Diaper Rash | Causes & Risk Factors

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What causes diaper rash?

Most diaper rashes are caused by skin irritation. Irritation can be caused by diapers that rub against the skin or fit too tightly. Irritation can also occur if your baby is left in a wet or dirty diaper for a long period of time. Your baby's skin can also be irritated by the soap used to wash cloth diapers, or by some brands of disposable diapers or baby wipes.

Plastic pants that fit over diapers raise the temperature and moisture in the diaper area. Heat and moisture make it easier for diaper rash to start and for germs to grow.

Diaper rash can also develop while the baby is on antibiotics (or if the mother is on antibiotics while breastfeeding).

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 07/13
Created: 01/96

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