Diapers get to the bottom of the baby rash problem

February 07, 1999|By Stephen Smith | Stephen Smith,Knight Ridder/Tribune

Coming soon to a store near you: a diaper that fights diaper rash.

A what?

"We tried to design a diaper that is not just about containment, but is actually about caring for the child's skin," says Mauricio Odio, a toxicologist with Procter & Gamble, maker of the new Pampers Rash Guard.

The rash-dashing diaper still does the dirty work, but it also lubricates a baby's bottom with petrolatum, the ointment that's the core ingredient of Vaseline.

"Petrolatum," Odio says, "is the standard for treatment of diaper rash. It has been shown as suitable for any child."

Petrolatum is stored in strips on the top sheet of the diaper and on the inner leg cuffs. It goes from diaper to baby when the child's movement and body temperature causes the substance to be released, leaving a not-too-thick layer.

Procter & Gamble cites research it paid for showing that babies who wore the new diapers had a lower incidence of rash than children clad in traditional diapers. The studies of Rash Guard involved 800 to 900 children.

Due date for the diaper: March 1. Cost: $13.69 for a pack of 36.

Pub Date: 02/07/99

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