Diaper rash is a common issue in babies and toddlers who wear diapers or pullups. Diaper rash is the most common type of contact dermatitis, which is a rash due to an allergic response or skin irritation. Diaper rash usually affects the areas that are most frequently covered by the diaper. Types of diaper rash include irritant dermatitis, allergic dermatitis, candida dermatitis, and bacterial dermatitis.

So What Causes the Different Types of Diaper Rash?

Wet Diapers:  Irritant dermatitis is the most common type of diaper rash, and is commonly caused by the diapers. The wetness from urine and stool in the diaper begin to irritate the delicate skin, and redness and swelling usually occur. In this case, a diaper rash ointment is absolutely necessary.

Allergic Reactions to Products:  Allergic dermatitis occurs when the skin is exposed to other factors that cause a skin reaction. The cause of this type of diaper rash can be due to the wipes, creams, lotions, and/or soaps being used on the baby's skin. The chemicals and materials used to make the diapers can also be the culprit. The fragrances and chemicals in these products can be harsh on a baby's gentle skin. Redness and swelling occur on the baby's bottom, but signs of the infection may present anywhere that you are using the irritating product. So, if the diaper rash is due to a soap being used, and you use the soap on the baby's entire body, you may see symptoms on other areas the skin as well.

Yeast: The overgrowth of yeast, or a yeast infection is the cause of diaper rash due to candida dermatitis. The warm, moist environment within the diaper is the perfect environment for candida, or yeast, to grow. There is a small amount of candida that is normal for the body to have, but an overgrowth of candida can cause an imbalance, leading to bad diaper rash. The symptoms include redness and swelling as well as diaper rash blisters, pimples, sores, or ulcers in the affected areas.

Bacterial Infection: Bacterial dermatitis is usually due to exposure to bacteria, or a bacterial infection. Staph infections and strep infections are the most common causes. This type of diaper rash can occur when the skin is already irritated and the baby's skin is left vulnerable to an infection. The baby may already have diaper rash due to another cause, and they are more vulnerable to a bacterial infection. Blisters, pus-filled bumps, itching, and redness are common on the affected areas. Other symptoms include blood in the stool or pain while passing stools.

Since there are so many types of diaper rash, you may be wondering how to get rid of diaper rash.

Several methods and techniques can be used to treat the symptoms. You should see a doctor if you have tried these or other methods and they were not successful. Prescribed medications may be necessary.

  • Change Diapers Often: It is important for the child's diaper to be changed and replaced often. Wearing a soiled diaper is not good for the child and definitely increases the likeliness of diaper rash occurring.
  • Try a Different Diaper: Reducing contact with the diaper or other irritant can heal diaper rash. Sometimes simply changing the brand of diapers or rash prevention can help. Creams, ointments, sprays, and powders are available to heal or help prevent diaper rash.  Test different ones.
  • Create a Barrier: Using a barrier between the skin and diaper can help to heal and alleviate symptoms. There are also products available to help keep the skin dry, eliminating an environment where moisture can thrive. Diapers, wipes, and other products are available fragrance and chemical free, and made with natural materials.
  • Go Commando: A popular alternative method is keeping the child out of diapers when it's possible, like in the home environment. Even 10 minutes can be enough to dry out the area.
  • Try a Spray: Of all the options, a diaper rash spray may be most beneficial.  A spray provides protection from the irritants and is an excellent diaper rash treatment for your baby. It is also painless to the baby since unlike creams or ointments, no extra touching is involved. Severe diaper rash can be painful to the child, and using a spray will make it so you don't have to touch the affected area.

It is important to note that diaper rash is usually not due to neglect on the parents' part. In fact, anyone regardless of age is susceptible to diaper rash, if they are wearing diapers often. Anyone wearing diapers, should be using a barrier to protect the skin and prevent diaper rash with every change. It's important to understand the causes and ways to heal and eliminate diaper rash.