Diaper Dermatitis or Diaper Rash
Diaper Rash (Diaper Dermatitis)
These lectures are not meant to replace your physician and are simply provided as a free educational service to all our visitors. If you feel that you have a skin problem, please see your doctor.
Diaper dermatitis is commonly caused by irritation in the diaper area. Irritation occurs as a result of prolonged exposure to irritants such as urine, stool or chemicals. Over time these factors may result in redness, tenderness and even in severe cases, secondary infection. Secondary infection may occur due to the "break" in normal skin defenses and integrity in the inflamed, irritated, eczematous skin of the diaper area. The secondary infection may be due to either bacteria, such as staphylococcus or streptococcus or by yeast, such as candida albicans (or other dermatophyte or superficial fungi). It is important for the pediatrician and/or dermatologist to separate the causes of diaper dermatitis and treat the infections appropriately.
Treatment of diaper dermatitis should be directed against the removal of irritants. An appropriate barrier cream, such as SBR-Lipocream, acts to repair and maintain skin barrier function against the repeated use of detergents, irritants and water. It will help restore normal skin from chapped, cracked skin. Other options would include frequent diaper changes to avoid prolonged exposure to urine and stool. Other options such as petroleum jelly regularly applied to the diaper area will also help to protect the skin. Lastly, treatment of underlying infections, yeast or bacteria, is necessary.