Dermatitis associated with diaper wearing in infants may be multifactorial. Goals for prevention are to keep the infant clean and dry without exposure to irritants.


Synonyms: irritant diaper dermatitis, napkin dermatitis, nappy dermatitis, diaper rash



(1) irritation associated urine and feces

(2) chemical irritation from soaps or irritants used to treat diapers or solutions used to clean the infant

(3) colonization by bacteria and/or Candida species, associated with a moist environment

(4) skin breakdown associated chronically moist environment and local abrasions


Preventive measures:

(1) Change diapers frequently.

(2) Nondisposable diapers should be washed in a nonirritating soap and rinsed well.

(3) Do not use rubber or plastic cover pants.

(4) Clean the diaper area each time diapers are changed, using mineral oil or soap substitute on a soft cloth. The area should be allowed to dry before rediapering.

(5) Avoid ointments or alcohol containing baby wipes that may be irritating to the skin.

(6) Keep the child out of diapers as long as possible during the day.


Therapeutic interventions (in conjunction with preventive measures):

(1) Topical low-potency corticosteroids

(2) Anticandidal agents for Candida colonization


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