Diaper Dermatitis

Diaper dermatitis, more commonly known as diaper rash, is a condition that not only affects your child's well-being, but it can also play a role on the emotional health of both you and your child.

When a child has this type of eczema, the area is swollen, red, and uncomfortable. Many parents feel as if they had caused the rash to occur, making them feel embarrassed and guilty. However, by learning more about this condition, and how to treat and prevent it, you can ensure your emotional well-being and the comfort of your child at all times.


Diaper dermatitis
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While there are some theories on the causes on diaper dermatitis, not all causes have been determined. It is estimated that about 35 percent of children experience this condition at least once by the age of three months. Diaper rash can occur at any time through a child's diaper wearing age.

This condition is caused by:

  • Prolonged contact of the skin with urine or feces
  • Retained diaper soap
  • Over hydrating of the skin
  • A product that is applied to the area that aggravates the skin
  • A yeast infection

A young child's skin is much more sensitive than that of an adult, and babies are easily irritated by soaps, urine, feces, and excessive moisture. Infrequent diaper changes and the use of a non-sensitive soap are the two most common causes of this type of eczema.

Other times, a yeast infection can cause diaper rash to occur. A yeast infection can occur most commonly in the young through the use of antibiotics, which rids the system of the good bacteria that is needed to ward off yeast growth. Without the normal body bacteria, the child is at risk for yeast diaper dermatitis.


When diaper rash occurs, the area will become red, swollen, and bumpy. Symptoms depend on the actual cause, including:

  • Rash in skin folds - If the diaper dermatitis is caused due to yeast, the rash typically only appears in the folds on the skin and near the anal area. Left without treatment, any type of diaper dermatitis can spread and become worse.
  • Itching - The child may also experience itching in the area, and the skin may burn if the area is exposed to soap, urine, or feces. Depending on the severity of the rash, the child may feel uncomfortable, until a treatment cream is applied and the rash resolves.


The treatment used for diaper rash depends on the cause.

  • Nystatin cream - When yeast is the cause, a Nystatin cream is generally used to treat the condition. Sometimes regular diaper rash cream can actually make the condition worse.
  • Frequent diaper changes - If the condition is caused by exposure to urine or feces, provide the child with frequent diaper changes.
  • Clean the area with water that does not contain soap.
  • Allow the child to sit without a diaper will help.
  • Zinc oxide diaper cream - In order to help speed up the process and relieve any discomfort, a diaper rash cream that contains zinc-oxide can be applied.
  • Vaseline -Some people also use Vaseline to prevent chafing of the rash, although this is a less common approach. 

Practical Tips

Preventing diaper rash is often possible. Here are some prevention tips:

  • Frequent diaper changes - You should change your child's diaper once every two hours, as well as after it is soiled.
  • Regular washing - You should also wash the genital area regularly with a soap designed especially for infant and toddler skin.
  • Probiotic use - Also, when treating your child with antibiotics, you can discuss the use of a probiotic with your healthcare provider, as this can prevent yeast infections.

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