Medically reviewed by Dr. Rabeya Afroz Shomi
What is Diaper Rash?
Diaper rash typically appears on the skin of infants and younger children under their diaper. It may happen to almost every baby at least for once during the first 3 years of life, and it is more likely to happen to the 9-12 months old babies. This is the time when the baby is still sitting most of the time and is also eating solid foods, which may change the acidity of the bowel movements.
Causes of Diaper Rash :
Negligence in hygiene of baby results in diaper rashes. It is necessary to take some extra care on terms of hygiene of infants. The main causes of diaper rashes are not just limited to the baby's hygiene, but there are several factors which causes diaper rashes:
- Friction: One of the main cause of diaper rash is when the sensitive baby skin is rubbed by wet diapers resulting in a red, shiny rash on exposed areas.
- Irritation: The diaper or the acid in urine and bowel movements can cause irritation.
- Fungal or yeast infection: Such infection is very common after the use of antibiotics. It usually has a bright, beefy red appearance.
- Allergic reaction: Diaper wipes, diapers, laundry detergent, soap, lotion may cause a reaction that results in rashes on the skin.
- Seborrhea: This may appear on the other parts of the body like face, head and neck of the baby in appearance of an oily, yellow-colored rash.
- Bacteria: These causes are less common but bacteria like staph can cause rashes to the baby's skin.
Symptoms of Diaper Rash :
It is fairly easy to identify a diaper rash. More usually the rashes appear on the skin underneath the diaper area. Diaper rashes make skin red and irritated. It may appear all over your baby's bottom or genital area, or only in certain places.The affected skin may also be warm to the touch.
An infant or young child with a diaper rash may complain or cry during diaper changes and become more irritable especially when the skin in the diaper area is being cleaned or touched.
Types of Diaper Rash :
There are usually four types of diaper rashes:
- Irritants: This is the most common type of the diaper rash caused by diaper itself and wet skin being in contact with the diaper
- Candida: Candida is a kind of infection caused by fungal and yeast overgrowth. Diapers are the perfect place for yeast or fungal to thrive as it grows rapidly in a warm, moist environment.
- Allergic: Such diaper rashes occurs due to an allergic response caused by contact with chemicals and materials in the diaper, wipes, diaper cream, lotion, soaps, shampoos, or laundry detergents.
- Bacterial: The most common reason of bacterial dermatitis to happen is Staph. Bacterial rashes often occur when the baby skin is already irritated or has small cuts and abrasions usually from vigorous wiping or other reasons.
Treatment of Diaper Rash :
A few steps may be taken towards tackling the diaper rash problem to baby's skin:
- Going by the old saying that prevention is always better than cure, it is more important in infant's case as preventing the diaper rash with proper hygiene and care is better to treat it later. however, the use of highly fragranced products, including fabric softeners and dryer sheets should be avoided. One should know that for most babies fragrance-free products are much less irritating. While treating diaper rash, one should keep a few things in mind:
- Keep it clean and dry Keeping your baby's diaper dry and clean is the most important way to prevent and treat diaper rash. Also ensure that diaper isn’t wrapped to the baby's skin too tightly.
- Diaper-changing Being a little more vigilant about the diaper changing is important. Change the diaper ideally as soon as it’s soiled.
- Use creams and jellies Using creams containing zinc to soothe the skin and prevent contact with feces and other irritants is a good idea.
- See your child’s pediatrician You must call a pediatrician when the diaper rash on your baby's skin becomes infected.