Diaper Rash Treatment, Pictures


Diaper rash or nappy rash is medically called ‘Irritant Diaper Dermatitis’. It is a term applied to skin rashes in the diaper area caused due to different skin disorders to infants or babies. Irritant diaper dermatitis is a type of irritant contact dermatitis.

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Causes of diaper rash

Diaper rash is not caused by diaper, per se, but due to the material, mostly feces, trapped in the diaper. There can be other rashes in the diaper area, and they are called Atopic Dermatitis and Seborrheic Dermatitis.

Irritant Diaper Dermatitis is caused when the skin is in contact with a prolonged wet environment, augmented pH caused due to feces and urine. This leads to the breaking down of the outermost part of the skin, called stratum corneum. In adults, the status corneum has 25 to 30 layers of dead keratinocytes that are shed and replaced on a continual basis. The status corneum protects the lower layer of the skin, acts as a skin defence, protects it from water and dehydration and even resists germ attack. But in infants, the status corneum is quite thin and can be easily troubled.

Babies with diarrhea are prone to suffer from diaper rash. A dirty or wet nappy is also another cause. If the diaper is not changed, the feces and urine can turn into ammonia and start to sting the skin and cause irriation.

Fungal infection and bacterial infection can lead to diaper rash. Fungal infection does not mean bad hygiene, it is caused due to changes or wetness in the skin condition. So if the baby is in contact with a wet environment or the diaper has not been changed, the infection can increase.

In case of bacterial infection, an existing rash when scratched or if there is a new scratch, it can allow bacteria to proliferate. The skin can become red, inflamed and swollen. Diaper rash can also be exacerbated by infantile eczema If one does not treat it, there can be blisters and flake-like appearance which can go beyond the diaper region

Treatment for diaper rash (Irritant Diaper Dermatitis)

1. The best treatment for an ordinary diaper rash is to allow some fresh air. Keep the diaper or nappy off the baby’s skin for few times during the day.

2. Change the diaper of the baby often. The nappy may have to be changed close to twelve or thirteen times a day if the diaper rash is worse. Wash the baby’s bottom properly and dry it well whenever you change the diaper. Use warm water while cleaning the baby’s skin and use a baby’s soap when needed.

3. If there is dry feces sticking to the baby, it can be removed with cotton wool or cooking oil. Baby wipes are not recommended for cleaning the feces from the baby’s skin because they contain chemicals and can sting the skin. You can also prevent baby rash by putting baby talcum powder or starch as they absorb moisture.

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4. Barrier creams and oil-based protectants can treat and prevent diaper rash. Petroleum jelly, zinc based ointments and over-the-counter diaper creams are good to treat diaper rash. If Irritant Diaper Dermatitis is quite worse, you may have to take the baby to the doctor who may recommend mild version of hydrocortisone like Dermacort.But this has to be done only on the advice of the doctor. Since many a time, it is not easy to distinguish between a fungal infection and any other skin irritation, doctors prescribe a combination of corticosteroid and antifungal cream.

5. Diposable diapers or nappies are good because they absorb more moisture If the baby is using disposable nappies, use cloth nappies. Changing type of diapers can also help. There is actually no difference between cloth or disposable diapers, the idea is to change them more often to prevent diaper rash. There are some disposable diapers in the market now which can absorb moisture with the help of the new synthetic non-biodegradable gel. The cloth diapers too have superabsorbent microfiber cloth with a layer of light, permeable materisl to pul the moisture from the skin into the microfiber cloth.

Difference between diaper rash and normal rash

An ordinary nappy rash is red but not intensely red. The baby in case, of ordinary diaper rash feels stinging sensation when they have urinated or passed feces in the diaper. The redness may go after the bottom is exposed to fresh area, or with over-the-counter nappy creams or changing diapers often.

Diaper rash caused due to fungal infection: Find out if there is bright redness in the folds of the baby’s skin and the buttocks. The baby will cry more often specially when you change the diaper. In this case, just making the bottom exposed to air or frequent changes of the diaper may not solve the problem. Try with diaper creams or zinc based ointment; if it does not work, you may have to get specialized help.

Diaper rash caused due to bacterial infection: In this case, the rash is bright red, warm and the area may be swollen. The baby may even get fever and feel irritated and cry easily.

Diaper Rash Pictures

Check out the diaper rash pictures given below how the rash looks on the baby’s skin.

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