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|Can I use Maalox® for my baby's diaper rash?|
I've actually heard this one while working in the pharmacy one night. As far as I can tell, there is no evidence indicating that applying Maalox® to your baby's skin helps clear up a diaper rash. Although, theoretically some of the ingredients in Maalox® may be helpful, it should not be used for this purpose. In fact, you may be putting your baby at risk from absorbing the aluminum and magnesium in Maalox®. When a baby has a diaper rash it's very important that their sensitive bottoms are kept clean and dry. Here are a few steps on caring for a diaper rash:
- Change diapers often.
- Wash the diaper area using warm water and mild soap.
- Pat or air dry your baby's bottom. I often recommend to parents to keep their baby out of their diaper as long as possible to help air dry their bottoms. Do not use powders on your baby's bottom. They can be inhaled by your baby, leading to serious breathing problems.
- Use a lanolin-free barrier cream every time you change the diaper (e.g., zinc oxide in various concentrations). Ask your pharmacist which concentration of zinc oxide is right for your baby.
You should see your baby's doctor if the rash does not clear up within a week, and if your baby develops blisters, white spots, or open sores, or if the rash spreads into the body folds.
To help prevent a future diaper rash, be sure to keep your baby's bottom clean and dry, and change your baby's diaper often. Avoid using harsh chemicals, detergents, or scented products on your baby's skin. You should also avoid using bleach or fabric softener in the wash. Finally, avoid using products that contain lanolin because some babies' skin is quite sensitive to it. Look for products that say "lanolin-free" or ask your pharmacist for help.
All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
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