Diaper Rash

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

Diaper Rash Accounts For One Millions 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

common causes

  • 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.