Opening your baby’s diaper to find an angry rash staring back at you just plain sucks. Not only is their poor skin going to be tender and painful for a few days, but you’re also going to have sticky white diaper cream under your nails for the foreseeable future—a crucial, protective barrier that your diaper will promptly absorb no matter how much you apply. But not anymore! Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician on Instagram, is here to share the best diaper rash treatment (bookmark this for winter virus season, when babies are particularly prone to getting those seriously gnarly rashes that are so miserable and hard to treat).

Burgert says there are two big mistakes parents tend to make when treating serious diaper rashes: They don’t use enough cream and they wipe too much of it off during diaper changes. Here’s what she says to do instead.

1. Pile on the diaper cream.

First, you’ll need the right diaper cream. “For the worst diaper rashes, you need a protective layer that’s going to be able to withstand multiple diaper changes,” she explains. “So this is when you reach for a diaper cream that has the highest percentage of zinc oxide you can buy.”

But you’ll also need the right amount of cream. On a butternut squash, she demonstrates how to apply the paste: by using cotton rounds and slathering it on in a thick layer “like cake frosting.”

2. Cover the cream with cotton pads.

“Then leave the cotton on the sticky cream to help it stay on the skin and not be absorbed by the diaper,” she says. “At the next diaper change, remove the layer of dirty cream and cotton,” but don’t remove all of the cream. You actually want to leave a thin layer of it behind—the thinnest layer that was touching your baby’s skin. Then you add a new layer of cream (and cotton rounds) on top.

“This leaves the skin continually protected through the diaper change, allowing the skin to heal,” Burgert says.

In the caption, she notes that before a bath, you should remove all of the diaper cream with cotton rounds soaked in mineral oil, then clean the diaper rash area using gentle soap and water. And, of course, if things aren’t getting better, give your baby’s doctor a call.

You never know when your next raging diaper rash will strike, but armed with this knowledge, you’ll be ready to face it head-on.

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