diaper rash (diaper dermatitis)
Diaper rash is a skin irritation that occurs when conditions in the diaper cause a breakdown of the skin’s protective barrier. Once that occurs, bacteria and/or yeast can develop and reproduce rapidly.
Diaper rash accounts for more than one million visits to primary care providers per year
- Rashes can occur as early as one week after birth
- Diaper rash typically peaks between ages 9 months and 12 months
- Babies are at greatest risk during their first 24 months
- Changes in diet, like starting solid foods or making the switch to milk
- Gastroenteritis or any illness that causes diarrhea
- Antibiotics. Because they so often cause diarrhea, they are a common culprit behind painful diaper rash.
- Teething. It can cause runny stools, which in turn cause diaper rash.
- Beach trips and sandboxes. Sand can cause major irritation in the diaper area.
- Sleeping through the night, long plane rides, or any time a baby goes longer than usual between changes.
doctor o’s tips
- Don’t be a type A wiper. Overzealous wiping can break down the skin’s natural protective barrier. During an active rash, try rinsing the wipes before using to remove some of the irritating soap and/or alcohol.
- Try different diaper brands. Some diapers breathe better than others or cause more sensitivity. Even the way a diaper fits can make a baby more prone to rashes.
- Go easy at bathtime. Use only a small amount of soap and pat the skin dry after bathing rather than wiping.
- Ditch the diaper. Give your baby as much diaper free time as possible to air out a rash.