Understanding diaper rash

Diaper rash is trigger by skin irritation and usually occurs in most babies. Those who are typically affected are infants below 2 years old. Many children have suffered from it at least once before they are toilet trained. This skin irritation is also called as diaper dermatitis which causes an uncomfortable burning sensation and reddening on regions of skin that are exposed to the diaper or rub against it.

What are the types?

The common diaper rash typically responds to basic care measures including regular changing of diapers. The other forms of skin rashes that might be aggravated by wearing a diaper include the following:

  • Other types of dermatitis
  • Rashes triggered by conditions such as HIV, syphilis and bullous impetigo
  • Psoriasis

Possible causes of diaper rash

It is important to note that diaper rash develops when using a soiled diaper for too long. Diarrhea can worsen this issue. Oftentimes, the child will initially experience the rash when starting solid food or using antibiotics. As for breast-fed children, they can develop diarrhea from what is passed on from the diet of the mother.

Infants soil their diapers every 3-4 hours, thus it is vital to keep them regularly changed. The acidic nature of human waste enables yeast and bacteria to flourish. Remember that all of these can lead to skin irritation.

Diaper rash

It is important to note that diaper rash develops when using a soiled diaper for too long.

Oftentimes, the diaper is too tight or does not properly fit which eventually leads to chafing. The chemicals from the detergent used or other products that come in contact with the skin including the diaper can trigger irritation.

Who are at risk?

Many children develop diaper rash. Those who are breast-fed face a lower risk due to the diminished level of acidity in their diet. All babies and toddlers who use diapers can develop diaper rash. In most cases, the rash does not become an issue until the age of 3 weeks. The risk is high for infants between 3 months up to a year old. Occasionally, the rash is passed from one infant to another.

Indications of diaper rash

Diaper rash causes the skin to appear reddened and irritated. The involved skin also feels warm to the touch.

Both parents and caregivers must get in touch with a doctor if a bright reddened diaper rash persists longer than 48 hours or accompanied by a strong scent of urine that might be an indication of dehydration.

In case the rashes become weepy or form blisters or the child develops fever, it is vital to seek medical care.


Based on studies conducted, the creams that are made out of plant derivatives including calendula and aloe work by fighting diaper rash. Take note that calendula fights inflammation and bacteria which are 2 main concerns with diaper rash.

The commonly used topical creams and ointments utilized to treat the rash include the following:

  • Zinc oxide
  • Hydrocortisone to minimize the swelling
  • Antifungal or antibiotic creams to fight off infections
  • Ointments and creams that contain steroids (these should be used based on the prescription given by the doctor)


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