What Causes Diaper Rash?

Diaper rash can be any rash that develops inside the diaper area. In mild cases, the skin might be red. In more severe cases, there may be painful open sores. You will usually see a rash around the abdomen, genitalia, and inside the skin folds of the thighs and buttocks. Mild cases clear up within three to four days without any treatment. If a rash persists or develops again after treatment, consult your pediatrician.

Over the years diaper rash has been blamed on various causes, such as teething, diet and ammonia in the urine. However, medical experts now believe it is caused by any of the following:

When skin stays wet for too long, the layers that protect it start to break down. When wet skin is rubbed, it also damages more easily. Moisture from a soiled diaper can harm your baby’s skin and make it more prone to chafing. When this happens, diaper rash may develop.

Further rubbing between the moist folds of the skin only makes the rash worse. This is why diaper rash often forms in the skin folds of the groin and upper thighs.

More than half of babies between 4 months and 15 months of age develop diaper rash at least once in a two-month period. Diaper rash occurs more often in the following instances:

Infants taking antibiotics are more likely to get diaper rashes caused by yeast infections. Yeast infects the weakened skin and causes a bright red rash with red spots at its edges. You can treat this with over-the-counter antifungal medications. If you see these symptoms, you may wish to consult with your pediatrician.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics