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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.

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.



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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