Why does it get red on the baby’s crotch?3 min read
This is a fairly common question that parents may ask a doctor. Chances are, your baby is having a diaper rash. However, keep calm, it is nothing you did wrong. At least half of the babies have had diaper rash at least once. Having a baby is challenging enough even without adding diaper rash and other common sicknesses to the mix. Diaper rash is a common occurrence in newborns or babies. It is very important for parents to know the symptoms and signs of diaper rash, understand the causes, and what is the treatment for a diaper rash.
What is a diaper rash?
Diaper rash is common in newborns and babies, and there are different causes and symptoms. Diaper rash can come quite suddenly and make the parents and the baby feel miserable. These rashes usually happen due to irritation and moisture from the diaper itself. However, it can also develop due to rubbing or chafing caused by tight diapers or irritation from new or existing skincare products. The common signs and symptoms of a diaper rash are redness, irritation, and tenderness on the buttocks, thighs, and genital area. Most diaper rashes are mild but some can be severe. It can cause red bumps and sometimes causes the skin to crack.
What are the different types of diaper rash?
A lot of parents are not aware that there are different types of diaper rash with different causes and symptoms. This includes
- Irritant contact dermatitis
This condition is caused by wet skin coming into contact with the diaper itself. This form of diaper rash appears as redness and swelling on the baby’s buttock, genital area, and diaper’s borders. If it progresses into severe form, it may cause red bumps that can crack open and bleed. If the skin is cracked, it makes it easier for fungi or bacteria to get into the skin and increases the risk of infection.
- Fungal infections
Candida, a group of fungi, normally live in the skin and diaper area. If they grow in excess, they can cause a painful diaper rash called candidiasis, a yeast infection. The growth of the fungus is mainly due to the warm, moist diaper environment. These rashes are commonly seen in the creases along the legs and around the testicles and vulva of the baby. It can result in large bumps, blisters, and pimple-like spots.
- Allergic contact dermatitis
This condition is caused by certain ingredients or chemicals in a diaper, wipe, skincare product, or detergent. The most common cause of allergic dermatitis is fragrances and preservatives, but other allergens can be the cause too. Repeated exposure to these allergens may end up with a nasty rash. Allergic dermatitis rash are red, shiny, and can happen on the genitals, buttocks, abdomen, thighs, and the creases along the leg.
- Bacterial infections
Bacterial infection of the diaper area especially on the genitals and the buttocks can cause red, swollen, and inflamed skin. Without proper treatment, these infections may spread to other parts of the body and can be life-threatening. Babies with bacterial infections may develop fever and seem sick and it requires treatment with antibiotic creams or ointments. It is best to see a pediatrician or a dermatologist if you suspect your baby to have a bacterial infection.
What is the treatment for diaper rash?
If you realize your baby has symptoms of diaper rash, there are a few steps that you can take to soothe the skin and promote healing. The followings can be done if your baby has a diaper rash:
- Frequent diapers change to prevent baby sitting in moisture.
- Choose diapers that fit well.
- Dry the baby thoroughly before putting on a new diaper and before applying diaper rash ointment.
- Diaper rash cream containing zinc oxide or petroleum jelly should be used.
- If the rash does not improve, try changing diaper brands.
- Unscented diaper wipes should be used or use wet washcloths to clean the baby
Most cases of diaper rash will go away on their own. If these steps do not resolve the rash, you should bring your baby to see a doctor. A doctor can prescribe medication and offer advice on your baby’s condition.