Diaper rash is a
very common condition that can cause a baby's skin
to become sore, red, and tender.
More to Know
The rash usually occurs because the skin is irritated by soiled diapers that are
left on for too long; friction from the diaper; or the use of certain brands of detergent,
soaps, or baby wipes on sensitive skin. The plastic that prevents diapers from leaking
also prevents air circulation, thus creating a warm, moist environment where rashes
and fungi can thrive.
Also, the introduction of new foods can change the content and frequency of a baby's
feces (poop), which can sometimes lead to a diaper rash. And diarrhea
can make a diaper rash worse.
Diaper rash that lasts for more than a few days, even with changes to the diapering
routine, might be caused by a yeast called Candida albicans (a type of fungus).
This form of the rash is usually red, slightly raised, and has small red dots extending
beyond the main part of the rash. It often starts in the creases of skin and can spread
to skin on the front and back of the baby. Antibiotics given to a baby or a breastfeeding
mom can lead to a yeast infection by killing off the "good" bacteria that keep the
Candida from growing.
Keep in Mind
The best way to prevent diaper rash is by keeping a baby's skin as dry and clean
as possible and changing diapers often so that feces and urine won't irritate the
If the rash persists or gets worse, or if sores appear on the baby's skin,
call your doctor. You should also seek medical care if the rash is associated with
fever, pus drains from the rash, or your baby is irritable.
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