Importance of Keeping Diapered Skin Clean and Dry

Cleaning and drying an infant’s bottom after every diaper change is important for maintaining healthy skin.

An infant’s skin in the diapered area is subjected to prolonged exposure to irritants in urine and feces which can damage the skin barrier and cause inflammation or rash.

Diapered skin can become overhydrated when exposed to excessive moisture such as urine. The skin barrier can be disrupted as the cells that form the outer layer start to swell and allow irritants to pass through, increasing skin pH, increasing friction between the skin and diaper contents, as well as disrupting the normal skin microbiome.

Check out the PDF below for more information:

Overhydrated skin is more susceptible to irritation: The importance of keeping skin clean and dry in the diapered region

  1. Bouwstra JA. et al. Water distribution and related morphology in human stratum corneum at different hydration levels. J. Invest. Dermatol. 120, 750–758 (2003).
  2. Norlen, L., Emilson, A. & Forslind, B. Stratum corneum swelling. Biophysical and computer assisted quantitative assessments. Arch. Dermatol. Res. 289, 506–513 (1997).
  3. Bjorklund S, Nowacka A, Bouwstra JA, Sparr E, Topgaard D. Characterization of stratum corneum molecular dynamics by natural-abundance (1)(3)C solid-state NMR. PLoS One 8, e61889 (2013).
  4. Bjorklund S, Engblom J, Thuresson K, Sparr E. A water gradient can be used to regulate drug transport across skin. J. Control Release 143, 191–200 (2010).
  5. Hartmann AA. Effect of occlusion on resident flora, skin-moisture and skin-pH. Arch Dermatol Res. 275(4), 251-4 (1983).
  6. Aly R, Shirley C, Cunico B, Maibach HI. Effect of prolonged occlusion on the microbial flora, pH, carbon dioxide and transepidermal water loss on human skin. J Invest Dermatol. 71(6), 378-81 (1978 Dec).
  7. Fluhr JW, Elias PM. Stratum corneum pH: Formation and Function of the ‘Acid Mantle’. Exog Dermatol 1, 163–175 (2002).
  8. Gerhardt L-C, Strässle V, Lenz A, Spencer ND, Derler S. Influence of epidermal hydration on the friction of human skin against textiles. J R Soc Interface. 5(28), 1317–1328 (2008 Nov 6).
  9. Franklin SE, Baranowska J, Hendriks CP, Piwowarczyk J, Nachman M. Comparison of the Friction Behavior of Occluded Human Skin and Synthetic Skin in Dry and Moist Conditions. Tribology Transactions. 60(5), 861-872 (2017).
  10. Wallen-Russell C, Wallen-Russell S. Meta Analysis of Skin Microbiome: New Link between Skin Microbiota Diversity and Skin Health with Proposal to Use This as a Future Mechanism to Determine Whether Cosmetic Products Damage the Skin. Cosmetics 4, 14 (2017).
  11. Kong HH et al. Temporal shifts in the skin microbiome associated with disease flares and treatment in children with atopic dermatitis. Genome Res. 22(5), 850-9. (2012 May).

Questions? Comments?

We would love to hear them!


Sign Up for Email Updates

Receive Huggies® updates for Healthcare Professionals

You can unsubscribe at any time.