Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Diaper Rash

Question: What's the best treatment for diaper rash?
- Tammy H.

Answer: Dear Tammy,
There are many different types of diaper rash. Some rashes are caused by contact to a substance such as that which is found in some diapers or baby creams and perfumes. Others are caused by moisture (infrequent change ). Some are even the result or side effect of antibiotics that are given for an infection that your baby has.

Depending on what the cause is, the treatment will vary.

Prevention is the best, I say. I find that telling parents to use an over the counter diaper ointment such as zinc oxide or balmex routinely, will help prevent chafing and irritating the sensitive skin of a baby's bottom. If your baby does get a rash, the faster it's treated, the less pain and further irritation the baby will have.

Rashes that are caused by a fungus (the side effect of antibiotics) need a special cream that is usually by prescription. The yeast or fungus that causes this type of rash is very similar to the organism that causes vaginal yeast infections in women.

A few home remedies that work prior to making a trip to the pediatrician include using mild soap and water and keeping baby's bottom dry with frequent diaper changes.

Remember to avoid using diaper wipes if your baby's bottom is already quite irritated. Some wipes contain ingredients such as alcohol, perfumes and other chemicals that can prevent healing from taking place.

An ounce of prevention is worth (well you know the rest)! Are you looking forward to toilet training? Think of it. NO MORE DIAPERS!

Enjoy your baby!
Dr. Betti

Also see:

  • Guide to potty training
  • Are vaccines safe?
  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.