Bedwetting and Skin Rash
Diaper Rash, Now?
You've tossed away the diapers or given them to a neighbor. Your child is all but trained, that is, except for persistent nighttime bed-wetting. So, you may be wondering, why is my child's diaper rash worse than ever?
This type of diaper rash doesn't come from diapers at all. The painful rash comes from long exposure to urine during the night. Nighttime training may be the highest hurdle of potty training, but once your child is night trained, his rash will disappear. In essence, treat the bedwetting, and the rash goes away.
The kidneys create urine by mixing unwanted chemicals with water. The higher the ratio of chemicals to water, the more concentrated the urine. When your child's skin is exposed to this concentrated urine for the length of a night, the chemicals act as an irritant to his bottom and genitals.
The child who sleeps in training panties is more prone to this type of skin rash, since the absorbent material traps the urine close to his skin. The rash is often worse around the waist or at the leg bands, where this concentrated nighttime urine tends to pool. The first sign of irritation is redness. If the problem persists, the skin then thickens and becomes dry and flaky. If this period is dragged out for an indefinite period of months or years, the skin may become paler in color, or wrinkled.
While getting your child to night train is the best way to prevent or cure the rash, there are many ways to lower the chance that your child will develop a rash.
*Give a lengthy rinsing to his bottom and genital area each morning upon wakening.
*Use absorbent underpants in the correct size so as to minimize the pressure at the waist and leg band areas.
*Spread petroleum jelly on the area that will be exposed to urine before bedtime each night.
If your child develops a rash in spite of your precautions, try to dress him in soft, cotton clothing and keep him cool to minimize irritation from sweat. If he scratches, this may lead to a bacterial infection. In this case, the rash looks wet and may appear to ooze pus. You may need to apply an anti-bacterial ointment.
Another common rash you'll need to watch out for is yeast, which likes to grow on irritated, wet skin. In a yeast infection, the rash becomes a brighter red and you will see small spots spreading out from the main area of the rash. This needs treatment with an anti-yeast cream.
While the rash may be due, in part, to the use of absorbent underpants, the use of these underpants is still a good idea. Children feel more comfortable in the pants than waking up in a cold, wet bed. In addition to the child's comfort, the use of absorbent underpants means there will be less odor and less bedding to launder.