A to Z of diaper rash

    A to Z of diaper rash

    Antibiotics usage:

    Intake of antibiotics, causes an imbalance in the level of good and bad bacteria which may lead to diarrhoea, and this makes it difficult to ensure cleanliness of the baby’s bottom, and rash may develop.

    Switching of diaper Brands:

    ‘Change never comes easy’ and when you change a diaper brand, it may cause discomfort to your little one because of the presence of certain dyes and fragrances.


    You know how energetic your cute little one is, so while they are on the move, there is friction between their bottom and the diaper known as chafing which can lead to diaper rash.

    Detergent used for cleaning nappy:

    While washing the nappy, the detergent used could have some harsh chemicals. And if the nappy is not rinsed thoroughly, the remnants could irritate the baby’s bottom and result in rashes.

    Extremely hot weather:

    In summers our body sweats more than normal, and baby’s bottoms are no exception! If there is no free flow of air, and the sweatier the baby gets, the higher the chances of diaper rash.

    Improper Fastening of diaper:

    If the diaper is fastened too tightly the skin does not receive proper aeration. When the diaper is fastened too loosely, it results in friction between the bottom and diaper which can result in a diaper rash.

    Getting common cold:

    You may be wondering what a cold might have to do with diaper rash. Well, when a baby gets a cold, parents may not be able to bathe them. A cold may also cause loose stools, so the bottoms aren’t cleaned enough and this results in the baby developing a diaper rash.

    Hygiene not maintained:

    After the baby has pooped, the caregiver needs to thoroughly clean the baby’s bottom while maintaining hygiene (cleaning their hands prior to cleaning, placing the baby on a clean surface, using warm water to clean the bottom from front to back, cleaning of the skin folds). If all of this is not done judiciously, it could result in diaper rash.


    Diaper rash at times is also caused by a bacterial infection called Impetigo. This infection is primarily caused by some bad guys namely Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes, which enter through cuts and scratches on the skin.

    Excessive consumption of citrus Juices:

    Excessive consumption of citrus juices causes an acidic diaper rash. This is caused by food rich in citric acid, like lemon, orange and tomato which can upset your little one’s digestive system, and results in an abnormal pH of your baby’s waste.

    Keep using smaller diapers even the baby outgrows it:

    As the baby grows, larger diapers should be used, however sometimes caregivers continue using the same sized diaper. This inhibits the passage of free air and puts the skin in close contact with moisture leading to diaper rash. Vice versa, using diapers that are too large can result in fabric rubbing against the bottoms, causing irritation and rash.

    Long exposure to stool and urine:

    One of the most common reasons for diaper rash is the prolonged exposure of the baby’s bottom to stool and urine. The moisture from the urine causes skin irritation, and the skin further gets damaged when it rubs against the stools. The chemicals from the urine break down the stool enzymes and further worsens the diaper rash.

    Mode of feed:

    Babies who are bottle-fed are at a greater risk of getting diaper rash, as they are more prone to diarrhoea and gastrointestinal illness.

    Not enough drying prior to diapering:

    Some parents clean their babies’ bottoms after a poop or a pee immediately, but their baby falls prey to diaper rash. This maybe because after clean-up they immediately put the babies back into clean diapers without letting the baby’s bottom dry thoroughly. The increased moisture on the skin promotes diaper rash.

    Overuse of baby powder/topical cream:

    If parents liberally apply topical cream on the baby’s bottom without prior drying, this can lead to moisture being trapped, causing or worsening diaper rash.

    pH disturbance:

    The pH of the baby’s skin is usually in the range of 5-5.5, which means it is an acidic pH. However, the use of soap-based cleanser disturbs the pH of the baby’s skin, making it alkaline. Also, long hours of exposure to stool affects the baby’s skin pH, which gives rise to diaper rash.

    Quality of diaper:

    A diaper should be absorbent, to avoid the wetness from coming in contact with the baby’s skin. The diaper’s inner fabric should also be soft and breathable to minimize friction between the diaper and the baby skin. If the diaper being used does not have these properties, the baby will be more prone to diaper rash.

    Rubbing of wipes against the delicate bottoms:

    While cleaning up the baby’s bottom, parents strive to thoroughly clean the skin and, in the process, can rub the wet wipes too forcefully, leaving behind rashes.

    Solid food intake:

    When the baby switches from a liquid to a solid diet, this affects the digestive system of the baby in many ways, resulting in drastic changes in the consistency, texture and frequency of poops, which could cause a diaper rash.


    When babies teethe, they tend to drool and keep chewing on any object to get over the teething pain. The excessive swallowing of drool and the chewing of dirty objects often causes mild irritation in the stomach, leading to diarrhoea and ultimately diaper rash.

    Using the same diaper for long hours if not soiled:

    Babies urinate multiple times a day, and it is recommended that diapers be changed at least every 2-3 hours. However, at times when the diaper doesn’t appear to be soiled, parents continue to use it for longer, which could end up irritating the baby’s skin.

    Vital nutrient deficiency:

    Though this is one of the rare causes of diaper rash, a deficiency of vital vitamins and minerals like zinc and biotin can cause diaper rash.

    Wet wipes quality:

    Wet wipes should be soft, alcohol-free, soap-free and skin-friendly (maintain the skin pH), to facilitate the cleansing process. If one chooses otherwise, the harsh chemicals and the soap content could result in development of rashes on the baby’s delicate skin.

    Extremely allergic skin:

    It is possible for a baby’s skin to be allergic to the chemicals in soap, wipes, or the dyes in the diaper, which could result in diaper rashes.

    Yeast diaper rash:

    This is caused by a fungus called Candida. This fungus grows well in moist and warm places and baby’s diapered skin is conducive place for its growth. Also, if the baby or the breast-feeding mother is taking antibiotics, the baby is more likely to get yeast diaper rash.

    Zero diapers free time:

    If the baby is in a diaper all day long, the skin in that area is not sufficiently ventilated by fresh air. The warm and moist baby bottom invites a lot of bacteria and fungi which colonize the baby’s delicate skin and leads to an infection.

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