Child Health

Diaper Rash

​​Diaper Rash is a common skin condition in infants. A diaper rash is dermatitis that occurs directly or indirectly due to wearing diapers. There are several types of diaper rashes and different causes. It is often caused by wet diapers but could also have other causes that do not involve diapers.

Other names: Napkin dermatitis

  • Skin irritation: The most common type of diaper rash is "irritant dermatitis." The diaper area spends much of the day in contact with two very irritating substances: urine and stool. If your child has diarrhea or is teething, the chance of developing a diaper rash is even greater. Irritant diaper rash looks like pink or red patches on the skin covered by the diaper. The groin folds are more protected from urine and stool, so this skin usually looks normal.
  • Yeast infection: It is caused by overgrowth of a type of fungus found naturally in the digestive tract. Clues that the rash might be due to a yeast infection include shiny, bright red or pink patches with sharp edges. This rash may also have little pink bumps or pimples. In severe cases, there may be sores or cracking skin. A yeast diaper rash may develop after your baby has taken antibiotics.
  • Bacterial infection: Rarely, diaper rash can be caused by a bacterial infection. Certain types of bacteria (like staph and strep) can cause diaper rash.  Redness of the skin around the anus can be a clue to this type of rash. Yellow crusting of pimples also appears.
  • Allergy: Occasionally, babies with sensitive skin may have an allergic reaction to a specific ingredient in diapers, wipes, and/or creams. Clues that might suggest an allergy include a rash that happens after every exposure to that product and a rash that shows up everywhere that product is applied.
  • Other types: There are rare conditions that can start as or mimic diaper rash. Examples include seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Treatment depends on the type of inflammation. In cases of irritant dermatitis:
  • Diapers should be changed frequently. They should not be left wet or dirty on the baby’s skin for a long time.
  • Allow your baby to spend more time without diapers on whenever possible.
  • With every diaper change, wash the diaper area gently with warm water, and avoid soap (it can irritate the skin).
  • Use an ointment containing zinc oxide with every diaper change.
  • Choose diapers that are highly absorbent to help baby’s skin stay moist.
  • In the case of dermatitis resulting from a fungal or bacterial infection, certain types of antibiotics are prescribed by a pediatrician.

When to see a doctor?
  • The rash is not going away, or it is getting worse after two to three days of treatment.
  • The rash includes pimples, peeling skin, blisters, pus-filled or oozing or crusty sores.
  • Your baby is taking an antibiotic medicine and develops a bright pink or red rash with red spots at the edges. 
  • Your baby has a fever in addition to the rash.

The best way to prevent nappy rash is to keep the baby's skin as dry and clean as possible and to change the diapers whenever possible.

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Last Update : 03 November 2020 04:58 AM
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