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Diaper Rash

Diaper Rash Overview

Diaper rash is inflammation of the skin that appears on the skin under a diaper. Diaper rash typically occurs in infants and children younger than 2 years of age, but the rash can also be seen in people who are incontinent or paralyzed. Diaper rash is medically referred to as diaper dermatitis.

Almost every baby will get diaper rash at least once during the first three years of life, with the majority of these babies 9-12 months of age. 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.

Diaper Rash Causes

  • Friction: Most diaper rash is caused by friction that develops when sensitive baby skin is rubbed by wet diapers. This results in a red, shiny rash on exposed areas.
  • Irritation: The skin under the diaper gets red from irritants such as feces, urine, or cleaning agents. Irritation can be caused by the diaper or by the acid in urine and bowel movements. This rash appears red in the area where the diaper has rubbed and is normally not seen in the folds of the skin.
  • Candidal infection: The rash of a candidal infection, also known as fungal or yeast infection, usually has a bright, beefy red appearance and is very common after the use of antibiotics. Candida is a fungal microorganism that is typically found in warm, moist places such as in the mouth. In fact, Candida is the same organism that causes thrush.
  • Allergic reaction: The rash may be a reaction to diaper wipes, diapers, laundry detergent, soap, lotion, or the elastic in plastic pants. Children who have a previous history of eczema may be more susceptible to diaper rashes.
  • Seborrhea: This is an oily, yellow-colored rash that may also be seen in other areas of the body, such as the face, head, and neck.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/8/2014

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Diaper Rash Treatment and Home Remedies

Home treatment is generally all that is needed for most cases of diaper rash. At the first sign of a diaper rash, try the following steps.

  • Keep the skin dry and make sure the skin is not in contact with urine and stool.
    • Change the diaper or incontinence brief every time it is wet or soiled. During the daytime, check the diaper or brief every 3 hours. You may need to change the diaper or brief during the night to prevent or clear up a rash. It is not unusual to change a diaper or brief 8 times in a 24-hour period.
    • Use a superabsorbent disposable diaper.
  • Gently wash the diaper area with warm water and a soft cloth. Rinse well and dry completely.
    • Do not use any soap unless the area is very soiled. Use only a mild soap if soap is needed.
    • Do not use "baby wipes" that have alcohol or propylene glycol to clean the skin while a diaper rash is present. These may burn the skin and spread bacteria on the skin.
    • You may use a blow-dryer set on warm setting to get the diaper area fully dry on adults. Do not use a blow dryer on babies or small children.

SOURCE:

Healthwise




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Diaper Dermatitis »

A prototypical example of irritant contact dermatitis, diaper dermatitis is caused by overhydration of the skin, maceration, prolonged contact with urine and feces, retained diaper soaps, and topical preparations.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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