Health Information

Diaper Rash

What is diaper dermatitis?

Diaper dermatitis, commonly known as a diaper rash, is a term used to describe different skin rashes in the diapered area. The rash is usually red, scaling and, rarely, ulcerated. It is most commonly seen in infants between the ages of 9 to 12 months, but may begin within the first 2 months of life.

What causes diaper dermatitis?

Possible contributors to diaper dermatitis include the following:
  • irritation - from urine and feces trapped in the diaper.
  • candida diaper dermatitis - dermatitis caused by a yeast infection in the diaper area, often preceded by diaper dermatitis.
  • seborrheic diaper dermatitis - a common, chronic skin condition that can affect the diaper area as well as other locations on the body.

Other less common causes of dermatitis in the diaper area include the following:
  • impetigo - dermatitis caused by a bacterial infection     
  • perianal streptococcal disease - dermatitis caused by a streptococcus.
  • allergic dermatitis - a type of dermatitis that is rare in the first 2 years of life, but may be caused by soaps and detergents, or the diaper.

Treatment for diaper dermatitis:

Treatment for diaper dermatitis will vary based on the cause of the dermatitis. Specific treatment for diaper dermatitis will also be determined by your physician based on:
  • your child's age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the condition
  • your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the condition
  • your opinion or preference