You may think the term diaper rash suggests something (and something only): a rash (i.e., reddish skin irritation) in the diaper area (i.e., your baby’s delicious derriere). But diaper rash can in fact take on all shapes, tones, and sizes, and spread to other parts of the body too, depending upon what kind it is.
For instance, some diaper rashes only develop in the folds of the skin, around the anus, or where the diaper itself causes chafing. Some diaper rashes are pale red, some brilliant red, and a few come with yellow scales or blisters. The most typical kind of diaper rash is red and raw– the result of your baby’s tender nether regions spending too much time in a damp and unventilated environment– and can easily be treated with a little air and barrier ointment. Other type of diaper rash might require a doctor’s attention (and a prescription for antibiotics or antifungal cream).
Causes and treatments of redness and rash around baby’s anus
Not everyone in the medical community settles on what distinguishes one diaper rash from another (and possibly it does not matter, considered that many are more bothersome to parents than to baby, and all are completely treatable), but here’s a standard summary:
Chafing dermatitis. Also called friction rash, this is the most typical form of diaper rash, makings its mark as redness wherever the diaper rubs against the skin (around the legs, for example, hips, and belly button, in addition to the bum and genital areas, anus). Chafing dermatitis is apt to come and go, causing baby little discomfort. It can be easily treated– and sometimes even avoided– with diaper cream, frequent diaper changes, and a looser fitting diaper (think about increasing a size if the fit is too tight, and go simple on those tabs, Mom!)
Candidal dermatitis. This tender, deep-red rash is caused by Candida, a yeast-like fungus. (In other words, a yeast infection. And yes, boys can get it too!) It appears in the creases between the abdomen and around your baby’s anus area and can spread from there. Children who are on antibiotics are susceptible to yeast infections, which can be cured with antifungal cream.
Perianal dermatitis. This looks like inflammation around the rectum and is usually caused by alkaline (a high pH aspect) in your baby’s stools. If your baby is formula-fed and/or has actually begun solids, diet can often be a culprit (this skin condition is unusual in breast-fed babies). Depending on the severity, treatment can be as easy as a diet change (less fruit, maybe) coupled with a diaper ointment.
Intertrigo. This type of rash is caused by the rubbing of skin on skin, often at the deep folds between the thigh (around anus) and lower abdominal areas. In can often ooze white or yellow-colored pus, and it might sting when urine touches it (causing your youngster to cry each time she or he pees). Usually, a hydrocortisone cream, either prescription or over the counter, is the remedy.
Atopic dermatitis. This itchy rash, also known as eczema, often shows up as red scaly spots in other parts of the body first. It can spread to the legs, anus and groin area when a child is in between 6 and 12 months. Causes of infant eczema include irritants, irritants, or genetic aspects. Treatment is generally a hydrocortisone cream.
Impetigo. This rash, which can take place anywhere on the body, including baby’s anus, is caused by bacteria (streptococci or staphylococci). In the diaper area, it shows up in two different forms: Bullous has large, thin-walled blisters that burst, leaving a thin, yellow-brown crust; nonbullous has thick, yellow, crusted scabs and a great deal of surrounding redness. The treatment is usually a prescription antibiotic.