Diaper Rash

Tips and Tricks for keeping baby yeast-free!

by shethinksmedia

Last week we discussed some basic FAQs about yeast, this week we conclude with tips and tricks to keeping baby yeast-free.

Helping keep baby yeast-free

When your child is yeast-free, a great preventative measure during hot weather is to sprinkle corn starch in the diaper area. Corn starch washes out very easily, and poses no laundry issues, and is non toxic and safe to use. Do not do this, however, if your child has existing yeast, or is coming off of a bout of yeast. Corn starch will feed an active fungal infection, making it worse and doing so very quickly.

As far as cloth diaper fibers go, we typically see more yeast cases in natural fibers than in synthetic stay-dry fibers. One side of the table will say that natural is best to increase air flow, as yeast does best in warmer, damp areas. However, the other side says that dampness will cause yeast to get a hold faster and stronger, so it is best to stay in synthetics with frequent changes. Our anecdotal evidence suggests that second theory to be true, while heat and wetness both contribute to yeast, we see more success with stay dry fibers and frequent changes than we do with staying in natural fibers and frequent changes. This will vary by customer though,so if you use natural fibers, don’t give up on the first go around, treat the yeast and see how your baby does with frequent changes and corn starch. Some families have just found adding a fleece liner at nighttime when the baby s in the diaper the longest works best for them to keep the skin drier. If you use synthetics and are battling yeast, natural fibers may provide relief as well. If it is possible, “naked baby” time or going cover-less (with fitteds or prefolds) is beneficial as well, letting them run or roll around to give their skin as much air and light as possible in between changes.

Please email us with any questions, we want your baby to be in cloth, but we want them to more importantly be safe in their cloth, and keeping their skin healthy is at the top of that list :)

Have a wonderful week!
Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Yeast Rash FAQ, How can you tell it’s really yeast?

by shethinksmedia

Last week we reviewed how to treat a diagnosed case of yeast, this week we are going to go over symptoms and some “FAQs” of this skin issue.

Yeast, by definition, is a fungal infection. It loves warm, damp areas of the skin, which makes it perfect for the diaper area and mouth (also known as thrush).

Just a side note here-in nursing babies, if mom (or baby) is on antibiotics, it will be easier to pick up yeast. Yeast can be transferred to baby by mother during nursing, so if you experience sudden pain while nursing, look into thrush as a possible cause to get treatment for yourself.

DISCLAIMER-For any rash that is painful, itchy, bleeding, cracked or blistery, please seek the medical advice and treatment of your doctor or pediatrician, our advice below is just a general overview of yeast, Abby’s Lane does advise a medical professional diagnose and treat your baby for any significant rashes.

Yeast will typically present as a splotchy red rash, it can be all over the diaper area, or only in the “hot spots” on the thighs, around the rectum and in other creases. It may appear to be dry on the surface, with raised bumps accompanying it. In older babies, it may seem itchy. Yeast may also appear as a general redness in these areas, it usually will not respond to over the counter creams, and needs a prescription anti-fungal to clear it.

Yeast can also spread beyond the diaper area, up the torso and into the armpits. If your doctor has prescribed an anti-fungal, you should see a dramatic improvement within 48 hours, if you do not, please consult your doctor for either a stronger anti-fungal, or possibly a second look at the rash.

Over the counter creams for fungal infections as helpful to a point, however you run the risk of having it reform and coming back even stronger if it doesn’t work all the way (we see this with our customers somewhat frequently), so for that reason, we always advise seeking a prescription anti-fungal to get rid of it the first go around.

A few years ago I started to notice a trend in our “yeast” customers and their babies, through their doctors and dermatologists, I noticed a trend that showed babies who dealt with yeast more than once ended up also being diagnosed with mild to moderate eczema. After tracking this for a few years, we now encourage our customers who have dealt with yeast more than once to seek treatment for eczema as well. Eczema is a skin issue that will disrupt the healthy flora of the skin, making it much easier for yeast to start and grab a deep hold of the skin. Treatment is very simple, while using an anti-fungal, you will be given a steroid cream as well. Or, sometimes a “triple cream” is given, which is an anti-fungal, steroid and barrier cream all rolled into one ointment. We see this even in babies and toddlers who have not had eczema anywhere else on their body, it can be specific only to the diaper area.

For this reason, talk to your doctor about it, and see if eczema may be at play as well.
Next week we will go over some other tips and tricks to staying yeast free!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Tips for common summertime cloth diaper yeast rash

by shethinksmedia

Last we went over our Swim Diaper 101, and were excited to get several emails for customers taking the “plunge” into reusable swim diapers!  This week we are going to switch gears and get into some common diaper troubleshooting issues.

The most common rash issue we tackle is yeast, especially in the warmer summer months. Below is our advice on what to do if you are diagnosed with yeast, next week we will get into some detail as to how to prevent it, troubleshoot it for children who have multiple bouts with it, and other random tips we have discovered over the years of working with our customers.

Yeast is a fungal infestation in the skin of your baby, which is encouraged by dark and damp environments ( ie: diaper area), and should be diagnosed by your pediatrician.

When you get the diagnosis:

  1. Your doctor will likely prescribe nystatin cream or gentian violet orally, other anti-fungal creams may be used depending on the severity of the rash.
  2. When using one of the above products, we advise moving into disposables until the skin is completely cleared for at least 48 hours. IF the rash is really stubborn, I would advise stretching this to 3-4 days.
  3. During this time, you need to disinfect your cloth diapers. This needs to include cloth diapers, cloth wipes, inserts and other cloth diaper accessories. To do so, wash and dry as usual, then wash with just hot water and 1/2 cup of clorox (we used to advise 1/3 cup, over the past year we see more success with the 1/2 cup mark). Chlorine bleach is what can and will disinfect the diapers, color safe bleach uses hydrogen peroxide, which has not shown to be as effective.
  4. If you have PUL pockets, AIOs and covers, the bleach will not fade them, as PUL is dye fast. If you have cotton print products, and do not want them to fade, you can sort these out and disinfect with a color safe bleach. HOWEVER, if the yeast comes back I highly recommend using chlorine bleach to disinfect them, you don’t want to fungus to keep regrouping and coming back, for the health of your baby (it can be miserable when it is a strong strain).
  5. Once baby has been clear for at least 48 hours, they can go back into disinfected cloth, make sure over the next 1-2 weeks you change frequently to promote air flow to their little bottoms to keep yeast away.

As always, please email us at abbyslane@aol.com with any questions or concerns and we’re happy to help!


Diaper Chatter, Can cloth diapers make your baby bow-legged? What stinks?

by shethinksmedia

This week we are going to cover some hot topics that many customers will think indicates a problem, but is just the reality for using cloth diapers. In short, this isn’t a problem, so don’t try and fix it.

Now of course, there are exceptions to every rule, if you need to make sure this doesn’t present itself for your baby or your family, please email me at AbbysLane@aol.com and we can go over some possible solutions, but in general, these issues don’t indicate a problem.

AND IN BOLD-please note that our official stance is that a rash or skin issues, or baby being uncomfortable is never the “norm”, so if you are having any of these situations and baby is suffering, it is not considered normal, please email us to troubleshoot some solutions.

1) My diaper pail stinks when I open it!
This can be and in most cases is completely normal. Again, if baby has rashes, OR if your stink is out of the dryer or off the drying line, or in a freshly peed diaper, we have problems. If the stink is in the pail, it can be completely normal. If you are washing every other day or longer, you have feces and urine sitting in a warm, dark and packed pail for 24-36+ hours. Diapers are fabric, and fabric in these contents will stink in these conditions. When you open the pail you will catch a whiff, when you close the lid the problem should be solved.

2) My wet bag stinks when I open it!
See above.   Also normal if the diapers have been in there for several hours, especially poopy ones. If your clean, out-of-the-dryer wet bag stinks, we have a problem, email me to troubleshoot.

3) I used to be able to use a disposable for 4-6 hours, my cloth diapers leak after two. Now, this can be tricky, depending on what you are using the diapers for. Generally speaking, the daytime capacity of a cloth diaper should be 2 hours, less if there is a bowel movement involved of course. Nap time and nighttime are the exception, where you can stuff the diapers to last longer, or use a different system of diaper to last longer. But, in general, you don’t want urine breathing onto their skin for more than two hours at a time. Urine + time+ bacteria=ammonia, and even in stay dry fabrics will breathe onto their skin, breaking down their healthy skim flora and introducing more chances for rashes. We all have times where we need more absorbency, and of course that is fine, but for the majority of daytime purposes, this is considered normal. Less than 2 hours, we may have a fit or absorbency issue, so email me for help.

4) My baby can crawl/walk/sit up in disposables, but can’t in cloth diapers. We get this one quite a bit, concern over milestones that seem to be delayed or impaired by cloth diapers. For the majority of babies this will be the case, but we are talking about a very brief period of time before the skill is mastered in cloth diapers. Disposable diapers have been in use for about 40 years, every generation before wore cloth diapers, many quite bulkier than today’s diapers, and milestones were not a concern. Some options are trimmer than others, but my general advice is if you are concerned, give it 2-4 weeks, 99% of the time you will see them develop to the cloth diapers to meet these milestones, it just takes a little more time and coordination. On the flip side, we often here of much more confident walkers because they are falling down a cushioned bottom.

5) My baby looks bow-legged in cloth diapers! Somewhat similar response above, but with a little more science behind it.  The fact is most babies will appear to be bowlegged, this is completely normal in toddler development:
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=57409
True bow-legged disorders can be diagnosed by your pediatrician, but it is not caused by cloth diapers, even bulky ones.

Additionally, cloth diapers are frequently recommended by doctors to fix hip dysplasia, as they offer the proper spacing for leg and hip development. Babies in disposable diapers with hip dysplasia have to wear braces to space their hips, but modern doctors are more frequently leaning towards recommending cloth diapers for this purpose, as it supports the proper growth for a developing baby.

6)My diaper bag doesn’t work with cloth diapers. Many of the super cute diaper bags out today are really just too…small…so yes, this one is true.   The best diaper bag in our experience is a regular backpack. Easily worn on your back to leave you hands free, nice roomy compartments to carry cloth diapers, durable and can last through lots of washings, and dad won’t balk at lugging it around.

Email us with any questions you have, we are always happy to help make cloth fun and easy for your family, and troubleshooting annoyances or more serious issues is a good place to start~

Have a great week everyone!
Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Dealing with food allergy related rashes.

by shethinksmedia

This week we are going to discuss a very specific rash-related issue.

We have been getting lots of emails lately about types of diaper rash, specifically food allergy related rashes. At Abby’s Lane, when you email us for a rash question, I am going to ask a million questions about the details. I don’t want to sell or recommend a cream to provide a barrier, I want to know what is causing the rash. Most times a cream will be needed, for yeast, staph, ammonia burn, chafing, etc…but for *most* babies it shouldn’t be the “norm”.

With a few exceptions, diaper rash can be kept at bay with frequent diaper changing, the right fibers for your baby (which can go either way depending on the baby), the right detergents and the right diet. That last factor is what I am focusing on today, diet and food allergies.

Food allergies can play a big part in diaper rash, and I use the word allergy to cover both true allergies and sensitivities (things that don’t cause an allergic reaction but can irritate the baby enough internally and externally that it needs attention). For exclusively nursing babies this absolutely can still come into play, your diet has a profound impact on your baby. The most common irritants are dairy, wheat, citrus and acids. 9 times out of ten when a mom asks about a specific type of rash, eliminating one of those food groups usually does the trick.

Food allergies will usually present as first a raw circle right around the rectum, they can also be present by a searing red rash when a bowel movement has been in contact with the skin, sometimes also by bright redness where urine sits more frequently (for girls on the labia, for boys on the scrotum). Detergent rashes typically present wherever the diaper touches, yeast will be in patches throughout the area, food allergies tend to be where you see urine and stool concentrated, and a big clue can be if your baby has it in disposables as well.

As always, talk to your doctor if your baby is in pain, or the skin is cracked, bleeding, itchy or raw. If you see these symptoms though, some diet play may be in your future. In the summertime when we see juice and fruit consumption increase in toddlers, we see these instances rise. Keep your baby and toddler well hydrated, lots of water and air time if you can.

Also, remember sugar feeds yeast, if your baby has a high sugar content in the diet (even from natural causes), and is already prone to yeast, make sure you watch our yeast prevention tips to avoid it coming back:

http://www.cloththatcounts.com/?p=949

Balms will help with this rash to heal it, but depending on the severity you may want to scale back the irritant food. Use your judgment, if your baby loves blueberries, so after a weekend trip to the farmer’s market you know you need 2-3 days of cjs to help their skin, that sounds fine to me .  However, if cow dairy products make baby break out intensely at every bowel movement, you may want to consider elimination for some time. My personal stance is, if it causes that much damage on the outside, you don’t know what it does on the inside. Often times reflux, colic and fussiness can be food/diet related, too.  My own babies need me to be mostly cow-dairy free until they are 2-4 months old, and I can tell a dramatic difference in temperament if I slip and have some ice cream or a bowl of cereal. Email us if you have questions, and again, involving your pediatrician is always a good first step.

Let us know if you have any questions!
Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Summer cloth diapering tips; Yeast, Eczema, Heatrash and Flies – Oh my!

by shethinksmedia

Yeast can be more prevalent, the hotter weather can make fungal growth easier, so make sure you go over our yeast articles if you are battling yeast:
http://www.cloththatcounts.com/?p=929 and http://www.cloththatcounts.com/?p=949

Eczema is typically better during the summer because of high humidity, but yeast and eczema can go together, so if your yeast treatments are not working, consider treating the child for eczema at the same time to see if that helps, under the guidance of your pediatrician. If your child normally has eczema during the winter months but not during the summer, consider this if you are running into yeast as well. Eczema creates an imbalance in the healthy skin flora, and opens up tiny hairline cracks in the skin where yeast can get a stronger hold. Many times a daily steroid cream with your anti-fungal will solve the problem.

I hate, hate, hate to include this one, but I have to because every year we get a handful of emails, this year being no exception. Keep the pail lid closed and wash frequently in the summer (1-2 days, not more then 3). Flies get in the house, flies love rotting matter, flies lay eggs that love warm and dark environments. If you find you have maggots in your pail, the diapers do need to be thoroughly disinfected (let us know if you need directions),  so make sure you keep the lid closed to avoid a very unpleasant surprise on wash day.  Again, it isn’t frequent or common, but it does happen so we have to mention it.

If your baby is suffering from heat rash (make sure it isn’t yeast, heat rash will be pink all over the diaper area with or without tiny red pinprick dots), add cornstarch to your diapers every change, and change more frequently. For babies who have a very hard time, you may need to switch up some options, but those first two steps usually quell most cases. Cornstarch washes out very easily from the diapers :)

Hope you’re having a good summer so far!

Stephanie, Abby’s Lane


Rash Issues, The Importance of Clean Diapers, and When to Call the Doctor.

by shethinksmedia

After discussing rash issues with several customers, we are going to go over the importance of clean diapers again, with the focus on making sure a doctor is brought in at the appropriate time for your baby’s health.

No pun intended, but a bit of a “soap box” for me, please do not risk long-term skin issues by delaying a visit to the doctor. Holistic healing methods are wonderful, and have an appropriate place and time for use, but at Abby’s Lane we strongly advise a visit to the doctor for any rash that is/has:

  1. Open skin
  2. Seeping or oozing in any fashion, even if it is just clear liquid
  3. Accompanied by pimples, or any lumps or bumps that appear to have a head of any center to them
  4. Any rash that has red circular bases to it, soft or hard to the touch
  5. Bleeding or cracked/open
  6. Causes your baby any pain or discomfort, or itching
  7. Does not show dramatic improvement in 48 hours with your method of healing

I hate to bring this topic up because it has the potential to scare away those new to cloth diapers, but the more important message of seeking help for bacterial or fungal diapering rashes needs to be stated.  Bacterial and fungal rashes do not come from cloth diapers, they coem from the baby’s skin or other contaminants, but they CAN live in cloth diapers.  For these rashes, washing and sunning is not enough, even washing on the “sanitary” cycle will not kill the contaminants, please refer to our washing/disinfecting article here:
http://www.cloththatcounts.com/?p=997

Holistic Essential Oils do have a place, but their proven ability to kill all bacterial strains is not on par with chlorine bleach, and when you encounter rashes that have the potential to leave genital scarring behind, you cannot risk your baby’s skin. Going into the warmer weather, heat rash is more common, but easily treated. Heat rash will present like a mild sunburn with or without tiny red pinprick dots on the skin, and is usually healed quickly by air time/frequent changes/balms/air flow to the bottom and/or stay dry diapering.  Yeast is more common in warmer weather, especially with natural fibers, so please be aware of what to look for/how to treat yeast on your baby.
Again, I don’t want to “scare” anyone away, as with any of your baby’s health arenas, we advise to pay attention to any rash scenarios, we can certainly help via email and try to troubleshoot with you, but if ever in doubt please consult your pediatrician right away.

Sincerely,
Stephanie-Abby’s Lane


yeast and cloth diapers

by abbyslanehype

When looking at our customer emails, one topic we see come up often is Y-E-A-S-T. Unless it is being used to make cinnamon rolls in your house you don’t want to have the word come up, yeast is a fungal infestation in the skin of your baby, which is encouraged by dark and damp environments ( ie: diaper area), and should be diagnosed by your pediatrician.

When you have the yeast diagnosis, here is what we recommend (next week we will go over tricks and tips to prevent it from coming back)

1) your doctor will likely prescribe nyastatin cream or gentian violet orally
2) when using one of the above products, we advise moving into disposables until the skin is completely cleared for 48 hours.
3) during this time, you need to disinfect your diapers. This needs to include diapers, wipes, inserts and other accessories. To do so, wash and dry as usual, then wash with just hot water and 1/2 cup of clorox (we used to advise 1/3 cup, over the past year we see more success with the 1/2 cup mark). Chlorine bleach is what can and will disinfect the diapers, color safe bleach uses hydrogen peroxide, which has not shown to be as effective.
4) if you have PUL pockets, AIOs and covers, the bleach will not fade them, as PUL is dye fast. If you have cotton print products, and do not want them to fade, you can sort these out and disinfect with a color safe bleach. HOWEVER, if the yeast comes back I highly recommend using chlorine bleach to disinfect them, you don’t want to fungus to keep regrouping and coming back, for the health of your baby (it can be miserable when it is a strong strain).
5) once baby has been clear for at least 48 hours, they can go back into disinfected cloth, make sure over the next 1-2 weeks you change frequently to promote air flow to their little bottoms to keep yeast away.


Diaper rash

by abbyslanehype

We got a lot of questions after our last email about the nighttime chafing/wet rash if you are using natural fibers. Natural referring to cotton, hemp, bamboo or a mix of these. Any “organic” fabric will be a natural fiber. By definition, natural fibers will not be stay dry, the closest you can get to a natural stay dry liner is a silk liner (we sell these on the site), they are very thin, made from silk and you lay them in the top of the diaper. But, they are not 100% stay dry like fleece or suedecloth is, you will feel some dampness, they just wick away a good amount of the moisture. Your stay dry fabrics will be fleece, suedecloth, which are both 100% polyester. Microfiber is 100% poly but not stay-dry, it has to be fleece or suedecloth, or another variation of these. If you are using prefolds or fitteds that are natural fibers, you may have success with laying in a fleece liner. We do sell them here.

Or you can make your own. Go to a fabric store, ask for 1/2 yard of scrap fleece, and cut into 15 x 5 rectangles. No sewing needed, it won’t fray.
For fitteds, lay them in the middle, it will protect the core of the diaper from transferring wetness. For prefolds, if you are trifolding just lay them on top, between the baby and the prefold, if you are folding the prefold around:

1) lay the fleece liner in the middle of the diaper, place the baby on it, so you see the front half of the liner (the back half is under their bottom)
2) flip that front half of the liner up over their belly, almost as if they were wearing a pantyliner, so the top of the liner comes close to their belly button)
3) now fold your prefold around the baby, if you don’t flip the liner up it will get twisted in the prefold and not work (especially if you are doing the bikini twist)

Now, depending on the severity of the sensitivity to wetness, this may not be enough. It will protect their middle skin/genital area, but if they get rashy on their hip and belly, the liner won’t help with that if the diaper is getting really soaked. In this situation, I would first try to increase absorbency, if you can keep the wetness mostly in the middle by adding some extra hemp inserts, it cuts down on the wetness going to the sides of the diaper, and with the fleece liner may be enough to keep the rash at bay.

With any rash, please seek the advice of your doctor for any itching, cracking, bleeding, blisters or peeling. This rash is very mild to treat and will go away quickly with the use of fleece liners, if it is at all serious or painful looking it does need to be diagnosed.


Cloth diapers & diaper rashes

by abbyslanehype

We are back talking about rashes again in our series we have had the past few weeks. This week we are going onto a bacterial issue, that of Staph and/or MRSA. Some of the saddest emails over the years that stick out are from customers who had their babies battle this, and it was misdiagnosed by the pediatrician, or treated as a minor skin irritation that turned into something worse.

Staph does not come from the diapers, staph comes from another contact point, but needs a place to enter the body. The diaper area is the perfect place for it, since it is warm and damp, and the pressure points where the diaper is tighter on the skin can provide this opening. Staph usually presents as blisters, that may be fluid or pus filled, sometimes with a hard red center on the base of it. They will often start out looking like pimples, and many times will burst and reform within hours.

This has to be taken very seriously, if your baby exhibits these symptoms, you need to take him to the pediatrician, have it diagnosed, and if it is identified as a staph infection, please demand that it be cultured. Some pediatricians will not offer this, but you can insist it be done, and it is in the best interest for the health of your child. What they will do is take some of the fluid or pus in the blister and watch it grow over a few days in their lab, to make sure the antibiotic they prescribe will work for the bacteria that your child is infected with. MRSA is antibiotic-resistent staph, if your baby has MRSA, it means they will have to take the extra steps to make sure the bacteria will respond to the given antibiotic.

For staph and/or MRSA, we absolutely cannot recommend homepathic treatments, this can be serious if left untreated, and does get bad quickly if not taken care of. Sometimes yeast can have blisters that may resemble staph blisters, your doctor will be able to tell which it is, *usually* yeast will not have the raised fluid filled centers that staph has. If your baby is diagnosed with staph, he/she will need to go on an oral antibiotic, and likely be given a bactroban cream (antibiotic cream), and the diapers will need to be disinfected the same way you do for yeast. This involves chlorine bleach. Because of the severity of staph, I do recommend putting the baby in disposables until you can bleach all of your diapers and inserts, staph does not come from the diapers, but can live in them, even through washing and drying.

I have throwing this one out there because I usually get emails of parents new to cloth who fear getting into this rash situation. The truth is I have had it with my kids both in cloth and disposables, staph just wants a place to enter, if you catch it the baby will be just fine, and there is no proof cloth diapers increase the chances of infection from staph.


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