Prolonged diarrhea isn’t a pleasant experience. It can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, including a rash on your bottom or a sore anus from too much wiping. Babies are even more prone to developing rashes, due to their tender skin and tight diapers.
Home remedies can often help reduce discomfort caused by diarrhea.
Let’s look at ways you can soothe your or your baby’s sore bum caused by diarrhea. We also explain when your child’s diarrhea may warrant a visit to the doctor.
Here are some ways that older children, teenagers, and adults can soothe soreness caused by diarrhea.
Use soft toilet paper or wet wipes
When you have diarrhea, your anus may become inflamed from wiping more often than usual. Using extra-gentle toilet paper or wet wipes can help reduce friction and irritation.
Some wet wipes also have ingredients like witch hazel or aloe vera that may help soothe tender skin.
Witch hazel and aloe vera are often recommended to treat anus inflammation caused by hemorrhoids. Some people anecdotally report these ingredients helping reduce bum pain.
However, there’s not enough
Avoid wipes with alcohol or fragrances
Toilet paper and wipes containing alcohol or fragrances can cause allergic reactions or irritation. If you’re going to the bathroom more often than usual, you might also be more sensitive to these products than you’d typically be.
Using toilet paper or wet wipes labeled “hypoallergenic” may help reduce skin irritation.
Pat your anus dry rather than rubbing it
Repeatedly rubbing your anus with toilet paper can cause irritation, even if you’re using soft toilet paper. Using dabbing motions instead may help reduce friction.
Use a bidet if available
A bidet is a popular bathroom fixture in Europe and Asia, but they’re less common in North America.
Bidets use a jet of water to clean your anus and may help reduce diarrhea irritation by reducing the amount of toilet paper you need to use.
Take a warm bath several times per day
People often find soaking in a warm (not hot) bath for about 10 to 20 minutes several times per day can help soothe pain.
For soothing anus pain caused by hemorrhoids, the National Health Service recommends having a sitz bath for about 15 minutes.
You can make a sitz bath by adding 1/2 cup baking soda or 1/4 cup salt to about 5 inches of water in a bathtub.
Use Vaseline, zinc cream, or a barrier cream for a sore bottom
Ointments like Vaseline or petroleum jelly help create a protective barrier over inflamed skin and reduce redness, according to
Creams containing zinc oxide or castor oil may also be helpful. Some are specifically designed to soothe your anus.
Wear cotton underwear and avoid tight pants or underwear
Wearing cotton underwear may help keep your bum dry. Bacteria and fungi thrive in moist environments, so keeping the area dry may reduce your chances of infection.
Likewise, wearing loose-fitting pants may increase airflow and reduce potentially uncomfortable rubbing.
Avoid sitting for too long
Prolonged sitting can put pressure on your sore tissues, which may cause discomfort. It can also trap moisture that increases your risk of developing an infection.
If possible, try to break up long periods of sitting about every 20 to 30 minutes.
You may find that sitting on a cushion, such as a donut-shaped hemorrhoid pillow, relieves discomfort.
Babies are particularly prone to developing rashes or infections because of their diapers and sensitive skin. Here are some ways you can treat your baby’s sore bottom.
Change your baby’s diaper often
Irritation from stool can contribute to the development of diaper rash. Changing your baby’s diaper often reduces the amount of time their skin is in contact with poop, which helps protect against irritation.
Avoid wipes and soaps with fragrances or alcohol
Baby skin can be particularly sensitive to potentially irritating ingredients in wipes and soap. Try to avoid products with:
Let them air-dry
Giving your baby some time during the day to lie down on a towel without a diaper can help keep their bottom area dry. You can also fan or blow-dry their bum when changing them to get rid of any remaining moisture.
Rinse your baby with warm water when changing
Rinsing your little one with warm water when changing them can help you cut down on wipes that may cause irritation. Be sure to dry baby completely after wiping.
Add a barrier cream
Barrier creams like petroleum jelly or oxide may help prevent skin irritation and rashes. You may want to consider applying them to your baby’s skin each time you change them.
There are many diaper rash creams on the market to choose from, and you can read our top choices for 2021.
Diarrhea may cause burning due to digestive enzymes and stomach acid in your poop. Undigested food, especially rough foods, can also cut your rectum and anus as they pass through.
Diarrhea may cause you to wipe your anus more frequently than usual. Frequent wiping can cause irritation and small cuts that may start to bleed.
Diarrhea can have many potential causes. When treating babies or children with diarrhea, you should never give them adult medications unless your doctor says it’s OK.
Some general ways to treat diarrhea for you or your child include:
- drink plenty of fluids
- avoid trigger foods
- stick to easy-to-digest foods, such as the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apple sauce, or toast)
- use over-the-counter medications like Pepto-Bismol with doctor supervision
- take probiotic supplements with doctor supervision
Diaper rash usually isn’t a serious condition and goes away with home remedies. However, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician if you notice signs of an infection, such as:
- blisters around diaper area
- pus or discharge from around the diaper
- a rash that doesn’t respond to treatment
- a rash that seems to spread
- excessive crying or baby seeming more uncomfortable than usual during diaper changes
- swelling in genital area
Bright red raw skin can be a sign of a fungal infection and also calls for a trip to your child’s pediatrician.
Your baby’s diarrhea should never be red or white. You should call their doctor if you notice either of these colors.
You should also contact them if:
- Baby has severe diarrhea.
- It lasts for more than a few days.
- Your little one has more than 10 watery poops per day.
Diarrhea can cause uncomfortable irritation around your anus. You may be able to soothe the pain with home remedies such as warm baths, using soft toilet paper, and using a bidet if available.
Babies are particularly prone to developing rashes or irritation when they have diarrhea. Some of the best ways to keep your little one from developing a rash is changing them often, keeping their bottom dry, and using diaper rash creams appropriately.