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Today in Health & Wellness

Diaper Rash

Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult

Common name: Diaper dermatitis, Napkin dermatitis, Nappy rash

Rashes are usually caused by irritation and infections that may either be bacterial, fungal, or viral. It commonly occurs in babies who have prolonged skin contact with the urine or stool in their diapers. Diaper rash can also be caused by the fungus Candida.

Breast-fed babies are less likely to experience diaper rash since the enzymes and other substances that irritate the skin is fewer in their stools.

  • Bright red patches of skin of varying size and shape usually seen in the buttocks, thighs and genitals
  • Itching
  • Red or yellow scales
  • Pearly pimples, cysts, or bumps
Risk Factors
  • Hot weather
  • Tight, restrictive clothing
  • Poor hygiene
  • Infrequent diaper changes
  • Loose stool or diarrhea. May be due to altered flora from antibiotic therapy
  • Inflammatory diseases that occur in skin folds
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Topical or oral antifungals such as oral nystatin and imidazole cream, twice a day.
  • Barrier creams or pastes that provide a physical shield to prevent contact of skin with urine and feces while allowing the skin to breathe. Drugs: Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and starch, or creams with dexpanthenol
  • Anti-inflammatory topical steroid may be prescribed by a doctor if home remedies or non-pharmacological management does not clear up the rash. Low potency steroids used are applie not more than twice daily for a maximum of one week. Drugs: Hydrocortisone
  • Antibiotics may also be given if a secondary bacterial infection occurs.
Treatment and Management
  • Diapers should be changed often
  • Use diapers with absorbent gels and avoid diapers or pants that trap moisture
  • Observe proper hygiene. Wash the baby's skin gently with hypoallergenic soap and water
  • Moisturize skin with mild moisturizers and protect with barrier ointments such as petroleum jelly
  • Do not apply antifungal cream unless indicated by a physician.
Home Remedies
  • Refrain from using diapers with plastic coverings. Let the child wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Use diapers that are a size larger until the rash disappears. When the rash has cleared up, make sure that the child's diaper fits properly. Diapers that fit too tightly increases skin occlusion, while diapers that fit too loosely fails to absorb fluids effectively.
  • Let the child's skin breathe by leaving the child without a diaper during naps or sometimes during play
  • Avoid using commercial baby wipes that contain alcohol and other substances that can irritate the child's skin
  • Make sure to keep the child's bottom dry by using a clean towel before putting on a new diaper
  • Do not rub the irritated skin especially during diaper changes.
  • The child should be bathed daily using lukwarm water and mild, fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and irritant-free cleansers.
Doctors to Consult
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