Diaper rash is a normal occurrence in a baby’s life, and there are several reasons why a child may develop it:
The first thing to check is whether the diapers are too tight and/or are not getting changed frequently enough. Always make sure that the diaper size is appropriate for the body size and weight of your baby, and change it frequently so that your baby’s sensitive skin does not become irritated from prolonged contact with urine and/or stool.
Microbial infections are also a cause for diaper rash, most commonly from Candida. In these instances, the irritated skin has a raised, “beefy” red appearance, with the rash being worse usually around the anus and in the folds of the skin. In these instances, it is particularly important for the caregiver to wash his or her hands before and after changing the baby’s diaper to prevent the spread of these microorganisms to other parts of the baby’s body.
Babies can also develop a diaper rash during introduction to new foods, either by ingesting them directly or through the mother’s breast milk. In this case, the rash generally appears around the anus and resembles a poison oak rash. Always examine your baby’s skin carefully after introducing a new food, and keep in mind that a food sensitivity may not appear until days after the new food’s introduction.
Finally, babies can develop rashes from irritation caused by baby wipes, soaps, detergents, fabric softeners, and other body products. This kind of rash will usually appear on the buttocks and not so much in the skin folds. Always try to use scent-free, hypoallergenic, eco-friendly baby products that are gentler on your baby’s skin.
Generally, diaper rashes last on an average about 3 days. If the rash lasts longer, contact your baby’s pediatrician for further evaluation.