Learn about the types of dermatitis in the diapered region, causes and risk factors, and mitigation strategies.
Diaper dermatitis or diaper rash is one of the most common skin problem affecting infants. It presents as skin irritation and inflammation in the diapered area. Left untreated, rash can worsen and a secondary infection with Candida albicans (yeast infection) or a bacterial infection can develop.
There are many causes that can contribute to diaper dermatitis. Some of the main contributors to diaper dermatitis are prolonged contact with irritants present in urine and feces, and excessive wetness which can make the skin more permeable to irritants and microorganisms. Other factors can include skin occlusion, infant diet, infrequent diaper changes, incomplete cleaning of diapered skin, and medications.
Preventative care such as cleaning after every diaper change, prompt changing of soiled diapers, use of diapers with superabsorbent materials and breathable materials, airing out skin between diaper changes, and use of barrier creams or ointments can help to minimize the risk of diaper dermatitis.
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