Diaper rash is a type of inflammation of the skin localized to the diaper covered area in infants. It is very common in babies and is not a sign of parental neglect.
Most diaper rashes are caused by skin irritation, which at times gets complicated with secondary infections by bacteria or yeast (fungal).
The condition causes mild redness and scaling where the diaper touches baby’s skin, and if infected, the skin may develop pimples, blisters and other sores.
Treatment of diaper rash
The best treatment for diaper rash is avoidance of the precipitating agents (which led to the contact irritation). Simple cleansing with water, mild soap and soft clothes is less irritating to the skin than the use of disposable wipes.
A frequent application of ointments containing either petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or zinc oxide provides an effective barrier against skin irritants on diaper covered area.
Prevention of diaper rash
Other ways to prevent diaper rashes include the following:
- Frequent diaper changes.
- Allow baby’s skin to dry completely before putting on another diaper.
- Allow open-air exposure of the irritated skin as frequent as possible.
- Avoid using plastic or pants made of synthetic materials.
- Avoid using scented wipes.
- If rash persists, change brands of wipes or diapers.
Persistent diaper rashes especially that extends outside the diaper area can also be caused by other medical problems such as seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis, and therefore, need to be evaluated by a clinician.
Date last updated: July 13, 2011