Diaper Rash Skin Condition

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What are the causes of diaper rash?

The most common form of diaper rash comes from the is due to the irritant effects on the skin of being in contact with both urine and stool in the diaper. This combination can result in redness and sometimes breakdown of the skin. Some infants develop diaper dermatitis even after being on a course of antibiotics. This type of rash is caused by a candida, a type of fungal infection. The skin may show deep red, raised areas, with scale and small pustules.

Another cause of diaper rash is either allergic or irritant contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis develops from the use of harsh soaps, topical moisturizers, detergents, and medicinal creams or ointments that can sometimes cause a rash related to an allergic reaction.

How is diaper rash treated?


Treatment of diaper rash is usually simple and effective. Frequent diaper changes are the mainstay of treatment. Allowing the child to remain without a diaper is helpful, if possible. Dusting powders, such as Zeasorb, allow for absorption of moisture. Creams containing zinc oxide may protect the skin. Candida infections will improve with topical antifungal agents, such as Lotrimin or Myocostatin. Preparations that should not be used, unless directed by a physician, include topical corticosteroids. These can be absorbed into the blood stream and may cause thinning of the skin.


This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. For additional written health information, please contact the Health Information Center at the Cleveland Clinic (216) 444-3771 or toll-free (800) 223-2273 extension 43771 or visit www.clevelandclinic.org/health/. This document was last reviewed on: 4/19/2002