Diaper Rash


Diaper rash is the most common cause of dermatitis – or irritated skin – in children under age two. The result of bacteria and yeast growth in warm, wet environments, diaper rash appears as bright red inflamed patches on the buttocks and creases around the tops of the legs. This condition is uncomfortable and causes pain and tenderness in the affected area, but is usually easily treated with over-the-counter products.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Common diaper rash symptoms include red, raised dots and inflamed patches of skin on the buttocks and upper thighs. This may also spread to the genital area. Because the rash is tender, changes in the child’s disposition are also common. A baby suffering from a diaper rash may appear irritable and cry frequently. Symptoms such as severe rash that spreads beyond the diaper, fever, blisters, discharge or fatigue are not common diaper rash symptoms and should be evaluated by a medical professional.

Diaper rashes are most often easily treated over-the-counter, but a doctor can diagnose diaper rash with a quick visual and physical examination. The doctor will ask for a list of symptoms and may inquire about other medical conditions or medications the child is taking. It is also not uncommon for dietary changes and allergies to soaps, laundry detergent or other products to cause rash, so a doctor will want to rule these out first.


Diaper rash can have a number of causes. Diapers hold stool and urine which – over prolonged periods – can irritate sensitive skin. The plastic in disposable diapers holds in the wet and warmth allowing bacteria and yeast to grow and irritate the skin. New foods change the balance and content of stool which can also lead to rash. Exposure to new detergents, fragrances, lotions, wipes or different diaper brands can cause skin irritation leading to diaper rash. Even the use of medications – such as antibiotics – can result in a rash. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria. Without the good bacteria, yeast can rapidly multiply and cause a diaper rash. Continue reading for Prevention and Treatment information . . .

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