Diaper rash, the causes and natural remedies

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Philippe Gloaguen
@philippegloaguen
Author and references

Contents

  • 1 What is diaper rash
  • 2 Causes of diaper rash
  • 3 Types of Diaper Rash
  • 4 Remedies for diaper rash
  • 5 Cortisone: yes or no?
  • 6 Prevention of diaper rash

Red skin, blisters, burning and… a good cry! The diaper and the moment of changing can sometimes turn into a "torture" for our little ones struggling with annoying irritations. Diaper rash is a very common problem that can be very annoying to babies. But we can prevent it and, if that's not enough, we can also treat it naturally. In fact, drugs are not always needed: just some old but effective "grandmother's remedy".



What is diaper rash

It is a skin disorder that affects the "diaper area", the one that includes the groin, the genitals up to the anus and buttocks. Rubbing with the diaper, in addition to the stagnation of urine and feces, can cause more or less intense irritation. In more serious cases, the skin can become inflamed to the point of ulceration or infection.

Diaper rash should never be underestimated, even if you don't need to be alarmed. In most cases it passes on its own in a short time, but special attention must be paid. The danger is that an infection can occur from fungi and bacteria that find their ideal habitat.

Causes of diaper rash

Due to the effect of air and heat, urine develops ammonia, which is very irritating. By altering the degree of acidity of the skin, it can cause rashes. In the simplest forms (the typical one is irritative dermatitis), it manifests itself with small red dots but - as we said above - the manifestations can be more important.


Stool also contributes to worsening the situation of the skin affected by diaper rash. That's why we should never spend too much time changing our babies when they get dirty. Contact with moisture and the acidity of pee and poo predispose to the onset of skin disorders.


Other causes depend on the kind of dermatitis the baby suffers from.

Types of diaper rash

As we have seen, the typical form is that of irritative dermatitis caused by rubbing, sweating, stagnation of urine, acidic stools. However, there are other types of dermatitis that can affect the private parts:

  1. seborrheic dermatitis;
  2. candida infections;
  3. psoriasis;
  4. allergic contact dermatitis.

Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease that presents with redness and the presence of dry or greasy scales. It occurs at birth or in any case at an early age. Sometimes it persists even as adults.

Diaper rash can also be an expression of a primary or secondary form of candida. Usually, the former is a complication of intestinal candidiasis, while the latter overlaps with irritative, seborrheic or psoriatic dermatitis. Symptoms are red spots, surrounded by a well-defined halo, in the groin or around the anus. In addition, there are overlapping vesicles or pustules.

Psoriasis of the diaper area is a particular type of this skin condition, even if there are no scales. The skin appears red and shiny, especially in the folds and, sometimes, up to the navel.

Contact dermatitis is another type of problem. This is very common and is an allergic form. That is, the child can become sensitized to the gums and resins that are used to make diapers. Symptoms are redness, swelling, and blisters.


Remedies for diaper rash

As we have seen, diaper rash can have different causes. Consequently, the treatment will also differ from case to case. For example, if there is a fungal origin (fungi) the pediatrician (and only the pediatrician) will prescribe a specific ointment. If, on the other hand, the problem lies in an allergy to the substances with which the nappies are produced, we will need to look for the best brand for our puppy's skin (also take into consideration the washable nappies: they are made of cotton, therefore certainly not irritating).


To relieve the discomfort, you can wash the baby by emulsifying a tablespoon of olive oil with one of water (even better if it is thermal). When the redness is very pronounced and the skin is chapped, you can apply a cream based on calendula, milk albumin or titanium salts. Alternatively, almond, olive, wheat germ or calendula oil can be used.

Even if a diaper rash is not a concern, it is always best to tell your pediatrician. Surely he has a more clinical eye than yours and will be able to make a precise diagnosis and find the most appropriate therapy.

Cortisone: yes or no?

In case of diaper rash someone might say “but yeah! put on a cortisone ointment and you will see that it will improve on the fly ". Leaving aside the fact that you should NEVER listen to advice on drugs from those who are not doctors, you have to be careful with steroids. In the case of diaper rash, they are almost always not recommended because they do not solve the problems underlying the dermatitis.


Cortisone creams can be misleading because they give immediate improvement. But it doesn't last long. Relapses recur as soon as you stop using the ointment. Furthermore, cortisone drugs increase the possibility of a fungal or bacterial superinfection, which becomes much more complex to treat.

Prevention of diaper rash

To avoid incurring irritation and burning, there are some precautions to take:

  • leave the baby a little naked between one change and another. The skin must be as dry as possible, so it must be "aired";
  • change the diaper often;
  • wash genitals and bottom with delicate products. Instead of soap (which, by altering the pH of the skin, can favor the onset of fungi), try an emulsion of almond oil and rose water in equal parts;
  • pay attention to tap water. If it is very calcareous it can dry out the skin;
  • dry the baby very well. Remember never to rub the skin with towels, but to pat it gently;
  • do not over tighten diapers;
  • do not overdo it with zinc oxide creams and pastes. If worn too frequently or in abundance, they could close pores and prevent the skin from breathing. For the same reason, no talc or other powders.
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