Does your baby’s diaper area look red and irritated? There is a good chance it’s diaper rash. Sometimes with diaper rash, the skin may also look puffy and feel warm to the touch. Cases of diaper rash range in severity from being mild with a few spots in a small area to extensive with many tender, red bumps that spread beyond the diaper area to your child’s thighs and stomach. As a parent, you want to do nothing more than take care of your baby. To help, we have created a quick list of things that may be causing your child’s diaper rash so you can take steps to try to keep future rashes at bay.
Diaper rash can be caused by a number of factors. From new foods to your child’s own urine, below is a list of potential causes for diaper rash:
Wetness. Diapers are made to be absorbent but even the best leave at least some moisture on your little one’s skin. The combination of urine and bacteria from your little one’s stool can break down into ammonia, which can hurt the skin. If your child has diarrhea or frequent bowel movements, he may be more prone to diaper rash. Sometimes rashes can come from a child sitting in a dirty diaper for too long but this is not always the case. Some skin is just more sensitive and prone to reactions so even parents who are very diligent about changing their baby’s diapers may see diaper rashes frequently.
New foods. Diaper rash is not uncommon when new foods are introduced to a baby’s diet – especially during the transition to eating solid foods. New foods change the composition of the stool. Some foods are also more acidic, such as strawberries and fruit juices, which may cause added discomfort for your baby. New foods may also increase the frequency of a child’s bowel movements. Another factor is that if you are breastfeeding, not only will the foods your baby eats contribute to diaper rash, but the foods you eat may contribute as well.
Chemical sensitivity and chafing. Diaper rash can result from a diaper rubbing against the skin – especially if a child’s skin is sensitive to chemicals. Some diaper brands feature fragrances that irritate baby’s skin. Laundry detergent used to wash cloth diapers can also cause reactions along with diaper creams or ingredients in different baby wipes.
Bacterial or yeast infections. Bacteria and yeast thrive in warm, moist diaper areas, making it an ideal spot for bacteria to grow. If you see rashes in the cracks and folds of your child’s skin, reach out to your pediatrician as he may be suffering from one of these infections that often require a prescription diaper cream.
Antibiotic use. Children who have been administered antibiotics sometimes get yeast infections as well. This is usually because antibiotics also kill healthy bacteria that helps to keep yeast in check. Antibiotics can also cause diarrhea for some, which can then also lead to diaper rash.
Diaper rash can be disheartening to parents but do not worry – it can be cleared up quickly in many cases, and if you have trouble getting it to go away, your pediatrician can also help with it.
- Olivia, mom & a pediatric nurse
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