Diaper rash occurs only in newborns and infants and is, as the name suggests, closely connected with wearing diapers. The rash is not unique in all cases and may affect small portions of the skin such as the groin area or spread further even to the tummy and thighs.
Underlying Causes of Diaper Rash
Prolong wetness associated with infrequent changing of diapers is actually the leading cause of diaper rash. The fact that the child's private parts are wet is not the only problem, but there is also problem because they are wet due to urine presence. The urine contains many waste products and ammonia is one of them. It is a powerful irritant which if repeatedly irritates the child's gentle skin, may initiate diaper rash.
Furthermore, there are infants with extremely sensitive skin. No matter how frequently his/her parents change diapers, the child ends up with diaper rash which also tends to be frequent. This is a serious problem, because in such case there is no solution but to allow the child to spend more time out of diapers, especially during summer months when weather conditions may only contribute to rash worsening.
Finally, diaper rash may develop if the child's skin is sensitive to chemicals found in disposable diapers or in lotions or powder parents use prior to changing diapers. If parent use cloth diapers, washing detergents may be harsh and cause skin irritation.
When a baby is introduced a new food, he/she may experience changes in bowel movement and also in the composition of the stool. Such stool, especially if it is frequent, may cause irritation and induce diaper rash.
Also, it is essential to recognize infection in the area which is far more complex condition that a simple diaper rash. If the affected skin is wet and moist, red and there are cracks and folds, the child may have developed yeast infection. Infections of the area require consultation with a pediatrician.
And not to mention treatment with antibiotics. These medications may be culprits of diarrhea and cause diaper rash, or they change the flora in the groin area making it susceptible to yeast infection.
Diaper Rash Treatment and Prevention
The first thing each and every parent must do is frequent diaper changing. The skin is also supposed to be rinsed every time a diaper is changed. By using a barrier ointment, parents help the child to have dry skin even if there is excess of moist.
A bit loose diapers and those that are a little big are suitable because they allow the child to move and provide with better air circulation. By changing the brands of disposable diapers, parents will eventually find the brand that suits their child best.
If rash occurs, by allowing the skin to be exposed to air as much as possible rash will heal faster. Also, sometimes the child is prescribed some creams and ointments, especially if there is secondary yeast infection.