Diaper dermatitis/diaper rash is the term used to describe any kind of rash over the diaper area. While allergy to diaper is most commonly implicated for the rash, there are various other causes like eczemas, infections, some rare metabolic disorders etc.
What causes diaper dermatitis ?
Most commonly due to irritation from urine and faeces with prolonged diaper usage and sometimes allergic reaction to diaper components itself.
Some bacterial and fungal infections can also cause diaper rash.
Are there any home remedies for diaper rash ?
It is advisable not to apply any kind of home remedies for the treatment of active rash as the skin is normally sensitive in that area and damaged skin further reacts to various irritants. It is advocated to visit your Pediatric dermatologist for the treatment of acute rash.
What are the treatment options for diaper rash?
– Mild topical steroid with the strength and duration as directed by the doctor is the treatment option for allergic rash, an antifungal cream if there is a fungal infection and an antibacterial if there is a bacterial infection. Your Pediatric dermatologist will decide the appropriate treatment option after examining your baby thoroughly.
– Use of harsh cleansers should be avoided. Mild (nonirritating) cleanser with slightly acidic to neutral pH should be used.
– Cleansing with appropriately formulated diaper wipes is also an option (preferably alcohol-free and fragrance-free wipes)
How to prevent Diaper dermatitis ?
- Frequent diaper change is advised to reduce prolonged exposure to urine and stools.
- Application of barrier creams or ointments at every diaper change (zinc oxide, petrolatum jelly, dimethacone etc) will help prevent recurrences.
Are cloth diapers better than disposable diapers ?
While there is no single best diaper for universal use, both cloth diapers and disposable diapers have their pros and cons. While cloth diapers are free from chemicals, frequent wetting with urine and stools can still irritate the skin unless they are frequently changed. On the other hand, disposable diapers with the new superabsorbent technology are better tolerated. Sometimes changing the brand of diapers or the detergent used to wash the cloth diapers will help in recurrent cases.
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