Diaper rash is skin inflammation on a diaper region. The condition may have a different etiology but it is mostly due to skin irritation. Other dermatoses can also appear in diaper region such as seborrheic dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, psoriasiform dermatitis and skin infections caused by fungi, usually genus Candida albicans. However, some systemic diseases also may be accompanied with diaper rash. Diagnostic tests and examination by dermatologists are often needed in case of long-term inflammatory skin changes.
Approximately 2/3 of children at the time of wearing diapers develop some form of diaper rash, with the highest incidence between 9 to 12 months of age. Children that breastfeed are less likely susceptible to this condition. In some children, diaper rashes are more common in time of teething or in the first six months after breast-feeding and starting a mixed diet.
Given the fact that the diaper region is a cross region and it is under permanent occlusion, it is often wet and damp and because of that it’s surface skin layer swells and increases the friction. As diaper moves along with child skin damage occurs eventually. Initially redness of varying intensity is present, usually on gluteal region, genital area and lower abdomen with groin usually being spared. If inflammation and friction lasts longer, blisters appear, erosions or sores, and eventually peeling and dryness. In addition, skin is often in this phase secondarily infected by fungus of the genus Candida.