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Expert Q&A:
What is the best ointment for diaper rash?


Answered by Alfred T Lane MD

"I'm very interested in skin development -- that's what I've been researching over the years," says Alfred Lane. "But I didn't want to just work in a lab. I wanted to find practical ways of keeping skin healthy, especially for children and babies. I'm a pediatrician because I like kids!"

Alfred T. Lane, MD, one of the world's leading experts on infant skin care, is Chairman of the Department of Dermatology and Professor of Dermatology and Pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, where he is also a practicing pediatric dermatologist. Dr. Lane is board-certified in both pediatrics and dermatology, and his special interest is in researching premature babies' skin. His research on the delicate skin of premature infants has provided important information about how to keep everyone's skin healthy and how to treat damaged skin.

Dr Lane is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Dermatology and is a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology, the Society of Investigative Dermatology, the Society for Pediatric Research, and the American Dermatological Association.

Dr Lane is the father of five children.

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What is the best ointment for nappy rash? I've been using several different types of ointment, but my daughter still breaks out in a rash.


Any ointment that contains petroleum jelly will help prevent and treat nappy rash. You can also use petroleum jelly itself, which does an excellent job of protecting your baby's skin from the wetness and the enzymes that cause nappy rash. Any chemist will show you several good barrier creams like metanium or drapolene. Make sure you're changing your baby frequently enough to help keep her dry. It also may be helpful for your baby to spend a little time each day without a nappy on. Air circulating around your baby's bottom can help promote dryness and many babies enjoy this "free" time to kick and wriggle around. Make sure the room is warm and draught-free and keep her on a nappy to deal with accidents. If your baby has a rash of raised, reddish-pink bumps surrounding a red patch in the nappy area, she may have a yeast infection. If you think your baby has a yeast infection or if she has a severe rash that won't go away, make an appointment to see your doctor.

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