Baby is allergic to diapers: what should I do?
Is your baby's bottom red and irritated ? It is common for babies to have skin reactions. The most common being the famous diaper rash. Baby's skin is very fragile and even if most of the time it is a benign reaction due to viruses or bacteria, it can sometimes be an allergy.
What are the causes of a diaper allergy?
Allergies to diapers are not actually related to the diaper itself, but rather to the chemicals they contain.
In January 2019, the ANSES (the national agency for health security of food, environment and work) had published a report showing the presence of harmful agents in many references of disposable diaper models.
Although an allergy can create discomfort for the child and cause redness and rashes, diaper allergy is not considered a childhood illness. However, diseases such as eczema or asthma can have side effects that resemble an allergy.
What substances are we talking about?
We find petroleum derivatives, glyphosate, PCBs and dioxins. All these substances are extremely toxic for humans, and even more so for babies who have very fragile and sensitive skin. For this reason, it is very important to choose the right diapers for your little one, to get information about the composition. Also consult the toxicological analysis reports. If the analyses are not readily available, it is not a good sign.
How to recognize an allergy to baby diapers?
An allergy is when the immune system overreacts to foreign substances in the body, called allergens. There are several types of allergies (food, respiratory, drug and contact) that cause allergic reactions resulting in inflammatory reactions, often local.
Allergy to diapers can develop in the case of prolonged contact with the diaper. Inflammatory skin reactions (redness, itching, hot and painful skin) can have multiple origins and are sometimes difficult to identify. If babies develop allergies easily, it is interesting to know how to recognize them.
Redness, irritation and itching
If you change your baby's diaper and notice that he or she has redness on several areas such as the buttocks, stomach, lower back or thighs that are not usual, it may be an allergy.
With a disposable diaper allergy, you may also notice itching and irritation. Irritation can be in the form of skin lesions.
Itching can easily make your baby nervous and irritable. It can make your baby wake up at night, cry when being changed or touched , etc.
If the redness and skin lesions ooze, become infected and are accompanied by itching, it may be a mycosis, candidiasis (infection by a fungus), or impetigo (caused by a bacterium).
Scales and red patches
Next, you can recognize an allergy by the presence of red patches or scales on your little one's skin. The skin may become sore, swollen and hot.
If the red patches are itchy and the skin looks rough, it may be eczema. On the other hand, if the red patches are associated with scales without itching, it would be more like psoriasis of the diaper. It is a skin inflammation due to an excessive renewal of the cells of the epidermis. The keratinocytes (cells that renew themselves) do not have enough time to eliminate themselves, which causes an accumulation of scales.
Papules, vesicles and pustules
Finally, small pimples such as papules, blisters (vesicles) or pustules (whitish pimples containing pu) are also symptomatic of a diaper allergy.
At what age can a baby develop an allergy?
All children can be prone to allergies. However, they react differently to toxic products, to a greater or lesser extent.
Children born prematurely and children with naturally dry or atopic skin are more likely to develop skin allergies.
How can you tell the difference between an allergy and a diaper rash?
L'diaper rash is an irritation of the skin due to prolonged contact with baby's urine or stool.
It presents itself in the form of redness, the appearance of small pimples and shiny patches. These symptoms appear in the area covered by the diaper: the buttocks, genitals and upper thighs.
To avoid diaper rash, you should change your child's diaper regularly, as soon as he or she has urinated or had a bowel movement, approximately every 3 to 4 hours. Also remember to air your baby's bottom several times a day for a few minutes.
What should I do if I have an allergy to diapers?
If you observe symptoms identical to those indicated above in the article, go to the pediatrician to know the cause of these irritations and to avoid confusing allergy and other pathologies.
You can also consult an allergist to determine more precisely the components of the diaper responsible for the irritation. In case of diaper rash, do not use liniment, the basic pH of the lime water contained in liniment can accentuate the redness.
Change the brand of diaper
The first thing to do is to change the brand of diaper so that baby's skin is no longer in contact with the allergen in question. The recommendations in terms of diapers to be preferred are :
- Diapers without perfume or lotion;
- With latex-free elastics;
- If there are prints on the diaper, the ink must be solvent-free;
- Bleached according to the TCF (Total Chlorine Free) method;
- Made from organic materials to ensure no pesticides are used;
- No moisture indicator.
Beware of mentions such as "dermatologically tested" or "hypoallergenic", these are in fact mandatory mentions that do not guarantee that the diaper is healthy for your child.
We recommend that you choose ecological or organic disposable diapers. They use natural materials, some biodegradable, do not add perfumes, do not contain endocrine disruptors or harmful agents. The training pants are also a perfect alternative to disposable diapers. In addition to saving money, you'll keep your baby dry and help him or her potty train like a big kid!
If you use cloth diapers, an allergy can be triggered by the use of certain materials but also by certain detergents and fabric softeners that contain irritating substances that can cause redness.
Preventing allergies with regular diaper changes
To avoid irritation, diaper rash, allergies or any other inconvenience, it is essential to change your baby regularly. You should change your baby's diaper after each feeding and as soon as the diaper is full of stool. Prolonged contact between the stool and baby's skin causes maceration and the acidity of the stool and urine can irritate the skin.
We also advise you touse organic and natural hygiene products. Favour the liniment which is excellent for preventing irritation. It moisturizes and protects your baby's fragile skin.
Get a cream from a doctor
In case of allergy or if the redness doesn't go away, your doctor will prescribe a zinc oxide-based cream. This helps to treat the allergy or diaper rash because of the healing properties of the cream, which should be applied to the lesions in sufficient quantity.
The FAQ of diaper allergy
How to treat an allergy to baby diapers?
To prevent diaper rash, you should change your baby regularly. If you notice symptoms of a diaper allergy, change your diaper brand to avoid exposing your baby to the allergen. Visit your doctor so that he or she can prescribe a zinc oxide cream to relieve the sores.
How do I know if my baby is out of diapers?
If you notice redness, red patches, pimples, irritation, itching in the area around the bottom, nervousness, irritability, crying and waking up at night, it may be an allergy.
Can an allergy cause breech dermatitis?
To prevent the allergy from getting worse, make an appointment with your pediatrician or doctor quickly. He or she will be able to determine the origin of the irritation.
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