jelly. It is amazing. I put it on my dd at any sign of redness and she has never had a rash. I also put it on if we are going out somewhere and she may be in her diaper for more than an hour or so which is how often I usually changer her. Well I am glad you got some relief and hope your little one is better soon.

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H.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Triple Paste is very good and is what worked for my son. For my daughter that is now 8 we used Corona Ointment and, now, dont laugh because you get it at Feed Stores. Yes thats right Feed Stores. Everyone out there that is reading this and used Corona Ointment knows it works. Good Luck

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S.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

It could very well be the diapers. My daughter breaks out in a horrible rash (that takes days to clear) if she uses any other diaper than Pampers. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe a cloth diaper could help you out? I know there are diaper services to make using them easier.
Good luck!

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

I've used the Dr.Sear's tips below, as Michele S. has detailed. In the case of my son and daughter when she was a baby, it did work.

Also, you might want to take him to a Dermatologist. Perhaps they can shed some light on it from a different perspective.

Also, try research "rashes" or "baby diaper rashes" online and look at the actual pictures/photos of it... see if any of them resembles your sons. Maybe this will help.

Oh maybe change the kind of diaper wipes you use.... or, what we used to do, is just use a soft type of paper-towel and use warm water in a spray bottle to clean his bum. That is what the hospital used as well when I gave birth.

Or in the past, one time, the Pediatrician gave a "prescription" cream for my daughter's really bad diaper rash she had. This worked... I think it was called "Nystatin" or something.

take care,
susan

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J.D.

answers from Reno on

Try Triple Paste. It's expensive, but it works like a charm!

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S.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Aquaphor has been the BEST for me !!! It is miracle cream !!!! Poor baby ! Good luck !

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M.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Quick tips that have worked for many:

1. Don't use wipes. Use warm water and soft cloths or Viva paper towels. I put a squirt bottle in a wipes warmer to keep warm water easily in reach. The ingredients in wipes can cause the skin to become more irritated. Only use them when no rash is in sight.
2. Completely dry the bum. I use a hairdryer on a low setting. When I've given friends this hint, it was the magic step that finally worked for them.
3. Sprinkle corn starch, yes corn starch... either out of your kitchen cabinet or Johnson & Johnson has a baby powder that is pure corn starch and aloe.
4. Put diaper cream on top (keep trying brands until you find what works best for your little one), then sprinkle more corn starch. This will help to keep all the cream from soaking into the diaper.

This system has worked for my many little ones that have a condition that makes them very prone to diaper rash. Good luck!

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S.B.

answers from Visalia on

Hi A.,

Nothing is worse then an uncomfortable bottom! Did the diaper rash come after his MMR shots? It sounds like a possible food allergy. Not neccesarily the kind of food sensitivety a Doctor can do blood work for. I have several friends who have tried every diaper rash creme under the sun including expensive perscriptions and the only thing that worked was Arbonne herbal diaper rash creme. Yes I sell it and yes it works but aside from fixing it I'd love to help you figure out what is causing it! Email or me if you'd like :) [email protected]____.com

S. Bueno
Independent Consultant Arbonne Intl.
Area Manager ###-###-####
I love someone with Autism!

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R.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.:

When my daughter was around a year old she started to develop diaper rash frequently which really confused me because I always used real washrags to clean her bottom and I used the "natural" disposable diapers that didn't have chemicals in them. Nothing had changed in her diet, and she wasn't sick. My pediatrician told me to change diapers and I initially resisted because I couldn't imagine the "natural" diapers having anything in them that would be irritating. I did change to a name brand diaper and the rash was gone in two days. I was shocked - and I couldn't believe it was that simple. So if you haven't already tried, I would suggest switching to a different diaper just to see if that helps. Also, as you've already read in previous posts be SURE that your pediatrician has taken a close look at the actual rash. Don't just guess it's yeast, because there are other types of rashes. Specifically, some rashes don't respond to Nystatin, and in fact nystatin can make it worse if it is not yeast. The mixture that our pediatrician has given us for non-yeast rashes is 1% lotrimin mixed with 1% hydrocortisone and then cover surrounding area with Beaudreuaux's paste (not desitin. I hope your pediatrician will take a good look and guide you in the best interest of your little one. Best wishes.

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J.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Ask your doc to prescribe stoma powder. It's normally used for people with ostomys. Put a little powder UNDER your diaper cream should clear up in a couple of days unless it's a yeast infection (little red bumps are usually the sign of this...) in which case you'll need an antifungal cream. I was a NICU nurse and the meds we gave our little guys could really turn their poop into an acidic cesspool and burn their bottoms down to the muscle! Stoma powder was our little secret to heal them up quick.

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

it sounds like a yeast infection but he could also be allergic to the chemicals in the diapers. my daughter is and her rashes get soo bad she bleeds sometimes but theres nothing a can do about it. when you go back to the dr ask him for nystatin it a yeast infection cream and you only need to put a thin layer on them a few times a day that cleared my daughters yeast infection up. i hope this is helpful. also a fyi for you target sells chlorine free diapers so if you are willing to pay the extra $$ those are great diapers then worked for my daughter!

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S.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

trying asking ur doc about pink swizzle(or doc recomened diaper rash medication) i love than stuff when my son was consistantly having diaper rashes.
ys

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S.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Have you tried vusion? My son has eczema so I visited several dermatologists. One of them prescribed vusion for him. But the dermatologist that I ended up staying with said that it was great for diaper rashes. it has to be prescribed. Ask your doctor about it. Hope it works!

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V.A.

answers from Las Vegas on

Although my son is now 30, I remember having the same problem untill my mother came to the rescue...buy yourself some CORN STARCH!!! After you take the diaper's off, and gently clean the baby off..take a good amount of cornstarch in your hand and pat/pack it all over the rash...I used to keep mine in the fridge, as it has a nice cooling effect on the skin, and it will draw the heat out as well as help to heal the rash. When you bathe your son, put a little baking soda in the bath water as it cut's down on the itching and will help dry out the rash. After the rash is COMPLETELY HEALED I remember using vaselline on my son every day...as it provided a barrier against the urine that can sting and cause problem's.Sometimes the old remedies work the best, and I have used this on my grandchildren as well!! Love, V.

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A.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I was going to say to try cloth diapers, but apparently you have! Have you tried Balmex as a diaper cream? Have you tried organic disposable diapers? Maybe it'll be a motivator for him potty-learning? Best of luck!

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Please call your Pediatrician...if it has been longer than 5 days you'll probably need to get a 'prescription' strength cream to get rid of it. All I did was call and speak to my son's nurse, and explain the situation and the coloring and the length of time and she had the doc call in the prescription to the pharmacy.

Good Luck

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

A.,
The following response is long as I took it from askdrsears.com but if you haven't seen it yet, it may be helpful. Hope your baby is feeling better soon! (I personally recommend acidophilus). You can get chewables if he'll chew them and swallow them otherwise powder.
M.

DIAPER RASH
When your beautiful baby is born, her skin is often perfect in every way. It is softer and smoother than it will ever be again. You are dismayed when she wakes up and her bottom is red and irritated when you change her diaper. What happened! What did you do wrong? Absolutely nothing!

ALL BABIES HAVE DIAPER RASH!
There are many misconceptions about a baby's bottom:

It is supposed to be perfectly smooth and rash-free
Diaper rash is abnormal
Diaper rash is a sign of food or formula allergies
Diaper rash means the baby has bad diarrhea or a yeast infection
Having a diaper rash is a normal part of being a baby. There are many ways you can limit the amount of rash, but from time to time it will flare up again.

WHY BABIES GET DIAPER RASH
Start with ultra sensitive skin, add the chemicals and moisture of urine and stools, cover the area with a diaper that rubs back and forth, and you have diaper rash. This damaged skin is susceptible to the invasion of bacteria and yeast, which can make the rash worse.

SEVEN WAYS TO PREVENT OR MINIMIZE DIAPER RASH
If your baby does not have a problem with diaper rash, then you don't need to be too strict with these preventative measures. However, if you are constantly battling rash, here are some helpful hints to minimize it:

Change diapers frequently - at least every two hours in newborns. You can space this out as baby starts to urinate less often.
Change poopy diapers right away - this is a lot of trouble at first since newborns often have small, frequent stools. This will slow down as baby grows.
Try different brands - if using disposables, another brand may fit a little better and cause less friction.
Rinse cloth diapers - add a half-cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. This helps remove alkaline irritants. Your diaper service can also do this.
Wipe well - be sure to wipe all the stool and urine away.
Use unscented wipes or just plain water - these are less irritating. You can even rinse out the wipes with water, although this takes more time.
Diaper rash cream - some lucky babies don't need any. More sensitive bottoms need cream with each new diaper. There are two basic types of barrier creams:
Petroleum ointment (Original A & D ointment) - this is an excellent preventative every-day ointment. It's less sticky and less messy.
White zinc oxide - this is thicker and may be better for babies who are more prone to rash.
FOUR WAYS TO TREAT DIAPER RASH FLARE-UPS
No matter how diligent you are with the above measures, your baby will still have a rash from time to time. Here are some tips to treating those rough spots:

Wash off bottom with water - don't wipe the sore areas. Instead, use a bulb syringe to gently wash baby's diaper area.
Gently dab or pat away any remaining stool. Blot baby's bottom dry.
Let it air out - leave the diaper off for a while, with no diaper cream on. Lay baby on a towel (with a waterproof pad underneath to catch accidents) with her bottom up. Do this as often as you can. This will help dry out the rash, which is important for the healing process.
Diaper cream - when you do put the diaper back on, use generous amounts of cream. Here are some suggestions:

Zinc oxide - for the moderate rash.
Acid mantle - this is a brand name sold in stores. It is outstanding for moderate diaper rashes. Can be used with zinc oxide over it.
Butt paste or Triple paste - there are a variety of creams that a pharmacist can mix up for you that contain a variety of ingredients. These are good for severe rashes. One brand that is already mixed is called Triple Paste. Ask your pharmacist for some. It is non-prescription.
Clotrimazole anti-fungal cream - for stubborn rashes, yeast may be involved (see below). You can add this over-the-counter cream to help.
Hydrocortisone 1% cream - you can put this over-the-counter cream on twice a day beneath any of the other creams to help with severe rashes. It will help with the inflammation. Don't use this for more than several days at a time as long-term use can damage the sensitive skin in the diaper area.
Soothe and heal by Lansinoh. This pure lanolin ointment is excellent for soothing sore bottoms.
Mix your own - if you can't get a prescription, try mixing these together in the palm of your hand, then apply to baby's bottom:
Zinc oxide
White petroleum ointment
Acid mantle
Aluminum acetate (Burrow's solution)
If you cant find Acid Mantle, then use Lansinoh (a lanolin ointment). It is available in the diaper cream section of drug stores.
IDENTIFYING SPECIFIC DIAPER RASHES
Here are a few diaper rashes that can be more than just irritation from the stool, urine, and diaper. They usually require more specific therapy:

Contact diaper rash - this is simply the regular rash as discussed above.
Appearance - flat, red, irritated skin. When severe, skin will peel or blister and slough off.
Treatment - as described above.
Intertrigo - this is a specific rash that occurs within the skin folds and creases around the diaper area where the skin rubs together.
Appearance - Heat and moisture mixed with urine cause a red, burn-like appearance.
Treatment - regular white petroleum diaper ointment.
Yeast rash - when the skin is damaged, yeast from the intestines can invade the skin. This especially occurs with antibiotic use or prolonged rash.
Appearance - it is a red, raised, patchy rash with sharp borders, mostly over the genitalia but with satellite spots sprinkled around the diaper area. Click here to view a picture of a yeast diaper rash.
Treatment - in addition to the above measures, there are two commonly used anti-fungal creams:
Clotrimazole - over-the-counter. Apply 2 - 3 times a days beneath the other creams.
Nystatin - prescription. Not necessarily better, just different.
Acidophilus - this is a natural bacterial powder that fights off yeast. Click on it to learn more.
Impetigo - this occurs when bacteria invade the damaged skin.
Appearance - coin-sized blisters or red raised patches that ooze a honey-colored crust.
Treatment - prescription antibiotic ointment as well as the above general measures.
Seborrhea - an inflammatory condition that can affect different parts of the body, but can be especially severe in the diaper area.
Appearance - a big, red, sharply demarcated patch over the groin, genitalia, and lower abdomen. It can be more raised, rough, thick, and greasy than the other rashes.
Treatment - hydrocortisone 1% cream (over-the-counter) 2 - 3 times a day. Don't use more than a week unless directed by your doctor.
Allergy ring - a variety of foods can irritate baby's bottom, especially acidic foods such as citrus and tomato-based sauces.
Appearance - a red ring around baby's anus.
Treatment - discontinue suspected foods. Breastfeeding moms may need to eliminate foods from their diet.
WHEN TO WORRY
None of the diaper rashes discussed here are so serious that they warrant an urgent call to your doctor in the evening or overnight. They generally can wait to be evaluated and treated by your doctor's office the following day.

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S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm sure someone else has suggested this, but it could be a fungal yeast infection... ask your doctor, it's very common and easy to cure with lotrimin cream like you'd use for a vaginal yeast infection.
Good luck.

S.

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B.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

what works the BEST! My own personal concoction. Take 1 tube each of miconazole cream, cortizone cream and desitin and mix them all together and keep that on the rash fairly thick. It will clear right up. I never had troubles again after using this great recipe for butt cream.
Good luck! Brrnda

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M.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

have you tired triple paste, we use it on my son and the rash seems to go away in about a day, the triple past is really thick unlike the desitin and a&d ointment..
hope everything works out

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

This was the best advice given to me by my babies pediatrician and it worked. Everytime you change your baby, wipe her/him off with a warm wet cloth and I don't mean baby wipes. You can let him air dry or gently pat dry. You have to keep this up every time you change him. Think of it! Wouldn't you wipe yourself off with with water and a cloth if you pee'd your pants? Urine burns the skin. Keep him clean. Water is the best remedy.

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C.P.

answers from San Diego on

Hi A.,

We use Aquaphor, it's a ife saver for everything. Have you tried corn starch? I have a friend who swears by that as well.

Have you tried changing the brand of his diaper? I hear a lot of people complain abut Costco brand diapers, not sure what brand you use. But try changing and see if it might help.

Good luck!

-Char

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