Monday, July 24, 2023

What is diaper rash?

 Diaper rash is a common condition that can make your baby's skin red, very tender, and flaky. It typically forms when the sensitive skin around your baby’s diaper area is in contact with urine or stool for too long

 Here are some answers to your questions:

Causes and Risk Factors

The most common cause of diaper rash is skin irritation resulting from prolonged exposure to baby's urine or stool, or diarrhea, which can bring the skin in contact with loose stools. Other causes include teething, which leads to increased saliva production and swallowing lots of saliva, which may affect the stool, and a tight-fitting diaper or tight clothing that causes chafing or rubbing
Babies with skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or seborrheic dermatitis, may be more likely to develop diaper rash. The irritated skin of atopic dermatitis is usually in areas not covered by a diaper


Diaper rash looks like patches of inflamed skin on your baby's bottom. It's often related to wet or infrequently changed diapers, skin sensitivity, and chafing. Signs and symptoms of diaper rash include:
  • Inflamed skin in the diaper area — buttocks, thighs, and genitals
  • Itchy, tender skin in the diaper area
  • Sores in the diaper area
  • Discomfort, fussiness, or crying, especially during diaper changes


Diaper rash can usually be diagnosed by its appearance. In rare cases, your healthcare provider may take a sample of the affected skin to test for a bacterial or fungal infection

Treatment and Prevention

The best treatment for diaper rash is to keep your baby's skin as clean and dry as possible. Change dirty diapers as soon as possible, and be gentle when cleaning the diaper area. Use water and a soft washcloth or baby wipes that are alcohol and fragrance-free. If the rash is severe, use a squirt bottle of water to clean the area, as doing so is gentler to the skin. Next, allow the area to air dry. Let your child go diaper-free as long as possible to let the skin dry and heal. Apply a zinc oxide diaper cream to the affected area. This is especially important if the skin stays red between diaper changes. If your baby has severe diaper rash, layer it on like you are frosting a cake. There is no need to remove the cream with each diaper change. It can be fully removed at the end of the day
To prevent diaper rash, change dirty diapers as soon as possible, and thoroughly clean your baby. Use a barrier ointment or paste to protect the skin from further injury while creating an optimal environment to allow the skin to heal. It will also help prevent friction from the diaper. Allow your baby's skin to air-dry before reapplying a diaper. Limit contact of urine and stool with the skin by changing the diaper frequently
Remember, if the diaper rash doesn't noticeably improve within a couple of days, or if it gets worse, call your baby's healthcare provider for guidance


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