Diaper dermatitis (diaper rash) is inflammation of the skin in the diaper area. It is a very common condition in babies and toddlers.
In most cases, diaper dermatitis is a type of contact dermatitis. That means the skin is inflamed from contact with certain substances. In diaper dermatitis, urine and feces irritate the skin.
Other common causes of diaper rash include:
Other less common causes of dermatitis in the diaper area include:
Any baby or toddler can develop diaper dermatitis. Things that increase the risk include:
The symptoms of diaper dermatitis vary depending on the cause. And symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They can include:
The symptoms of diaper rash can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her health care provider for a diagnosis.
The health care provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Your child's healthcare provider may advise lab tests, but they are usually not needed.
Proper skin care is very important to prevent diaper rash. This includes:
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age and general health. It will also depend on the cause, and how severe the condition is. Treatment may include:
Call the health care provider if your child has:
The Division of Dermatology at Children's National Health System continues to expand services as more families seek our expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the skin, hair and nails.
Invest in future cures for some of life's most devastating diseases
Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you.