- Any rash on the skin covered by a diaper
- Age: diaper-wearing age group (birth to 3 years)
Causes of Diaper Rash
- Irritant Diaper Rash. Mild rashes can be caused by the drying effect of soaps.
- Stool Diaper Rash. Stool left on the skin can be very irritating because it contains bacteria. Urine alone has no germs in it and usually doesn't irritate the skin. This rash is common on the scrotum or anywhere that stool can hide. Small ulcers around the anus are often from prolonged stool contact.
- Ammonia Diaper Rash. Stool and urine left in diaper too long can combine to make ammonia. It can cause a mild chemical burn. The fumes when you change the diaper will smell like ammonia. This is more common with cloth diapers.
- Diarrhea Diaper Rash. Rashes just found around the anus are common during bouts of diarrhea. Diarrhea stools also contain enzymes that digest food and irritate the skin.
- Yeast Diaper Rash. Rashes from irritants can get a secondary infection with yeast. Yeast infections are bright red. They can be raw and weepy. The borders are sharp. Small red bumps or even pimples may occur just beyond the border. If treated correctly, a diaper rash should be cured in 3 days. If not, it has probably been invaded by yeast. Treat with an anti-yeast cream.
- Bacterial Diaper Rash. Bacteria can also cause a secondary infection of irritated skin. This is less common than yeast rashes. Bacteria cause sores, yellow scabs, pimples or draining pus. They look like impetigo, a local skin bacterial infection. Can also become a painful red lump (boil).
- Cellulitis (Serious). The bacterial infection spreads into the skin. Gives redness that spreads out from the sore. The red area is painful to the touch.
- Staph Scalded Skin Syndrome (Serious). SSSS is caused by a Staph bacteria. The main finding is widespread large blisters. The skin is bright red. The baby acts very sick.
Symptoms of Diaper Rash
- Mild rashes just have areas of pink, dry skin.
- Severe rashes have areas of red skin. In some areas, the skin may become raw or even bleed.
- Pink rashes are not painful, but raw ones can be very painful. This can lead crying and poor sleep.
Prevention of Recurrent Diaper Rash
- Change diapers more often. Focus on preventing skin contact with stool.
- Rinse your baby's skin with lots of warm water when cleaning off stool. Don't depend on diaper wipes alone to cleanse the skin.
- Be sure to clean stool off all the skin folds. Cleaning the scrotum can be a challenge.