I had a choice this week — do I write this column about newly comfirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the lengths some Democrats in this country will go to to have their way including destroying an innocent man’s reputation and humiliating his wife and children, or do I write about a caring nurse and aerospace engineer who have pursued a problem most every parent has had to deal with at one time or another – diaper rash.

When you stop and think about it, both issues have a lot in common — each has rubbed someone the wrong way.

For more opinions about the way Kavanaugh and his family have been treated over the past few weeks while dealing with this more than three decades old politics driven “he said, she said” mess, check out today’s letters to the editor.

I opted this week to talk about a new discovery I recently read about that intrigued me -- dynamic oxygen skin therapy — so here goes.

One day a new mother brought her premature infant home after his release from the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. She immediately encountered a problem.

A nasty diaper rash spread over her child’s bottom, a condition common with babies but even worse in preemies because of their not fully developed skin.

Her pediatrician recommended Desitin, but unconvinced that would suffice, the mother turned to an online forum to seek advice from fellow preemie moms.

“What’s the deal with keeping baby dry?” she wrote. “Is cloth better because it breathes – or does baby stay wetter? What would you do?”

Mothers weighed in, sharing rash stories and rash treatments.

Colleen John, a Level IV neonatal intensive care (NICU) nurse, along with Nigel Parker, an aerospace engineer, pursued an answer to this problem for several years.

Parker is a senior management and systems engineer professional with more than 25 years experience in aerospace, medical simulation and other high-tech industries.

While working at Honeywell from 1984 to 2001, he worked on the space shuttle, military aircraft and commercial aircraft, among other projects.

Parker is the inventor of REZair, a skin-aeration liner that can be inserted inside a diaper, incontinence garment or wound dressing, helping to keep the skin dry and speed healing.

Parker did not participate in this forum, but if he had, he would have suggested a one-word remedy: air.

“It’s been well known to parents for a long time that air does a better job of healing diaper rashes and bed sores than ointments or other treatments,” Parker says. “The problem, of course, is how to deliver that air to where it’s needed continuously, whether the patient is mobile or bed-ridden.”

After years of research and development, Parker who is founder and CEO of RashEndZ Inc., invented the RashEndZTM technology, a non-cloggable, non-occludable skin-aeration liner for incontinence garments that prevents and treats those rashes.

They call this therapy dynamic oxygen skin therapy (DOST).

Adult sizes are already on the market for adults who suffer from incontinence, diaper rash or bedsores. Soon to join them will be infant sizes.

Health care facilities are a target audience, but REZair is now available to the general public as well.

Here’s how this general-wellness product works: The skin-aeration liner is inserted inside a diaper, incontinence garment or wound dressing and is “structurally designed to avoid contact with the rash or wound.”

REZair connects to any air/oxygen source and circulates air or oxygen on the rash. This helps keep the skin dry and speeds up skin repair and healing. The liner is disposable and a new one can be inserted in a few seconds with each diaper change.

In most cases diaper rashes are mild, but sometimes become extreme. The Mayo Clinic has a few diaper-rash tips, but it recommends seeing a physician if symptoms persist.

The clinic’s tips include:

Keep the diaper area clean and dry. Change diapers immediately after they are wet or soiled. Until the rash is better, this may mean getting up during the night.

Apply ointment, paste, cream or lotion. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for specific recommendations. Some popular over-the-counter products include A + D, Balmex, Desitin, Triple Paste and Lotrimin (for yeast infections). Zinc oxide is the active ingredient in many diaper rash products.

Increase airflow. Do what you can to increase air exposure to the diaper region. Air out your baby’s skin by letting him or her go without a diaper and ointment for short periods of time. Avoid airtight plastic pants and diaper covers.

Maintaining continuous airflow, of course, became Parker’s focus. To be successful, the product should be easy to use, disposable and safe. He concentrated on making it all those things.  

 “This is rocket science applied to business,” he says. “I’m an engineer – just one who happened to be on a mission that began with healing diaper rash for babies and led to topical oxygen wound care for all.”

Paula I. Bryant is the editor of The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at pbryant@gazettevirginian.com.​

Paula I. Bryant is the editor of The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at pbryant@gazettevirginian.com.