Most infants develop a diaper rash at some time
or another; some even arrive home from the hospital
with a slight rash. Diaper rash may be more common
after solid foods are added to your baby's diet or
when your baby is taking antibiotics. Other factors
that can lead to diaper rash include continuously
wet or infrequently changed diapers,
the use of plastic pants to cover a diaper. Diaper
rashes can occur intermittently, anytime while your
child is in diapers, but they're more common in
babies during the first 12 months.
Diaper rash can alarm parents and annoy babies,
but fortunately most cases disappear after a few
days with simple home treatments.
Signs and symptoms
Diaper rash is characterized by reddish, puffy and perhaps slightly
warmer skin in the diaper region — buttocks, thighs and genitals. You
may notice your baby seems more uncomfortable than usual, especially
during diaper changes. A baby with a diaper rash often fusses or cries
when the diaper area is washed or touched.
baby's soft skin is delightful to caress, but prone to rashes and spots.
Here's a guide to some common infant skin conditions.
Diaper rash can be traced to a number of causes, including:
stool and urine.
Prolonged exposure to urine or feces can irritate a baby's sensitive
skin. Your baby may be more prone to diaper rash if he or she is
experiencing frequent bowel movements, because feces are more
irritating than urine.
As babies start to eat solid foods, generally when they're between 4
and 12 months old, the content of their stool changes, increasing
the likelihood of diaper rash. Changes in your baby's diet can also
increase the frequency of stools, which can lead to diaper rashes.
If you're breast-feeding, your baby may develop diaper rash in
response to something you've eaten, such as tomato-based foods.
a new product.
Disposable wipes, a new brand of disposable diaper, or a detergent,
bleach or fabric softener used to launder cloth diapers can all
irritate your baby's delicate bottom. Other substances that can add
to the problem include ingredients found in some baby lotions,
powders and oils.
or yeast (fungi) infection.
What begins as a simple skin infection may spread to the surrounding
region. The area covered by a diaper — buttocks, thighs and genitals
— is especially vulnerable to this tendency because it's warm and
moist, making a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast.
These rashes generally start within the creases of the skin and
there may be red dots scattered around the creases.
Babies with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis or eczema may
be more likely to develop diaper rashes. However, the irritated skin
of atopic dermatitis and eczema commonly affects more than just the
Tight fitting diapers or clothing that rubs against the skin can lead
to a rash.
Antibiotics kill bacteria — both bad and good. Without the right
balance of good bacteria, however, yeast infections can occur. This
can happen when babies take antibiotics or when mothers who are
breast-feeding their infants are taking antibiotics.
Diaper rash >