ABC Medical Center > Diaper rash

What is Diaper rash?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is an inflammatory skin condition that produces a reddish rash in the area covered by the diaper, especially on the buttocks, genitals, groin, and upper thighs.

This condition is caused mainly by contact with wet diapers and their friction with the skin. Its degree of intensity depends on the level of sensitivity of the baby’s or adult’s skin since anyone who uses a diaper regularly is susceptible to this type of dermatitis.

It is usually annoying and can become a source of concern for parents because its appearance can be shocking in severe cases. However, it can usually be eradicated by following hygiene recommendations, constant diaper changes, periods without a diaper, and the use of medicinal creams and ointments.

Common causes of diaper rash include:

  • Extended contact with urine and feces.
  • Diaper friction with the skin.
  • Antibiotic treatments.
  • Infectious processes by fungi or bacteria.
  • Allergic reactions to new foods.
  • Cutaneous hypersensitivity.
  • Use of products that cause irritation such as soaps, cleaning towels, oils, or others.
  • Too tight diapers.

Signs and symptoms Diaper rash

  • Reddish rash.
  • In men, reddish scaling of the scrotal and penile skin.
  • In women, reddish scaling on the vulva and vagina.
  • Rashes.
  • Pimples.
  • Blisters.
  • Purulent ulcers.
  • Intense red spots.

Diagnosis and treatment Diaper rash

For the pediatrician, the diagnosis is simple through the physical examination of the affected area, and depending on the type of lesions, they will determine if there is an infection or if the cause of the dermatitis is of another nature.

The main recommendation is to maintain strict hygiene for the baby, drying his or her skin carefully to avoid long periods of humidity.

If there is no improvement, or if signs of a fungal or bacterial infection are detected, the pediatrician will prescribe:

  • Steroid cream or gel.
  • Antifungal cream in case of fungal infection.
  • Topical application of antibiotics, or if the bacterial infection is more serious, they will be combined with oral antibiotics.

If dermatitis becomes recurrent or the symptoms worsen, your pediatrician will refer you to a dermatologist to assess the condition and develop a more specialized treatment.

At the Pediatrics Center, we provide specialized care to our small patients from birth to adulthood, through our pediatric, oncology, neurology, and cardiology services at the level of the best medical centers in the world.


  • Torres GA, del Río YMB, Machado FG, et al. Dermatitis del pañal por pañales desechables, ¿solución o problema? Presentación de un caso. Mediciego. 2016;22(4):48-53.
  • Aviña FJA. Dermatitis en la zona del pañal: las barreras protectoras de los pañales desechables como factor causal. Rev Mex Pediatr. 2001;68(6):237-240.
  • Sáez-de-Ocariz M, Orozco-Covarrubias L, Greenawalt-Rodríguez S. Abordaje clínico y manejo integral de la dermatitis irritativa por pañal. Acta Pediatr Mex. 2017;38(6):427-432.
  • Juan Alva-Valdez, Leticia Ruiz-González, Leonora Albor-Olivera, et al. Estudio comparativo de oxiéster de glicerol vs óxido de zinc en el tratamiento de la dermatitis del área del pañal. Bol Med Hosp Infant Mex. 2007;64(1):35-42.

How can we help you?

    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.