Diaper Rash

Definition

A diaper rash is a skin irritation under your baby’s diaper. The rash can be on the abdomen, genitals, and in the folds of the buttocks and thighs. Most babies develop a diaper rash at some time during infancy.
Thigh Folds on Baby
Baby
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Causes

A diaper rash develops when your baby’s skin is irritated. Irritation can be caused by:
  • Leaving dirty diapers on for too long
  • Too much moisture next to the skin
  • Diapers or plastic pants that are too tight
  • Allergic reaction to diaper material or detergent
  • Yeast or bacterial infection
  • Rubbing or chafing of the skin
  • Diarrhea

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your baby's chance of diaper rash include:
  • Frequent stools
  • Infrequent changing of baby’s diaper
  • Treatment of babies or nursing mothers with antibiotics
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Sensitive skin
  • Poorly fitting diapers or plastic pants

Symptoms

The main symptoms of diaper rash are bumps, redness, and scaly patches on the skin under the diaper. There may also be blister-like spots or sores on the skin. Your baby may also be more fussy and irritable when the diaper is changed.If the rash is not cared for, then it can become infected. It can become bright red with red bumps and blisters.Symptoms of an infected rash may include:
  • Open sores, boils, or pus
  • Your baby is not sleeping or eating normally
  • Your baby develops a fever
  • The rash becomes worse or does not improve in 2 or 3 days
Contact your doctor if your child has signs of an infected rash.

Diagnosis

Most parents can recognize a diaper rash when they see it. A mild diaper rash doesn’t normally require a visit to the pediatrician.

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