Diaper rash is a common skin condition that frequently occurs in infants between four and fifteen months old. It is a form of eczema/ dermatitis/ skin irritation that develops underneath the infant’s diapers. It appears as bright, red and inflamed skin commonly on the buttocks of the infant. However, when the irritation is more severe, it can spread to the groin, thighs and stomach.
Diaper rash is generally mild and can usually be treated at home, even with the absence of professional help. However, if the irritation is not given treatment for a long period of time, it can become more severe and cause complications. Intensity of symptoms will depend on the length of time before treatment is given.
Causes of Diaper Rash
There are many possible causes of a diaper rash, but the most common are irritants against the skin. The following may lead to diaper rash:
- Irritation from stool and urine – when the skin is exposed to stool and urine for an extended period of time (meaning diaper was not changed when it should have been), it can lead to irritation to the delicate skin of the infant
- Introduction of new product – using a product for the first time or changing old products may cause irritation
- Introduction of new food – as an infant slowly introduces more solid food into his/ her diet, stool content may also change leading to increased risks of developing diaper rash
- Bacterial infection – bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and Streptomycin cause infections called impetigo
- Fungal infection – fungi, such as Candida, flourish in warm and moist places, such as underneath the diapers
- Rubbing or chafing – diapers or clothing that are too tight creating friction and leading to rashes
- Sensitive skin
- Antibiotic medications
Symptoms of Diaper Rash
The following symptoms are usually indicative of a diaper rash:
- Bright, puffy, tender and red skin beneath the area covered by the diaper, usually in the buttocks, but may spread to the groin area, thighs and stomach
- Noted discomfort in the infant
- Crying upon touch over the affected area
First Aid Treatment for Diaper Rash
The main goal of treatment for diaper rash is to limit the discomfort experienced by the infant and to prevent complications from developing. Apply first aid to help treat diaper rash. Learn how to apply first aid in infants and children by enrolling in First Aid Classes and CPR Courses. The following tips can be done:
- Wash the skin with mild soap and water. Pat it dry. Make sure the buttocks it completely dry before putting another diaper.
- Change the infant’s diaper as often as needed. Be vigilant when the infant may need a diaper change.
- Apply a mild hydrocortisone cream that can be used by infants. To be sure, ask the pediatrician or dermatologist for the recommended brand.
- Apply a topical antifungal or antibiotic ointment if the infection is caused by fungal or bacterial infections, respectively.
Diaper rash is a skin problem that is common in infants between four and fifteen months. It appears a bright red skin on the baby’s buttocks.