What is Diaper Rash?

New Parents
Jun 14, 2023

If your baby’s skin is suddenly red or irritated in the diaper area, it’s most likely a diaper rash. But what is diaper rash? What does it look like? And most importantly, what causes it? Read on to get all those questions answered.

First things first: Know your baby’s skin

During the first weeks after your baby’s born, you spend a lot of time getting to know this little stranger – and we advise you also to get to know your baby’s skin. No two babies are alike, and neither is their skin. Some babies have silky-soft skin from birth, some have sensitive skin, while others may experience dry skin or eczema.

The condition of your baby’s skin has a lot to do with genetics, but the products you use for your baby are of great importance too. Babies’ skin reacts differently to diapers, heat, contact with urine/feces, and even skin care products, and how prone your baby’s skin is to diaper rash varies too.

What is a diaper rash?

To treat or entirely prevent diaper rash, knowing what causes the condition is essential. Diaper rash is often seen as an irritation in the diaper area. It’s caused by a combination of heat, friction, and contact with moisture (urine and feces). These four factors all irritate your baby’s delicate skin, and the skin’s protective layer can become unbalanced, red, and broken.

Diaper rash can vary in size, shape, and severity, and a lot of different factors play a role in how your baby will be affected by this type of rash, such as; your baby’s skin, the food they eat, the kind of diaper you use, how often you change the diaper, and especially the skin care products you use.

 

laughing baby lying on protective mat

 

What does a diaper rash look like?

When your baby’s skin becomes red it’s a sign that something is wrong, but what does a diaper rash actually look like? A diaper rash is often seen in irritated, red, flat areas or changes to your baby’s skin with a smooth and “shiny” surface. In more severe cases, the skin can start oozing or develop into a wound with blisters. Luckily, there are several things you can do to treat your baby’s diaper rash, such as keeping a close eye on your baby’s skin condition and using the right diapers, skin care products, and routines.

How does a diaper rash occur?

Diaper rash can develop really quickly, especially if your baby’s skin has been in contact with urine and feces for too long. But it can also happen if the skin becomes too warm, the diapers you use are non-breathable, or the material irritates the skin.

Diaper rash is more common in babies than toddlers since a baby’s immune system is not yet fully developed, and the skin is still young and fragile. Therefore, the younger your baby is, the greater the risk of diaper rash or skin irritations.

 

Mom changing baby's diaper on changing stations

 

Choose the correct diaper and skin care

From the moment your baby is born, you put that cute little baby bum in a diaper, and in the years to come, your baby will wear diapers almost 24/7; all the more reason to pay extra attention to choosing a good diaper! A good baby diaper is made of soft and breathable materials that are safe for your baby’s skin. When choosing a breathable and skin-friendly diaper, you ensure a comfortable temperature between your baby’s skin and the diaper so that the skin sweats as little as possible. It is also important that the diaper absorbs urine and moisture from feces quickly so that your baby’s skin stays dry even after multiple urinations. Dry skin in the diaper area is key to preventing diaper rash.

In addition to choosing a good diaper, finding the right skincare products to help keep your baby’s skin healthy is also very important. See more about choosing safe and natural skin care in this blog post. (Skin-care what to look and look out for)

 
You should always consult your doctor if you are worried or in doubt about the kind of rash your baby has or if the red area is blistering or bleeding.