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Symptoms and Signs of Diaper Rash

Doctor's Notes on Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is inflammation of the skin under a diaper. It usually occurs in children under 2 years of age but can occur in adults with incontinence and/or paralyzed patients. Signs and symptoms include a red rash that may cover part or all of the buttocks, genitalia and possibly the skin folds. In some patients with a skin condition (seborrhea), the skin develops an oily, yellowish rash in the diaper area and on other body sites.

Causes of diaper rash include friction on the skin by the diaper, irritation from urine and feces trapped by the diaper, fungal infection (Candida) due to moist environmental conditions that promote fungal growth, allergic reaction to diaper wipes or laundry chemicals used to clean diapers. Seborrhea skin disease is another cause of diaper rash.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.