Diaper rash is a fairly common problem in children specifically in young infants. It is generally painful for infants and also causes pain to parents considering the pain it causes to infants. Many parents complain it keeps occurring repeatedly. They just get frustrated because of these problems and spend a lot of time and energy to prevent or cure it.
Let us see how this problem occurs and how to avoid it.
Diaper rash is a broad term that includes conditions causing redness and irritation and pain In infants in perianal region and buttocks.
Causes can be various in each infant. Most common causes are:
- Wetness: As we all know infants do not have control over bowel and bladder. So when they pass urine and stool it remains in diapers for a long time. If the caretaker is not attentive it stays there for prolonged period and becomes worse. These young infants have immature and soft skin it gets affected because of this and becomes red and swollen. Wetness also attracts many bacteria and fungus giving them a good environment to grow theirs.
- Urine and feces: Urine contains chemicals like uric acid which are irritants to skin if they stay in skin contact for a long period. Stool also contains many bacteria and lipid which will help bacteria to grow near the skin. The chemicals of urine and stool slowly get changed and in turn, they damage the skin around the diaper area.
- Not changing diapers frequently: If the diaper is not changed frequently, it mostly remains wet. Infants normally pass stool 8-10 times a day and also urine many times. That all gets accumulate in the diaper. It is a good place for bacteria and fungus to grow. So not changing diapers of your babies?? Not a good idea.
- Bacterial infection: Bacterial infection cause the diaper rash. A bacterial infection is more common if above all factors are already present in the case. It either itself causes diaper rash or may worsen it.
- Chemical irritants: If you are using diapers, use it cautiously if new ones. The chemicals in diapers may be causing irritation. If you are using washable diapers then too your detergent may be causing irritation. New cloths synthetic and colored ones may cause irritation due to their new color. The clothes should be washed and dried before use. If one brand is causing a problem in your infants it's better to change the brand of diaper or brand of your detergent.
- Fungal infection: Fungus is a hidden enemy of the infants. It ikes to stay on soft immature skin of your infants. If it gets a chance and nice wet environment in a humid climate, it grows vigorously damaging the soft skin of your baby.
- Zinc deficiency: Zinc deficiency is an important cause in infants and children causing acrodermatitis enteropathica. It causes rashes at many other places in the body like also perioral rash.
- New clothes: As we discussed earlier new clothes because of their color and new texture cause irritation to skin allergies. In a young infant, it is a very rare cause of diaper rash. The baby products that you may use to prevent diaper rash may cause allergy and diaper rash themselves, fortunately rarely though.