Sunday, January 12, 2014

Skin fold irritations

We love pudgy babies....there is something about all of those chins and chubby thighs.....but as your baby gets rounder and rounder, they develop all sorts of little creases. It is common for the skin in these area to get irritated. This issue doesn't only affect babies of course.
Many folks have enough skin and sagging parts that this can remain an issue throughout the lifespan.

The medical term (which I don't think I ever actually use) is intertrigo.
Intertrigo is inflammation of the skin. It tends to occur in warm, moist areas of the body where two skin surfaces rub or press against each other. Such areas are called "skin folds."
These problems areas can occur all over the body. Common areas are the upper thigh/ groin area, the armpits and behind the ears.I think that the calls that I get the most about are the neck and chin. (think drool)

Prevent Prevent Prevent:

Babies and children don't need to bathe every day, but they do need a bit of daily hygiene. It is important to be paying attention to all skin folds on a daily basis.
If you ignore them, you may be caught by surprise by how red and stinky they can get.
Do a routine naked check. This includes separating all areas where the skin makes contact with itself and making sure that there isn't trouble brewing in those creases. 

My favorite tools for both prevention and treatment are cetaphil cleanser, aquaphor, apple cider vinegar and a simple piece of tissue.

When you do give your baby or child a bath, apple cider vinegar in the bath (¼ -½ cup per tub) does seem to help prevent a good number of rashes.

When you are bathing your child make sure you get into all of those folds. When you are toweling them off, make sure those creases get completely dry. Just like I use a tissue when changing a diaper, you can do the same thing with the skin folds. Gently smooth open the fold and tap with the tissue. The tissue will likely stick to the area because of the moistness. Tap until the kleenex no longer sticks and the area doesn't feel at all tacky.  That super dry area is way less likely to be irritated.

If it is not bath time, you can clean these areas with the Cetaphil cleanser.
This cleanser does not require water. You can just apply it and wipe it off
(There are several Cetaphil products, make sure you get the right one, for this we don't want to use the foaming wash). After cleaning the area, apply Aquaphor. You can do this several times a day as needed.

When you baby is teething and drooling up a storm, the creases in the neck can be quite challenging. If you already have irritation in the folds that you are struggling with, it might be yeast. Yeast thrives in warm, dark, moist areas.

If the area has any odor, I would go ahead and use a topical antifungal cream. Lotrimin is fine.
Start by cleaning with the Cetaphil. Then do a layer of the Lotrimin. Follow up with a top protective layer of Aquaphor.

If the area is very raw, you can also add a dab of Neosporin (generic triple antibiotic ointment is fine) several times a day. Just like the anti-fungal cream, this is applied after the Cetaphil and followed by is okay to use it in conjunction with Lotrimin.

If you are not seeing improvement after a few days of treatment, call your doctor to have a look.

Some anti-fungal powders can be useful in creases, but the challenge is applying them without your child inhaling harmful particles.
If you are someone who likes powders, sprinkle the powder into your hand away from the baby and gently apply to the trouble area without causing the powder to get airborne.

As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.(nothing wrong with an old adage as long as it is apt)  


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