Most babies experience diaper rash at one time or another and for the most part the rash is not serious.
What is diaper rash?
Diaper rash is any rash that develops within the diaper area. Children with a mild case of diaper rash experience red skin. In more severe cases, there may be painful open sores. The red skin and sores are normally found around the groin and inside the folds of the upper thighs and buttocks.
What are some of the causes of diaper rash?
- Too much moisture
- Chafing or rubbing
- Urine, stool or both touch the skin for long periods of time
- Yeast infection
- Bacterial infection
- Allergic reaction to diaper material
When skin stays wet for too long, it starts to break down. When the skin is rubbed, it also damages more easily. Moisture from a soiled diaper can harm a baby’s skin and make it more prone to chafing. When this happens, a diaper rash may develop.
Babies often experience diaper rash between 4-15months of age. Diaper rash occurs more often when:
- Babies get older
- Babies are not kept clean and dry
- Babies have frequent stools (when they have diarrhea for example)
- Babies begin to eat solid foods
- Babies are taking antibiotics
Diaper rash can sometimes be avoided by not using products that contain alcohol or fragrances since these can irritate skin. Instead of using wipes parents can try the following:
- Use a small squeeze water bottle with warm water to clean the bottom and then pat dry with a soft, clean, disposable towel.
- Try to expose the skin to air whenever possible.
- Change the diaper frequently to ensure the skin is clean and dry.
- Give an oatmeal bath or soak to help soothe the skin and ease the child’s discomfort.
- If the child’s skin does not improve within two to three days they may have a yeast rash and the parent may want to take their child to a pediatrician.