Diaper Rashes and How to Treat Them
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Diaper Rashes and How to Treat Them

Is your baby having reddish rashes over red inflamed tender-looking skin? It could be diaper rashes. Diaper rashes are caused by the moisture and soiling contents in the diapers which easily irritates babies sensitive skin. Many other causes like infection, allergies, food, drugs, and poor hygiene leads to diaper rashes. Diaper rashes can be easily treated at home.

If your baby is having reddish rashes on inflamed and irritated skin around the bottom when wearing diapers or napkins, it could be diaper rashes. Diaper rashes, also called diaper dermatitis are puffy red rashes, which can be diffuse showing as few red spots around the buttock region, or profuse with scaly erythematous lesions over buttocks, thighs and genitalia.


Diaper rashes can be caused due to several reasons. Foremost cause is prolonged use of wet or soiled diapers and cloth napkins. When the baby eliminates, the urine is broken down by the bacteria in the stool into ammonia. Ammonia is a skin irritant and causes the reddish rashes on the diaper covered region.

Skin infections can lead to diaper rashes. The organisms which cause infections are staphylococcus, streptococcus, and Candida or fungus. When the skin integrity is broken and the defense mechanisms of the skin is lowered staph and strep proliferate the area with pustules and blisters that rupture easily around reddened eroded skin regions. This is called as impetigo. Diaper regions are also warm and moist which provide ideal environment for the growth of yeast or fungus, causing the development of 2-4mm “satellite” lesions around the edges of inflamed red skin areas.

Allergic reactions can also be a reason for the rashes. The components of the diapers, and the fragrance of the detergents used to wash the cloth napkins can lead to vesicles and scaling skin. Dietary components can also be a common factor. Solid food given to the baby or the diet content of the breastfeeding mothers can cause allergies.

Antibiotics given to the baby causing diarrhea or antibiotic intake by the mother is also a factor. Drugs like Neosporin are prone to cause allergic reactions which complicate the condition. Mild hydrocortisone is used to treat diaper rashes but in high concentration can be toxic when applied over eroded regions.

As commonly conceived, poor baby care may not always be the reason for diaper rashes. Some babies have very sensitive skin that reacts easily to stimulants.

Some other grounds for the reaction are lowered immunity, child abuse and nutritional deficiency.


Diaper rashes can be limited with home treatment. Diapers should be changed frequently soon after being soiled. Clean the area with squirting water over the part and wiping gently with cotton balls or clean soft cloth. Pat dry, and do not rub. Rubbing erodes the skin making it easily prone for infections.

As long as possible keep the baby free of diapers or napkins. It will help in air circulation and keeping the vicinity dry and clean. Make the baby lie on a towel and place a plastic sheet under the towel to prevent wetting the mattress.

After cleaning the bottom, apply petroleum-based jelly or zinc oxide ointment which acts as a moisture resistant base over the skin. The brands can be Vaseline and Desitin.

Frequently change diapers soon after the baby has passed stool or urine. It will avoid skin irritation from decomposing constituents.

Avoid the washing of the napkins with fragrant detergent, and try out diapers which are comfortable with the baby. Avoid strapping the diapers tight. It will not only prevent air circulation, but also skin irritation with the soiled contents.

 While introducing solid food, start one at a time. This way it will help to identify the food to which the baby is reacting. Stop giving those for a little time till baby is grown to digest the food well.

Are cloth napkins better than diapers? No. Napkins keep the moisture intact while the absorbents in the diapers keep the wetness away much better. But if the baby is having irritation with the diapers, then use napkins while frequently changing them as soon as soiled.


In short diaper rashes are common in babies. They are a form of contact dermatitis. The causes can be prolonged used of soiled napkins or diapers, infection, allergens and reaction to antibiotics. Proper hygiene, avoiding tight diapers, and keeping the area open as long as possible can prevent the condition in most cases. Let your baby have a diaper rash free time.

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