What medical or nutritional history is relevant in diaper dermatitis?

Updated: Oct 16, 2020
  • Author: Ruchir Agrawal, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Children with a previous medical history of eczema or atopic dermatitis may be more susceptible to diaper dermatitis. Cloth diapers and less frequent changes also increase the risk. [13]

Nutritional history may also be an important factor to consider in diaper dermatitis. A biotin-poor diet, such as occurs with elemental formula alone, may result in perioral erythema, developmental delay, loss of hair, and hypotony (in addition to diaper dermatitis). Lack of zinc-binding ligands in the intestine, such as in the autosomal recessive disorder acrodermatitis enteropathica, may result in a triad of hair loss, dermatitis, and diarrhea. Generally, a decrease in zinc in the diet may be associated with relative alopecia and diaper dermatitis. One study found the lowest levels of zinc in the hair of infants aged 8 months. [14] Low serum zinc level testing should be repeated for laboratory error. Zinc deficiency is easily treated with oral supplements. [15]

Another factor to consider in a child's medical history is the immune status; patients who are immunocompromised are more susceptible to infections by C albicans and other bacterial superinfections. [16]

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