What is Diaper Rash?
Diaper rash is a common sight for inflamed skin (dermatitis) that appears on a baby’s bottom or genital area. Parents can identify this common medical condition by its patches of redness and rashes.
Babies with diaper rash often fuss or cry when the area is touched or cleaned. In severe cases, the rash can cause pimples, blisters, or sores on the diaper area.
Why does diaper rash happen?
Diaper rash can be caused by a combination of factors, with the most common being wet or infrequently changed diapers. We have prepared a list of common factors contributing to diaper rash:
Your Baby’s Pee and Poo
Our baby’s average skin Ph is about 5.5.
When both pee and poo are mixed, it raises the Ph due to a chemical reaction releasing ammonia as a by-product. The higher Ph environment will activate fecal enzymes (e.g. proteases and lipases) which breakdown proteins and lipids of the skin.
This triggers an immune reaction and damages the sensitive skin – giving rise to the symptoms of red patches if left prolonged without changing diaper.
Perspiration, heat and moisture
When your baby moves around actively, perspiration covers his body. In addition, when he pees or poos in his diaper, the moisture level around his bottom increases. This causes the skin to become wrinkly, making it prone to irritation caused by the toxins in the waste matter.
Skin irritation due to friction
Your baby’s skin is thin and extremely delicate. Prolonged wetness softens the stratum corneum (outer layer of skin). When this softened skin is rubbed by the wet diaper, the resulting friction can cause injury or inflammation to the skin.
Secondary infection of Candida (fungal) or Impetigo (bacteria)
The heat and moisture in the diaper provide an ideal environment for the growth of fungus or bacteria. The perfect breeding ground can be found within the creases of the skin and its surrounding.
In cases of Candida, you may find sores or cracking skin that oozes or bleeds. While yellow crusting, weeping, or pimples are generally symptoms of Impetigo.
Allergy or Sensitive
Your baby’s skin may be irritated from a new product e.g. baby wipes, a new brand of baby diaper, a new detergent, or even baby powders.
Some simple tips to prevent diaper rashes
Keeping it dry and clean
– the most important rule of thumb. Whenever your baby isn’t wearing a diaper, take the opportunity to lay them down on a towel and give time for the diaper area to dry. Clean the area gently with a soft fabric cloth and clean water. If you are using baby wipes, be gentle and avoid using alcoholic wipes. During a bath, use mild soap or soap-free cleanser while patting the diaper area to wash. Remember to keep it dry!
Creams and Jellies
– find products that contain zinc. A thin application layer will help soothe the skin and prevent contact with feces and other irritants.
The right type of diaper
– it’s always recommended for parents to stick with the same diaper brand and model for their baby. Babies with sensitive skin are generally prone to new products e.g. the coarseness of the absorbent core or its manufacturing material. Check out our next blog! We will provide a comprehensive non-bias review of the baby diapers.