Diaper rash - Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment - Parasol
Diaper rash is a common condition that affects infants and young children. It is characterized by red, irritated skin in the diaper area and can be caused by factors such as prolonged exposure to pee and poo, yeast infections, allergies or sensitivities, and illnesses.
Symptoms include redness, small red or white bumps, soreness, itching or burning sensation, and scaling or flaking of the skin. It is important to take preventative measures and treat the rash early to prevent it from becoming severe.
With proper care, most diaper rashes can be treated at home, however, if the rash does not improve with home treatment, it is important to contact a healthcare provider.
What Causes Diaper rash?
Understanding the cause makes it easier to prevent and treat it. So here are some causes of babies getting diaper rashes.
Prolonged exposure to pee and poo:
When a child is left in a dirty diaper for too long, the pee and poo can irritate the skin, leading to a rash.
Candida albicans, a fungus commonly found on the skin, can cause a rash if it overgrows in the diaper area.
Allergies or sensitivities:
Some babies may be allergic or sensitive to certain products, such as wipes, detergents, or creams, which can lead to a rash.
Diapers that are too tight or too small can cause friction and chafing on the skin, leading to a diaper rash.
Some illnesses, such as a viral infection, can cause a diaper rash as a symptom. A compromised immune system can make a baby more susceptible to diaper rash and other skin conditions.
Antibiotics can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut and on the skin, allowing yeast overgrowth and leading to diaper rash.
Symptoms of diaper rash
- Redness and irritated skin near the diaper area
- Red or white bumps
- Itching or burning sensation
- Soreness or tenderness to touch
- Raised, bright red rash in the diaper area
- Skin that appears shiny or raw
- Pustules or blisters
In severe cases, the rash may spread outside of the diaper area, including the thighs, stomach, and bottoms.
It's important to note that if the rash is severe, accompanied by fever, or spreads outside the diaper area, it's best to consult with a pediatrician or healthcare provider as it could be a sign of a secondary infection.
Diaper rash treatment & Prevention
Change diapers frequently:
Make sure to change your little one's diaper as soon as it becomes wet or dirty.
Keep the area clean and dry:
Use warm water and mild soap to clean your baby's diaper area, and make sure to pat it dry before applying a new diaper.
Use a barrier cream:
A cream or ointment that contains zinc oxide or petroleum jelly to the diaper area before putting on a new diaper. This will create a barrier between your baby's skin and the pee or poo.
Let your littles go diaper-free:
Whenever possible, let your littles go without a diaper to allow the skin to air out and dry.
Avoid harsh soaps and detergents:
Use mild, fragrance-free soaps and detergents when washing your baby's clothes, bedding, and cloth diapers.
Avoid tight-fitting diapers:
Make sure that your baby's diapers fit properly and aren't too tight.
Try clean & natural disposable diapers:
Use natural diapers if your baby has a bad diaper rash that may be less irritating to your baby's skin than traditional disposable diapers. Natural disposable diapers are made with more eco-friendly materials, such as unbleached wood pulp, corn, wheat, and sugarcane, instead of traditional petroleum-based materials.
They also use less chlorine and other chemicals in the manufacturing process. These diapers are considered more sustainable and better for the environment than traditional disposable diapers. Additionally, natural diapers are less likely to cause skin irritation and allergies in babies.
When to consult a doctor?
You should consult a doctor for a diaper rash on the baby's bottom if:
- The rash does not improve after a few days of home treatment, or if it worsens.
- The rash is severe, with large areas of red, raw, or broken skin.
- The rash is accompanied by a fever.
- The rash is spreading outside of the diaper area, including the thighs, stomach, and bottoms.
- The rash is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or general irritability.
- The rash is accompanied by blisters, pustules, or open sores.
- Your baby is in pain or has difficulty sleeping or eating due to the rash.
It's also important to consult with a pediatrician or healthcare provider if your baby is not responding to over-the-counter treatment, if you have any concerns or doubts about the rash, or if the rash is recurrent or persistent.
It's also good to note that preventing diaper rash is always better than treating it. So, it's best to take preventative measures such as changing diapers frequently, using a mild soap and warm water to clean the diaper area, avoiding using wipes or baby powder, using a barrier cream at each diaper change, and allowing the area to air out by going without a diaper for short periods of time.