Diaper Rash

Also known as: diaper dermatitis.

What is diaper rash?

Diaper rash is a very common inflammatory skin problem (dermatitis) in infants. It refers to the red and irritated skin on your baby’s bottom beneath the diaper. It can range in severity.

What causes diaper rash? 

Causes include prolonged wetness/stool in the diaper, tight fitting diapers or clothing with chafing and irritation of the skin, new foods, following antibiotic treatment and bacterial or yeast (fungal) infections.

What are the signs/symptoms of diaper rash?

 Redness, a tender-looking irritated skin in the diaper area (buttocks, thighs and genitals), pain, fussiness and crying when the area is touched. It can spread from the diaper area to the stomach and thighs and may, if severe bleed, have blisters, open sores, ooze, itch, and be accompanied by a fever.

What are diaper rash care options? 

Prevention is best; keep the buttock area clean and dry (changing a baby's’ diaper frequently), use warm water to clean the bottom after each diaper change (rather than alcohol-based wipes), pat the skin dry, use ointment after each diaper change, put diapers on loosely or allow the baby to go “bare bottom” without a diaper from time to time. If the diaper rash persists, a steroid cream, topical antifungal cream or an oral antibiotic may be prescribed.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 2/22/2018 4:05:56 PM

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