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Napkin Dermatitis


What is Napkin Dermatitis?

Diaper rash or napkin dermatitis is the name given to various skin conditions that occur on the skin under a baby’s napkin.

Napkin dermatitis is a common form of contact dermatitis.

It mostly affects the babies between 3-15 months of age who wear traditional cloth nappies. It is seen much less in babies who wear modern breathable nappies which have many layers and soaks more easily than the cloth ones.



Symptoms of Napkin Dermatitis

There are different forms of napkin dermatitis. Some common forms are:

  • Irritant napkin dermatitis: In this type, the rashes have well-defined borders with much swelling, redness, dryness, and scaling. The rashes are present on the areas in contact with the wet napkin while the skin folds are spared.
  • Chafing: Redness and erosion on the skin where the napkin rubs, usually on the waist or thighs.
  • Impetigo: Irregular blisters or pus filled rashes.
  • Psoriasis: Persistent, well-defined, symmetrical, shiny, red and scaly patches. Other sites on the skin may also be involved with a family history of psoriasis.


Causes of Napkin Dermatitis

  • Wet skin leads to colonization of micro organisms which causes damage to the skin.
  • Micro organisms in the feces and urine lead to rashes and discomfort of the skin.
  • Mechanical friction due to limb movements causes more pain and discomfort.
  • Candida albicans can be a reason of fungal infection.
  • Psoriasis
  • Atopic eczema



Diagnosis of Napkin Dermatitis

Skin swabs can be taken to determine whether it is a bacterial or fungal infection.



Self Help

  • Use of modern, multi-layered, disposable napkins rather than using old cloth ones.
  • Keep the skin dry and clean as much as possible.
  • Napkins should be changed from time to time when wet or soiled.
  • Do not use soaps to clean the skin affected as it can lead to more discomfort.
  • Dry gently after washing and let the skin dry for sometime before wearing the napkin.
  • Use of moisturizers may help.


Homeopathic Management of Napkin Dermatitis

Homeopathic medicine will help to reduce the burning, redness, itching pain and inflammation.1 Also since medicines have no side effects, it can be easily used. And also the immunity of the baby will improve thereby making the child healthy and active. The relapses of the condition can be controlled and prevent from sepsis and other complications.



  • Hot Patient
  • Red, hot dry delicate itchy skin esp around anus after passing stool
  • After bath and child gets scared of being washed
  • Child prefers cold water
  • Warmth in general
  • Night, warmth of bed


Hepar Sulph

  • Extremely Chilly Baby
  • Sensitive of being Uncovered
  • Rash gets infected with offensive odor
  • Touch
  • Warmth



  • Red, dry, cracked, itchy Skin
  • Honey like discharge, initially sticky and later becomes crusty
  • Skin Eruption in folds of skin
  • Eczema and skin rashes at other areas too



  • Red shiny skin
  • Child sleeps in knee-chest position
  • Restless child
  • Oversensitive to pain
  • Rash usually caused by candida



  • Skin looks as if scalded or burnt
  • Skin is blistery red, hot, raised and painful
  • Touch, cold water
  • The child may also have urinary tract infection.


Rhus Tox

  • Skin red dry swollen and intensely itchy
  • Tiny blisters are present with clear fluid
  • Warmth and exposure to fresh air
  • Restless child
  • Evening



  • Diarrhoea during dentition which can irritate the anus
  • One cheek red and hot and other pale and cold
  • Peevish child, irritable
  • Restless



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