Diaper dermatitis is one of the most frequent dermatological diseases in infants and young children, the prevalence of which, according to scientists, is from 35 to 50%, and in some countries reaches 75-87%. It accounts for about 25% of visits to primary care physicians in connection with dermatological complaints in the first year of life. Diaper dermatitis most often affects children from 1 month to 2 years of age. The disease peaks at 6-12 months of age.
Diaper dermatitis, or “diaper rash,” is a common form of skin inflammation (dermatitis) in young children. It appears as a bright reddening of the skin in the groin area. It is caused by prolonged exposure of the skin to moisture, urine, or feces and therefore occurs more frequently with irregular diaper changes and diarrhea, but can also occur in children with good groin hygiene.
Diaper rash can also develop when certain brands of diapers are used, after the introduction of a new product to complementary foods, when a nursing mother takes certain foods, or when antibiotics are taken. Pelvic dermatitis can frighten parents and cause discomfort for the child. The affected skin becomes scarlet and swollen; lesions are located in the groin area: on the buttocks, inner thighs, and genitals.
You may notice that your child seems upset, more tearful than usual, especially during diaper changes. Mood changes frequently. A child with diaper rash is usually cranky or cries when diapering and touching the affected skin.
Diaper dermatitis can occur at any age until the child is accustomed to the potty.
Risk factors for diaper dermatitis include:
- Age: the skin of newborns and infants is more sensitive to damage;
- Diet: changes in diet as the infant grows are associated with changes in gut microbiota and fecal pH; breastfeeding is a protective factor;
- 3) Frequency of diaper changes: prolonged contact with irritants, such as urine and feces, increases the risk of skin inflammation.
To rule out the possibility of worsening diaper dermatitis, you should consider the following dietary recommendations:
- Consumption of sugar should be kept to a minimum;
- Control the intake of salt;
- It is desirable not to eat foods with a high degree of allergenic – citrus fruits, exotic and out-of-season fruits;
- Reduce the intake of gluten (complex protein) contained in wheat (its tolerance during food dermatitis is sharply reduced);
- Forbidden products can be included in the diet very rarely, under the control of the skin.
- You need to give your child to drink clean water.
The relationship of formula and diaper dermatitis
Not all mothers manage to maintain natural feeding. Quite often, babies grow up on artificial formula. There is a huge range of baby food on the market, and sometimes it’s very difficult for parents, especially inexperienced ones, to make the right choice. And if your child is prone to allergies (diaper dermatitis can also be a reaction to an incorrect diet), it is better to introduce hypoallergenic formula in his diet, because they are usually dairy-free, and contain protein hydrolyzate. They are specially formulated so as not to provoke allergic reactions in the child’s body and can be used for treatment, during remission, and as a preventive measure. Also, an excellent option is Holle Formula based on goat’s milk, which is less allergenic than cow’s milk, is quicker to digest in a small tummy, and is better digested. Prebiotics contained in the formula stimulate a strong immune system, fatty acids contribute to the normal development of the CNS, brain, and visual function. This food prevents intestinal infections and minor allergic reactions.
Preventing diaper rash in a baby
Diaper dermatitis occurs in almost all babies, and not all cases are caused by poor odor inguinal. However, some simple tips can help you reduce the risk of developing PD and its severity in your baby.
– Change diapers frequently. Remove a diaper, diaper or panties soiled with feces as soon as possible.
– Wash your baby with running water when changing the diaper.
– Do not use wet wipes that contain alcohol or fragrances. After diapering, blot your baby’s body with a towel to dry it. Blot, but do not rub – friction can be an additional irritant.
– Do not use diapers that fit your baby or are tight on him or her. This increases the wetness of the environment under the diaper and also causes direct chafing at the areas of the diaper elastic bands (at the waistband or thighs).
– Keep the baby without the diaper if necessary. To prevent the baby from soiling hard-to-clean surfaces (like the couch) – use disposable diapers, or Kleenex and reusable diapers.
– Washcloth diapers thoroughly. Pre-soak heavily soiled cloth diapers and use hot water to wash them. Use softening detergents and do not automatically dry the cloths, which makes them particularly rough.
– Use protective ointments regularly. If diaper dermatitis occurs frequently in your child, use barrier ointments or creams based on petroleum jelly and zinc oxide. These products protect the skin from irritation and reduce the frequency of diaper rash.
– Wash your hands thoroughly after a diaper change. Washing your hands prevents the spread of bacteria or fungus to other parts of your baby’s body, you, or other family members.
Bathing for diaper dermatitis
Bathing is a useful hygienic procedure for dermatitis, which helps not only to clean the skin but also has a beneficial effect on the nervous system because the disease makes your baby more restless. You can bathe the child once a day before bedtime.
Infusion of herbs, when added to water, has beneficial effects both on the skin and on the nervous system. Pour boiled water into a tub and add the previously prepared herbal infusion of chamomile, herd, or celandine. Measure the temperature of the water with a thermometer. It should be about 37 degrees. Bathe your child for 10-20 minutes. During the treatment of dermatitis do not use shampoo or soap for bathing, it is possible to use special emulsions approved for children from birth. After bathing, blot the body with a towel and treat it with a therapeutic ointment or cream.
Diaper Dermatitis Treatment
The best treatment for diaper rash is to keep your baby’s skin as clean as possible, free of moisture and irritants. However, if your baby’s diaper rash does not respond to this simple treatment, your doctor may prescribe:
- A mild steroid cream.
- Antifungal cream if a secondary fungal infection is suspected
- Topical or oral antibiotics if your child has a secondary bacterial infection
Steroid, antifungal, and antibacterial creams should not be used without consulting your doctor, even if your doctor has previously prescribed them for your child. Frequent and unwarranted use of these drugs can cause complications and aggravate the child’s condition.
Recovery from diaper dermatitis usually takes a few days. If the rash persists despite the treatment prescribed by the doctor, you should go back to the doctor and ask for a consultation with a dermatologist.