Nearly every baby develops diaper rash at some time. Red patches on the infant's buttocks, genitals, or thighs are the most common symptom. They may become severely inflamed if the bacteria in the child's urine breaks down into ammonia. To help prevent diaper rash, keep the infant's skin dry and exposed to open air as much as possible. Use diapers that are extra absorbent, and change them frequently. Whenever you change the diaper, wash the area with mild soap and water and dry thoroughly, using a mild, unscented baby powder. Ask a physician about using any ointment or anti-fungal cream. Be sure to avoid disposable, plastic-covered diapers and plastic pants, which can aggravate the rash. If you use washable diapers, try using a mild, unscented soap, rather than detergent, which could be irritating to skin, and rinse them twice. Make sure baby wipes and other products are fragrance-free and alcohol-free. If the rash is very severe and doesn't begin to clear up after three days, or if the child has developed a fever or loss of appetite, call a doctor.
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