How to treat diaper rash

Red spots on a baby’s skin in the diaper area come from an irritation-the ammonia in urine, bleach or detergent residue in laundered diapers, diarrhea or a fungal infection, or from wet diapers left on too long.

To clear up a mild rash, wash the baby’s skin gently but well each time you change a diaper; rinse, dry, and expose the afflicted area to the air for as long as possible. Before putting on a fresh diaper, apply one of the many over-the-counter diaper creams. If you wash your baby’s cloth diapers, give them an extra rinse or two, adding ‘/2 cup white vinegar to the final rinse. If possible, dry the diapers in sunlight; it helps destroy bacteria.

If the rash recurs simultaneously with episodes of diarrhea, or if it persists or worsens, consult your doctor.