Most babies will get a diaper rash at some point in their life. They are most common in infants between the ages of four and fifteen months old. Diaper rash is a form of dermatitis or skin inflammation. It develops in the area underneath the infant’s diapers and appears as bright red skin on the baby’s buttocks. There are many causes of diaper rash but most can usually be treated at home.
Diaper rash are usually mild, with a few red spots on the buttocks, but can sometimes be extensive, which reach the groin, stomach and thighs. The severity will depend on how soon before treatment is given. As previously mentioned, most children will get a diaper rush and thus, diaper rashes should not be treated as a sign of negligence.
Diaper Rash Causes
Diaper rashes are commonly causes by irritants or contact dermatitis, but the following are the most common causes of diaper rashes in infants:
- Stool and urine irritation
- Prolonged skin exposure may irritate the baby’s delicate bottom
- Introduction of new food
- As the child gradually begins to eat solid food, stool content changes and thus increasing chances of diaper rash
- Introduction of new product
- Changing products or using a product or the first time may cause irritation to the baby’s sensitive skin
- Fungal infection
- Infection of the fungus or yeast Candida
- Fungus thrives in warm, moist places, such as beneath the diapers
- Bacterial infection
- Common bacteria include of the genus Staphylococcus and Streptomycin
- Commonly called impetigo
- Chafing or rubbing
- Too tight diapers or clothing that creates friction and leads to rashes
- Sensitive skin
- Allergic reaction
- Use of antibiotics
Diaper Rash Symptoms
The following are characteristics of diaper rashes:
Bright red, puffy and tender-looking skin in the diaper region, usually in the buttocks, but may spread to the genitalia, stomach and thighs
- Observable discomfort in the child
- Crying when the diaper area is touched
Diaper Rash First Aid Management
It is necessary to treat diaper rashes immediately to avoid complications and reduce the
discomfort felt by the child. To manage an infant’s diaper rash:
- Ask the doctor or dermatologist for the recommended mild hydrocortisone cream that is advisable for infants.
- If it is caused by a fungal or bacterial infection, apply a topical antifungal or antibiotic ointment, respectively. An oral antibiotic may also be used to treat a bacterial infection.
- Always be mindful when the child has a wet diaper. Change as often as needed.
- Wash the skin with mild soap and pat it dry. Make sure the bottom is completely dry before putting another diaper.
- Avoid eating food that may trigger diaper rashes.
Although a diaper rash is not an emergency, it is still necessary to apply first aid to ease the infant of whatever symptoms he/ she may be feeling. To learn more about how to treat diaper rashes and other medical scenarios related to infants, enroll in workplace approved Childcare First Aid Training.