Diaper Rash Basics


There are a variety of issues and ailments that new parents may have heard of but may not understand very much about them. Regardless of how you approach the situation, all newborns are going to need some form of a diaper. As a result, diaper rash is a common issue that arises for many babies. Below you will find some general information on diaper rash and what you can do to help your child recover quickly.

What is Diaper Rash?

Diaper rash is a form of dermatitis (inflamed skin) that appears on the skin under a diaper. It is typically seen in children younger than two years of age with most experiencing the rash between nine and twelve months. This three-month window is typical because during this time, infants spend a lot of time sitting and the introduction of solids around this period causes changes in the pH of bowel movements. According to WebMD, the most common causes of diaper rash are friction, irritation, candidal infection, allergic reaction, and seborrhea.

How Do You Know When It Happens?

Identifying a diaper rash is usually pretty straightforward. The rash will be located on the skin under the diaper area and will look red and irritated. It may appear as a patchwork of bright red skin on your baby’s bottom or genital area. While it is entirely possible for dermatitis to form in the folds of baby’s skin, it is not a requirement for this particular type of rash to be present. Aside from the physical symptoms discussed above, you may also observe some mood or behavioral cues as well. Your baby may show signs of discomfort during diaper changes or cry when you wash or touch their diaper area.

How is it Treated?

Most of the time, diaper rash can be treated at home without any need for professional medical intervention. According to Mayo Clinic, the key is keeping the area dry and clean reduce the risk of further irritation. When cleaning your baby’s rash, avoid rough scrubbing and allow the skin to air dry rather than using a towel. If possible, leave your child’s diaper off for as long as you can to avoid worsening the rash. If the rash Is severe or unusual; gets worse despite home treatment; bleeds, itches or oozes; or is accompanied by a fever, seek professional medical assistance immediately.