Diaper rash can be traced to a number of sources, including:
May 08, 2015
- Irritation from stool and urine. Prolonged exposure to urine or stool can irritate a baby's sensitive skin. Your baby may be more prone to diaper rash if he or she is experiencing frequent bowel movements or diarrhea because feces are more irritating than urine.
- Chafing or rubbing. Tightfitting diapers or clothing that rubs against the skin can lead to a rash.
- Irritation from a new product. Your baby's skin may react to baby wipes, a new brand of disposable diapers, or a detergent, bleach or fabric softener used to launder cloth diapers. Other substances that can add to the problem include ingredients found in some baby lotions, powders and oils.
- Bacterial or yeast (fungal) infection. What begins as a simple skin infection may spread to the surrounding region. The area covered by a diaper — buttocks, thighs and genitals — is especially vulnerable because it's warm and moist, making a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. These rashes can be found within the creases of the skin, and there may be red dots scattered around the creases.
- Introduction of new foods. As babies start to eat solid foods, the content of their stool changes. This increases the likelihood of diaper rash. Changes in your baby's diet can also increase the frequency of stools, which can lead to diaper rash. If your baby is breast-fed, he or she may develop diaper rash in response to something the mother has eaten.
- Sensitive skin. Babies with skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or seborrheic dermatitis (eczema), may be more likely to develop diaper rash. However, the irritated skin of atopic dermatitis and eczema primarily affects areas other than the diaper area.
- Use of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill bacteria — the good kinds as well as the bad. When a baby takes antibiotics, bacteria that keep yeast growth in check may be depleted, resulting in diaper rash due to yeast infection. Antibiotic use also increases the risk of diarrhea. Breast-fed babies whose mothers take antibiotics are also at increased risk of diaper rash.
- What can I do if my baby gets diaper rash? American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/diapers-clothing/pages/Diaper-Rash-Solution.aspx. Accessed March 12, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. Diaper dermatitis (pediatric). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Horii KA, et al. Overview of diaper dermatitis in infants and children. www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 17, 2015.
- Buttaravoli P, et al. Diaper dermatitis. In: Minor Emergencies. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012.
- Klunk C, et al. An update on diaper dermatitis. Clinics in Dermatology. 2014;32:477.
- Farahani LA, et al. Comparison of the effect of human milk and topical hydrocortisone 1 percent on diaper dermatitis. Pediatric Dermatology. 2013;30:725.
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- Hajbaghery AM, et al. Shampoo-clay heals diaper rash faster than calendula officinalis. Nurse Midwifery Studies. 2014;3:e14180.
- Calendula. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed March 18, 2015.
- Diaper rash. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed March 18, 2015.
- Ravanfar P, et al. Diaper dermatitis: A review and update. Current Opinions in Pediatrics. 2012;24:472.
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- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 20, 2015.
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