Newborns bring in lots of joy and happiness. Along with them come an indefinite set of responsibilities and duties, in terms of their health and overall care. Changing clothes, bathing the baby, feeding it, buying new toys and gifts, playing with it, and taking innumerable clicks keep the parents busy with their baby. But, when it comes to taking care of the skin of the baby, most parents turn illiterate, especially the first timers. Ignorant of how to maintain the health of the delicate and supple skin, they end up either causing more harm or doing nothing about the already caused damage. Amongst the initial problems that a baby faces, diaper rash is the most common. Every new or experienced parent can be seen struggling with the same for their baby. Just as the name reflects, diaper rash is a skin complaint that causes itchiness, irritation and inflammation, causing a baby's skin to become sore, red, scaly, and tender. Such a condition is mostly because of a soiled diaper which is left for too long. Friction caused from the diaper, certain brands of detergent, soaps, or baby wipes used on sensitive skin can be other reasons for diaper rash. Diaper rash, which when overlooked, can cause dermatitis. Thus, to avoid any kind of such untoward discomfort, it is best to keep your baby’s skin clean and dry. Below given are a few causes of diaper rash.
Causes of Diaper Rash
The wetness caused due to contact with pee and potty in the nappy is one of the major reasons behind nappy rash. Newborn babies are prone to urinating frequently and even experience recurrent loose bowel movements. Therefore, using a diaper for prolonged durations can lead to diaper rash, no matter how absorbent the nappy is. Even the slightest moisture can harm the delicate new skin of a baby. As such, a baby left in a dirty nappy for a long time is more likely to develop nappy rash. If the diaper area is red, but the folds of the skin are not red, your baby has got diaper rash due to simple irritation.
Moist, dark diaper area is the best friend of yeast. Thus, any dirty diaper that has not been changed for a long time, can lead to bright red rash, resulting in small red pimples branching out from the border of the rash area. A yeast infection can be distinguished from simple irritation by noticing the folds of the baby’s skin. If you notice redness in the folds and creases of your baby’s skin, it is yeast infection.
Babies who are suffering from a bout of diarrhea are also likely to develop nappy rash. Reason being, the potty spreads to different areas of the nappy and is wetter than normal potty. This is most common in older babies who are sick and on antibiotic medications, as they can get diarrhea, thereby causing diaper rash.
When babies are introduced to solid food or a new food, they are expected to get diaper rash. Any food introduced to the digestive system of a baby changes the composition of stool, resulting in an increase in the baby’s bowel movements. Besides, if you are breastfeeding, your baby can react to any different food you have eaten, which is visible in the form of a diaper rash.
Friction & Rubbing
Tight-fitting diapers chafe against the skin of the baby frequently, which can also cause diaper rash. This can worsen the diaper rash in case the skin is wet. Furthermore, skin-to-skin contact within skin folds in the diaper rash can also lead to diaper rash. Even a baby who is crawling or walking can complain of diaper rash due to the constant friction of nappy rubbing against the delicate skin.
The skin at your baby’s bottom is extremely delicate and soft. Any out-of-the-ordinary product coming in contact with the skin can also react, thereby causing nappy rash. Certain fabric softeners, detergents, baby lotions, fragrances, soaps, and baby wipes contain chemicals which can be irritating for the baby’s skin. Hence, always consult your pediatrician or a pharmacist before buying baby products.
Babies born prematurely commonly suffer from zinc deficiency. This deficiency is known for causing rashes in the nappy area. With such a deficiency, rashes can appear even around the mouth and on hands.
Baby nappy rash can also occur due to various underlying conditions, such as eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis. In spite of practicing good hygiene and regular change of nappies, nappy rash that continues to persist is an indication of eczema. It is identified by dry and sore skin and can even spread to other areas of the skin, apart from the nappy area. Seborrheic dermatitis occurs when a baby is between two weeks and six months of age. It causes the skin to turn red and scaly, and can occur on the nappy area, scalp, armpits, and neck. Fortunately, seborrheic dermatitis lasts for few weeks and does not recur. Though a rare condition in babies, psoriasis can occur in babies also, around the nappy area. It is characterized by rashes with red scales and defined borders.
Baby diaper rash can occur due to numerous reasons, but with the right kind of remedy, it can be easily treated. Follow a simple skincare routine and bid adieu to nappy rash!