What Is Irritant diaper dermatitis?
Irritant diaper dermatitis is the term used for rashes on the skin covered by a diaper that causes various irritants or skin disorders. Irritant diaper dermatitis occurs in infants that are in contact with faeces and urine for long periods. It usually occurs as an inflamed, reddish patch on the skin of the buttocks.
What Are The Symptoms Of Irritant diaper dermatitis?
Symptoms of irritant diaper dermatitis are:
- Rashes due to a diaper usually appear on an infant’s or a young child’s skin that resembles red and shiny patches with pimple-like spots. These rashes most commonly appear on the areas covered by the diaper that includes genitalia, upper thighs, and buttocks. On touching the skin, it may appear to be warm. However, there is no change in the creases and folds of the skin.
- Other symptoms include complaining and crying of an infant or a young child when his/her skin is touched or cleaned during a diaper change. There is also an indication of an infection that occurs in the form of red patches in the folds or creases of the skin. Infection signs are also likely to appear when severe reddish swelling with blisters and pus starts showing up at the rash area. Another thing to note is that the rash does not go beyond the region covered by a diaper.
What Are The Causes Of Irritant diaper dermatitis?
A number of causes are present for irritant diaper dermatitis to occur. Some of them are:
- Skin contact with urine and faeces: A young child or infant’s skin is prone to get irritated on exposure to faeces and urine. If the moisture formation due to the faeces and urine contact with the skin, it leads to irritation and damage to the skin. Moreover, the enzymes in the faeces are also harmful to the skin and can lead to more chances of a diaper rash. Ammonia that is found in the urine is also responsible for worsening the skin condition that is already inflamed and irritated by a rash.
- Bottle feeding: Another cause of irritant diaper dermatitis is feeding milk to the infant with a bottle instead of breast feeding. Bottle milk is more likely to cause stools in babies of a larger volume that can lead to irritation to the skin.
- Rubbing of skin with diaper: Diapers that are fitted tightly tend to cause a diaper rash more often. The skin is more prone to such rashes when the skin is wet. Moreover, skin rubbing against skin within the folds in the diaper region is also prone to develop irritant diaper dermatitis.
- Various skin conditions: Diaper rashes are also caused due to skin conditions that are already affecting the infant or child. These include atopic dermatitis, eczema, etc.
- Exposure to chemicals: An infant’s bottom is quite gentle, which is why exposure or contact with common chemicals that are usually found in baby products can lead to skin irritation and an eventually rash.
- Use of antibiotics: Bacteria that is good for controlling yeast infections is usually destroyed by the use of antibiotics. Consumption of antibiotics by a mother who is breastfeeding may also affect the baby with a skin infection like irritant diaper dermatitis.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Irritant diaper dermatitis?
- It is advisable to expose the rash area to the air often.
- Make the baby nap on an open cloth diaper or burp rag.
- Use oat meal baths for the infant that can help curtail the pain due to the skin rash.
- Change diapers as frequently as possible.
- Before every diaper change, it is advisable to wash the bottom of the child with warm water.
- Use diapers for the child that offer a comfortable fit.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Irritant diaper dermatitis?
- Do not rub the area as it is very sensitive to friction and can lead to more irritation.
- It is advisable to avoid products that have chemicals in them as these can react with the skin.
- Do not even ignore a rash that has been present for a longer time. Consult a doctor immediately if the skin does not heal up.
- Do not apply any type of cream to the diaper rash without doctor’s advice.
- Do not use plastic diaper pants for the baby as it locks the moisture inside leading to more infection.
What Are The Best Foods For Irritant diaper dermatitis?
Babies that have issues of diaper rash need to follow the following food diet:
- BRAT Diet: The BRAT diet, where BRAT is the acronym for Bread, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast, is a traditional way of dealing with diarrhoea in infants. As diarrhoea is the main reason for a diaper rash, so curing it can help reduce chances of a rash to form.
- Starch Diet: For infants, starch is easier to digest, which is why a starch-rich diet is prudent for them to add solidity to the stool – hence, letting diarrhoea dry up quicker. Such foods include pasta, rice, potato, plantain, etc.
- Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables offer a number of healthy nutrients including vitamins and minerals that help in the development of the baby. However, it is important that these foods are not hard to digest. Such foods include apple, pear, banana, green beans, broccoli, spinach, carrots, avocado, pear, etc.
What Are The Worst Foods For Irritant diaper dermatitis?
Foods that are not suitable for babies when experiencing irritant diaper dermatitis are:
- Acidic foods: Acidic foods are one of the main reasons for the cause of rashes on a baby’s skins. So, it is prudent to avoid such foods that hinder the healing mechanism of the skin from a diaper rash. These include Strawberries, tomatoes, grapes, pineapples, raisins, spaghetti sauce, fruity tarts, etc.
- Protein-rich diet: Diaper rashes are sensitive to protein diets. Moreover, protein generates a lot of heat on consumption, leading to more chances of rashes. It is advisable to keep protein diet in a limit. Foods to avoid are legumes, beans, soy, dairy products, wheat etc. until the time the symptoms subside.
What Are The Medicines For Irritant diaper dermatitis?
What Are The Tips To Manage Irritant diaper dermatitis?
- Keep the baby free of pants and diapers as much as possible.
- Always keep the area as dry as possible.
- Consult a doctor if the rash stays for a long period.