What Causes Diaper Rash in Babies?

Updated at: Dec 21, 2011
What Causes Diaper Rash in Babies?

Newborn Care - Know the factors behind diaper rash in babies. It could be chafing dermatitis or candidal dermatitis with different causes of infection.

Rory Coen
Newborn CareWritten by: Rory CoenPublished at: Dec 21, 2011

Diaper Rash causes severe irritation and discomfort for a baby, and this will translate to you if you don’t prevent it or cure it. The term “diaper rash” is a generic term really, for many different types of skins infections and conditions in the “diaper area”. This piece aims to explain what causes diaper rash in babies.


Causes of Diaper Rash


It’s generally caused by the perpetual wetting and drying of the diaper area, as well as it being exposed to irritants which cause a chaffing. The constant friction causes the skin to become red, blotched, heated and grated, and these can lead to the area becoming infected, exacerbating the irritation and pain.

The prevalent irritants are the bacteria and ammonia founds in urine and stools, as well as detergents, perfumes, dyes from disposable diapers, baby wipes, soaps and creams. The baby’s skin might not react well with these, especially if it is in a vulnerable state.


Types of Diaper Rash


  • Chafing dermatitis – or diaper chafing – is a frequent case of diaper rash; it makes the diaper area red and puffy, and it may spread down to the thighs and buttocks. If the baby is made to sit in a soiled or wet diaper for an extended period of time, then this can cause this particular case of diaper rash. This case typically isn’t too serious and doesn’t cause too many problems, as long as it’s not allowed to exacerbate.•    Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) shows as red, scaly blotches on the legs and in the general diaper area. Its primary location may not even be the diaper area - as it can be caused by allergens, irritants or environmental factors - but the diaper area is a perfect place for it to grow and breathe, causing a lot of irritation for the baby.
  • Candidal Dermatitis (Yeast Infection) does its damage in the folds of the baby’s genitals, legs, and creases in the abdomen and groin area. It starts off as a series of red sports or dots, which become some plentiful that they merge and form this bright red blotched area with distinctive edges. A cause of this type of diaper rash is often from the medication or anti-biotic that the baby might be taking.


Prevention of Diaper Rash

There are general ways of preventing diaper rash in babies. For one, give the diaper area plenty of exposure to fresh air; don’t always have a nappy on the baby, let them move around without being inhibited by the diaper, the fresh air will do wonders for the skin. Keep the area as clean as possible and avoid using harsh detergents in the cleaning process if possible. Keep monitoring what you are giving your baby on a daily basis. This piece should explain what causes diaper rash in babies.


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