I have decided that once every two weeks I will cover a topic on babies. I decided to do this for two reasons. First of all we all know what great treasures babies are. They are cure, innocent, require our full attention, they are the next generation of our families and our society and an extension of our life into the future. The second reason is that I really enjoyed my clinical rotations in pediatrics and cherished seeing a big smile on mom and dad’s face when their baby was happy and healthy. I have decided to begin this journey of baby topics by talking about diaper rash. This is a very common condition, very unpleasant to the baby, and surprisingly, easily prevented.
So what is diaper rash? Well from the visual point of view it is the reddening of the skin in the diaper area. It causes itching and substantial discomfort to the baby. The major cause is prolonged wetness in the area when the diaper is left for too long or when the skin is not allowed to dry during the process of changing the diaper. The prolonged wetness makes the skin softer and the presence of urine raises the pH (i.e. making the environment more basic as opposed to more acidic), which activates certain enzymes in fecal material called proteases and lipases. These enzymes start breaking down the skin surface which is now even more susceptible due to its softness and natural thinness. The result is the rash, which is itchy and at times painful, especially when friction occurs between the baby’s skin and a new diaper…..Read more…..