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Diaper Disaster

What is diaper rash?

Diaper rash is a redness that appears on the skin under a diaper.  It generally occurs in infants and children under the age of 2, but paralyzed adults or adults that are incontinent and wear adult diapers can also get diaper rash.  The skin under the diaper will look red and irritated.  It may appear all over the bottom, the genital area, or just in certain places, and it may or may not involve the folds of the skin.  Diaper rash can be mild or very severe depending on the cause.

What causes diaper rash?

  1. Friction between the skin and the wet diaper can cause diaper rash.  This results in a red, shiny rash on the exposed areas.
  2. Irritants found in bowel movements or urine, or from the cleaning agents in diaper wipes can also cause diaper rash.  This kind of bright red rash is typically not found in the folds of the skin.
  3. Candidal infections also known as fungal or yeast infections can cause diaper rash.  This rash has a bright, beefy red appearance and is very common after the use of antibiotics.  Candida is also known to cause thrush.
  4. Allergic reactions to diaper wipes, diapers, laundry detergent, soap, lotion, or the elastic in plastic pants can cause diaper rash.

What is the treatment for diaper rash?


  1. Apply the Desitin Original Paste onto the rash.  Desitin has several versions make sure you get the original paste.  It goes on like icing, will not dissolve or rub off, and works fast.  Reapply ointment every diaper change.
  2. Change diapers often, especially after a BM.
  3. Give the area fresh air as much as possible.
  4. If the rash is reoccurring, try changing to a different brand of diaper.

When to Seek Medical Care?

Call your doctor if these conditions develop:

  • The rash does not get better after treating it 4-7 days.
  • The rash is getting worse or has spread to other parts of the body.
  • The rash has puss like drainage or yellowish colored crusting. This is called impetigo and needs to be treated with antibiotics.
  • The rash is reoccurring and you are not certain what may be causing the rashes.
  • The child is having diarrhea and a rash lasting for more than 48 hours.
  • Seborrhea is an oily, yellow looking rash that may also be seen in other areas of the body, such as the face, head, and neck.
  • Should your child seem to be in severe pain, if you notice a rapid spread of the rash, accompanied with a fever, you should seek medical attention.

Hi this is Terri Borman childcare specialist and author of Shapes Go to School.  While having fun reading my book, children will learn to recognize shapes and everything in between such as colors, counting, and even diversity.  To order your copy, click on the picture of Shapes Go to School.


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