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How do I treat my 10-month-old's so-called teething bottom?

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How do I treat my 10-month-old's so-called teething bottom?


You bring up two common issues in infants: teething and diaper rash. Teething has traditionally been blamed for many symptoms in children, many of which have no true association. In fact, a recent study found that only the following symptoms were associated with the teething period: increased biting, drooling, gum-rubbing, sucking, irritability, wakefulness, ear-rubbing, face rash, decreased appetite, and mild (under 102 degrees F) fever. Diarrhea, congestion, cough, fever over 102 degrees F, vomiting and other rashes were not associated (Macknin ML, et al. Pediatrics 2000; vol. 105: pp. 747-52).

Diaper rash, however, is very common in infants. The causes are multiple, including increased moisture and friction of diaper area skin, changes in skin pH, the damaging effects of enzymes found in stool, and secondary infection with yeast or bacteria. For unclear reasons, some children are more prone to diaper rash than others. While potty training is the only true "cure," there are many steps you can take as prevention for your infant or toddler who is still in diapers. These include frequent diaper changes (try to keep this sensitive skin as dry as possible), the use of fragrance-free diaper wipes, and application of a good barrier cream or ointment after every diaper change for those babies who seem super sensitive. Disposable diapers made with AGM (absorbent gelling material) are extremely effective at wicking moisture away from skin, and newer technologies now make it possible for the diaper to transfer a barrier ointment to the skin while it is worn. If there are open areas of skin or pus bumps around the edge of the rash, infection may be present, and it's time to visit the pediatrician. By following simple preventive measures, even the most sensitive bottoms can be kept in tip-top shape.  

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