Is Your Baby Allergic to Diapers?
While extremely unlikely and not very common, allergies to disposable baby diapers can be developed and have been known to happen to some babies. However, very often other issues with similar symptoms and reactions are mistakenly diagnosed as a diaper allergy. Diaper rash, skin irritation, candida infections, and food sensitivities are symptoms that may simply appear to be a diaper allergy, but are far more common (and most probably the cause) of what could be afflicting your baby’s skin. In any case, however, if you suspect a diaper allergy or if your child is constantly fussy, consult with your doctor pediatrician. Your doctor will be able to determine the cause, run some tests and see what options are available for your little one.
There are many types of diaper rashes and depending on the ‘type’ of rash, the diaper rash treatment/method you should use to cure them will vary. Try to prevent diaper rash by using baby wipes and ointment during each diaper change.
In most cases, what appears to be a diaper allergy is actually a food allergy. Babies that have started to eat solid foods and are being introduced to raw new ingredients can show allergic reactions to some of these. Other times, if the child is being breastfed, the baby can still have a sensitivity or reaction to something specific that the mom was eating. (In most cases this can be a protein allergy that can also be present in baby formulas). Mild food allergies will appear in the form of hives, pimples or welts. Another common symptom of food allergy is if your child develops a red rash around the anus or buttocks. Oftentimes, your baby may express discomfort or start crying a lot.
A candida infection, or more commonly known as a yeast or fungal infection, can also appear to look like a diaper allergy. A yeast infection occurs when there is an imbalance of the natural microbes and bacteria of the skin. Yeast likes to grow in dark and moist areas so it is common to find them in the groin/genital area, making it appear like it was caused by the diaper. Do note diapers are indeed the most significant cause of yeast infections, though not because of a diaper allergy, but instead due to seldom or infrequent diaper changes. If soiled or wet diapers stay in contact with the skin for long periods of time, it creates a perfect moist dark environment for the yeast infection to grow. To counter this, buy high-quality absorbent diapers that will stay dry for longer but also remember to do a frequent diaper change.
What else has been in contact with baby’s skin?
Diapers are just one of the many products and materials that come in contact with our baby’s skin, but children are constantly being exposed to other products like laundry detergents, fabric softeners, wipes, lotions, moisturizers, washes, skin rash creams and shampoos that could also be causing some issues on their sensitive skin.
A common mistake is using generic products on babies (and while these might work for us) it is always recommended shop for baby-safe products for your little one. Baby safe products are products like lotions, washes or baby wipes, that have been formulated specifically to fit a baby’s needs and made with a baby’s sensitive skin in mind. While not all baby products are formulated the same, they are typically gentler than the generic ones we use for ourselves. The best ones you can use should be dermatologically tested and made without harsh ingredients that are known to cause skin irritations. By choosing the right products you decrease the chances of allergic reactions. Not to say that your baby can’t be allergic to safe- natural components, but the likelihood of this happening is way lower.
None of these?
If infections, rashes, food issues or harsh products appear to not be the culprit and you're positive your baby is having an allergic reaction to wearing diapers, it doesn’t mean your baby is allergic to all disposable diapers on the market. It is more likely your baby might be allergic/susceptible to a specific component or ingredient that makes up the diaper. All diapers are manufactured differently and have diverse ingredients. Check the ingredients list of the diapers that you’re using (usually found at the back of the bag or on the brand website). What are your diapers made out of? Be on the lookout for harsh chemicals. If your diapers are latex, gluten, and fragrance-free chances are you are already avoiding the leading cause of diaper allergies. Parasol made sure that none of these ingredients were added during the production process of our diapers. Natural fibers in the core or plastic related allergies could also be components inside a diaper that your baby could be reacting to.
It’s always a good idea to consult with your trusted pediatrician. Your pediatrician will be able to perform more in-depth allergy tests and exams that will help diagnose what the root of the problem is or what specific ingredients your baby is allergic to.