Diaper dermatitis (nappy rash)

Definition

Diaper dermatitis (nappy rash) causes redness in the baby’s diaper area. These red spots are spreading day after day1 . In general, diaper dermatitis is easily cured by changing some habits and strictly following certain rules. If the symptoms persist, it is necessary to consult a doctor (pediatrician).

Diaper dermatitis generally manifests itself during the first 15 months of life, frequently between the 8th and 10th  month .

It is important to know that anyone who uses diapers can manifest diaper dermatitis, this dermatological condition can also affect, for example, elderly people using diapers.

Older people too 
It should be noted that anyone who wears diapers can develop diaper rash, so this dermatological condition can also affect, for example, elderly people who wear diapers.

Causes

Diapers
– The causes of diaper dermatitis are often a moist and acidic environment caused by the accumulation of urine and feces in diapers2 . Diarrheatherisk of diaper rash3 .
– Plastic materials that are found particularly in synthetic or disposable diapers, but also the remains of detergents used to wash washable diapers are other possible causes of diaper rash.
– The friction of the diaper fabric on the skin can also lead to diaper rash.

Other causes
Sometimes a dermatological condition such as infantile seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis can be a cause of diaper rash. More rarely, this condition can also be caused by viral, bacterial or mycotic infections.

Symptoms

In diaper dermatitis, the baby’s bottom is often red, hot and sore. The red spots are spreading day by day. Diaper dermatitis is characterized by red spots located on the buttocks, especially on the edge of the diaper (pictured below), as well as on the thighs and genitals.

You may notice that your baby seems more uncomfortable than usual, especially during diaper changes. A baby with diaper rash often fusses or cries when the diaper area is washed or touched.

In severe cases, ulcerations can occur after superinfection.

Treatments

According to the renowned Mayo Clinic , diaper rash is usually resolved with simple at-home treatments such as air-drying and even blow-drying (but watch out for possible burns), more frequent diaper changes, and applying ointments.

Ointments or pastes
The use of zinc oxide-based creams and especially ointments (which are more greasy than creams) on the affected regions is an effective method. Apply a thin layer throughout the day and night. A thick layer of zinc oxide paste will protect your baby’s skin until the next diaper change against urine and feces buildup in the diaper. Zinc oxide preparations can be used for both treatment and prevention.
Natural ointments can also be helpful (read below under Phytotherapy ).

Antiseptics
It is also advisable to clean the skin regularly with antiseptics (mild if possible) and rinse with water.

Antifungals
You can also apply lotions or pastes based on imidazoles (eg based on clotrimazole ). Imidazoles are especially needed for fungal infections ( Candida ). An infection caused by this fungus is characterized by redness that lasts for more than 2 or 3 days and spreads to the bottom of the folds.

More advanced cases (corticosteroids)
In advanced cases, the doctor may prescribe corticosteroid creams to combat the pain. During bacterial infections, antibiotics are needed.

Herbal medicine

– Creams or ointments based on calendula ( Calendula officinalis ) are sometimes recommended in case of diaper rash.
In case of diaper rash, 15-20 minutes after cleaning the baby’s buttocks and air-drying, apply a calendula ointment . This plant helps heal tissues and also reduces the risk of fungal and bacterial infections. The ointment also prevents moisture. After applying the ointment, leave the baby’s buttocks exposed to the air for 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat the process 2 times a day.

– Aloe ( Aloe vera ) can also be effective against this condition.

– Witch hazel ( Hamamelis virginiana ) seems to be an effective plant against this problem. A study cited by the Mayo Clinic showed that applying a witch hazel ointment on diaper dermatitis acted favorably. This study involved 309 children.

Tips

– If cloth diapers are used, rinse them well with plenty of water in order to eliminate any residue of soap or fabric softener, which could eventually cause diaper dermatitis.

– Change diapers frequently to avoid overexposing the skin to urine and faeces. Don’t hesitate to change diaper brands, some may lead to fewer rashes than others.

– At every diaper change, wash the baby’s skin well with a little warm water or a mixture of water and soap.

– Dry the skin well before putting on the new diaper, as it is known that humidity is one of the causes of diaper dermatitis.

– For a few minutes, leave the baby without a diaper so that the skin is exposed to the air. Drying with a hairdryer is possible, although care must be taken as there is a risk of burns.4.

– Apply zinc oxide cream or ointment in a thin layer5 in the affected area (read more above underTreatments).

– Until the dermatitis disappears, give your baby a bath every day. Use warm water with a mild, unscented soap. Avoid using diaper wipes which often contain irritating perfumes and alcohols.

– Avoid tightening the diapers too much.

Note: If symptoms persist, a physician (pediatrician) should be consulted.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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