Identifying, Treating and Preventing Diaper Rash in Adults

Diaper rash is a common skin problem for those wearing adult protective undergarments. It can be extremely uncomfortable, as anyone experiencing incontinence will know. But there are ways to prevent and treat it so that the discomfort can be managed more easily.

Exploring the different aspects of diaper rash will help you develop an action plan to prevent it from happening again. Learn more about triggers, warning signs, and treatment methods – along with other strategies to help keep your skin healthy and free from irritation while wearing protective underwear.

Whether you’re just beginning or already experiencing symptoms of diaper rash, understanding what it is and how you can prevent or treat, it will help you manage your condition more effectively.

What is Diaper Rash?

Diaper rash is a skin condition common in babies and toddlers due to moisture and bacteria trapped on the skin. However, anyone can experience diaper rash at any age. Most notably, adults wearing protective briefs, pads, or other incontinence aids may also develop it. Less mobile patients are particularly susceptible.

Diaper rash may also be caused by an allergic reaction to an underwear’s material, poor genital hygiene, chronic chafing, or allergic reaction to lubricants and hygiene wipes.

Causes of Diaper Rash in Adults

Understanding what causes a diaper rash to form will help you to prevent it in the future. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Skin irritation: Trapped heat and moisture cause your skin to get irritated.
  • Skin barrier damage: Friction from rubbing wet skin against the diaper and prolonged exposure to chemicals from urine and stool can damage your skin.
  • Improper washing: Improper washing of the genital area may lead to rashes on the area where the diaper is worn.
  • Allergies: Some may be allergic to dyes or perfumes in the diaper material.
  • Yeast infections: Yeast grows in moist, dark, and warm areas, resulting in skin infection.

Other less common causes of diaper rash may be bacterial infections and flare-ups of skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema. Paying attention to any changes in skin appearance or texture is essential.

What Does Diaper Rash Look Like?

The symptoms of diaper rash may vary and depend on severity. It appears mainly on the groin, buttocks, thighs, and hips.

Minor to mild symptoms:

  • Pink patches or spots
  • Patches or spots of dry skin
  • Small, red, and raised bumps that are itchy

Moderate symptoms:

  • Pinkish to bright red rash on larger areas
  • More prominent red and raised bumps
  • Tender and itchy

Severe symptoms:

  • Large skin patches that are bright red and may appear burnt
  • Large bumps or welts that ooze with fluid
  • Extreme burning sensation and itchiness
  • Pain when sitting down or when putting on underwear or clothing

Mild symptoms may worsen if not treated immediately. If you experience the symptoms listed, begin treatment ASAP.

How to Treat a Diaper Rash

Diaper rashes can cause pain and discomfort in the affected area. Following the tips below can help soothe the itchiness, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.

  • Wash the area with warm water and mild soap. Be gentle, especially if the symptoms are severe.
  • After washing the affected area, apply zinc oxide creams, such as Baza or Balmex. You don’t need to wash it off, and make sure to smear it like icing. Alternately, you may choose a moisture-barrier ointment, such as Calmoseptine.
  • If you see signs of skin infection developing, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. Some examples are blisters, pus, or rashes that worsen over time. Other times, diaper rashes occur due to psoriasis or eczema. Ask your doctor for the best solution if you have severe symptoms.


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How Can You Prevent a Diaper Rash?

In most cases, the best way to prevent a diaper rash is by frequently changing your pads or protective underwear. You can practice many other ways to help prevent diaper rash. Here are some tips:

  • Change undergarments as often as necessary: Minimize your skin’s exposure to a soiled undergarment. Prolonged exposure to moisture can cause your skin to chafe and break down.
  • Gently clean the affected area: In between changes, gently cleanse your skin with lukewarm water. You may also use a gentle cleanser, which is less irritating if the area has a rash. If possible, rinse without rubbing.
  • Coat your skin with barrier paste: Using skin protectants, such as barrier paste or petroleum, to coat the area is also essential because it acts as a shield between moisture and the skin. Continue adding more between changes.
  • Keep the area clean: Regular washing with soap and water will remove irritants, debris, and bacteria. For less mobile patients, sponge bath products or no-rinse body wash may be used for everyday bathing.
  • Use non-irritant cleansers or wipes: Choose cleansers and wipes without perfumes, alcohol or dyes. These can easily irritate and cause rashes, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Take Care of Your Skin to Avoid Diaper Rash

A diaper rash can be uncomfortable and painful, so acting quickly is essential. You can always keep your skin in good condition with the tips above. Plus, you’re already prepared and know what to do once you see signs of diaper rashes.

The MEDICAL MONKS STAFF brings to the table decades of combined knowledge and experience in the medical products industry.

Edited for content by ADAM PAGE.

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