Diaper rash is an irritation that appears on the skin covering the diaper. It is also known as diaper rash or diaper rash.
What causes diaper rash?
Diaper rash is usually caused by wetness and friction. The presence of urine and feces adds further irritation, all leading to skin breakdown. Some products used for skin hygiene can sometimes increase irritation.
Once the skin under the diaper is irritated, germs such as bacteria and fungi can infect the skin and worsen the rash.
In some cases, other skin problems, such as psoriasis, may worsen or be triggered after a diaper rash.
Who gets diaper rash?
Diaper rash is very common in newborns and infants, but anyone who needs to wear a diaper can develop this rash. About half of all infants develop diaper rash sometime during the first year or two of life. Diaper rash is most common between the ages of 9 and 12 months.
Diaper rash is most common when the child has episodes of diarrhea or repeated bowel movements. An illness, a medication – such as an antibiotic – or a change in diet may cause changes in bowel motility.
Treatment of diaper rash
In case the baby presents a diaper rash, it is necessary to follow the recommendations of the Dermatology specialist. It is important to maintain the treatment plan properly for at least one to two weeks, since diaper rash takes time to resolve. Listed below are a series of recommendations:
- It is important to use super absorbent disposable diapers and avoid cloth diapers.
- In some cases children may be allergic to diaper dyes. If your baby has frequent rashes, try using dye-free white diapers.
- The most commonly used topical medications are creams to treat fungal infection such as candida, bacterial infection such as staphylococcus or streptococcus and to treat erythema.
- If your dermatologist prescribes a drugstore cream to treat diaper rash, apply it directly to the skin after careful cleansing.
- Use only the prescribed cream as often as recommended by your dermatologist. It should be applied 2 to 3 times a day. If you are recommended a cream containing corticosteroids, you should not apply it more often than your doctor advises and for a period of time no longer than 1 or 2 weeks.
- Apply a barrier cream (with zinc oxide) over the pharmacy cream. Use it at every diaper change. It is okay to use it many times. The goal is to prevent moisture, urine or feces from contacting the baby’s skin.
- The barrier cream or water-based paste is applied in a thick layer at each diaper change, covering the entire area.
- It is best not to use cleansing wipes while your baby has a diaper rash. Instead, use a soft white cloth with warm water to wipe the affected skin. When changing urine-only diapers, just dry the skin thoroughly and reapply barrier cream.
- It is very important not to scrub the diaper area.
How to prevent diaper rash?
- Change diapers frequently
- Use superabsorbent disposable diapers to keep the skin as dry as possible.
- Better to clean the skin than scrub
- Should be free of alcohol, essential oils and fragrances
- Barrier creams, pastes and ointments
- Diaper creams, pastes or ointments are known as barrier creams because they protect the skin from urine and feces.
- Choose products that are fragrance-free.
- Apply a thick layer of barrier cream on the skin to protect it after each diaper change. It is not necessary to remove barrier cream unless there is stool.
- Creams or pastes containing zinc oxide are best as a barrier.
- A brief daily bath in warm water helps prevent skin irritation.
When should you see a specialist?
Rarely, diaper rash may be associated with more serious problems.
A dermatologist should be consulted if:
- The diaper rash does not improve despite careful follow-up of the above recommendations.
- Appearance of blisters, pus pimples, or cracks.
- Appearance of crusts or evidence of bleeding
- The baby is very uncomfortable
- Rash spreads to other areas of the body
- The child loses weight, has a low-grade fever, or appears ill.