Diaper rash is a common skin issue among infants and young children. This usually occurs if the skin stays moist, being rubbed against a diaper and being in contact with chemicals in the stool and urine. The affected skin turns reddened, raw, burned or scalded. While the rash can cause discomfort, it is not a serious issue.
The rash often occurs among infants between 9-12 months old. Those who are usually affected are infants who sleep for long hours without waking, thus the soiled diaper is used for a longer time. In addition, it can develop at any age if diapers or incontinence briefs are used.
Home care measures
Treatment at home is enough for most cases of diaper rash. Once the initial sign of the rash is observed, you can perform these measures:
- Keep the skin dry and ensure that it is not exposed to stool and urine. Make sure that the diapers are changed if soiled. During daytime, check the diaper every 3 hours. It is required to change during night time to avert or allow an existing rash to settle. Remember that it is not uncommon to replace a diaper up to 8 times in a 24-hour time frame.
- Carefully clean the diaper area using warm water and a soft cloth. Rinse properly and dry entirely. Avoid using any soap unless +the area is significantly soiled. Only use a mild soap is needed. If baby wipes are used, do not use those that contain alcohol or propylene glycol especially if the rash is present.
- Try to leave diapers off as much as possible.
- The healthy skin adjacent the rash should be protected with a cream such as zinc oxide.
- If disposable products are used, you should pleat the plastic zone away from the body and do not place one too tightly.
- Increase the intake of fluids so that the urine produced is less concentrated.
What are the symptoms to watch out for?
A doctor should be consulted if any of the following develop during treatment at home:
- The rash in the diaper area appears like a rash on other parts of the body
- Symptoms become significantly severe or recurrent
- Indications of infection are present