Hundreds of thousands of toddlers have diaper rash: prevent such a sore bottom

Hundreds of thousands of toddlers have diaper rash: prevent such a sore bottom

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Around 300,000 toddlers have diaper rash - especially in eastern Germany

So-called diaper rash is one of the most common skin diseases in infancy. Hundreds of thousands of small children are affected in this country - especially in the east of the country. Specialists explain what parents can do to prevent a sore baby po.

Extrapolation from a current Barmer analysis shows that almost every tenth child in Germany suffers from diaper rash. For example, doctors found inflammation in the area of ​​the diaper region in around 300,000 children between the ages of 0 and 3 in 2018, reports the health insurance company in a statement.

Don't take diaper rash lightly

Infants who are affected by dermatitis cry more often and sleep less when the sore bottom disturbs them. According to the information, around 26,300 small children were affected at Barmer alone, which corresponds to around 9.5 percent of girls and boys in this age group.

“Parents should not take diaper rash lightly. If it is not treated immediately, there is a risk that it will spread over a large area and that medical treatment will become more and more difficult, ”explains Dr. Utta Petzold, dermatologist at Barmer.

As explained in the communication, in severe cases the skin is not only irritated, red and itchy, but can also become infected with bacteria or fungi. Larger blisters could also form with complicated infections. Then there was even a risk of tissue damage.

If the toddler has inflamed skin for a long time, the parents should get advice from the pediatrician or dermatologist to rule out possible secondary infections, says Petzold.

East German toddlers are affected more often

As the analysis also shows, diaper rash is increasingly being diagnosed by doctors in the eastern German states. In 2018, the Barmer-insured children between 0 and 3 years old had 12.4 percent in Brandenburg, 12.0 percent in Saxony-Anhalt, 11.7 percent in Saxony and 10.9 percent in Thuringia in front.

The lowest affected rates were in Hamburg with 6.5 percent, and in Schleswig-Holstein and Hesse with 7.8 percent each.

"The massive regional differences in the appearance of diaper rash cannot be explained medically. The fact that the proportion of young children affected is almost twice as high in some federal states as in others leaves questions unanswered, ”says Petzold.

Tips for parents

Experts advise against using home remedies for diaper rash alone. Instead, antiseptic barrier creams, for example with zinc oxide, are recommended. The healing process can also be supported by chamomile baths.

Prevention is even better than treatment: The professional association of pediatricians (BVKJ) has put together a few tips on the website “” that should help to ensure that a wonderful bottom does not even arise:

  • Change diapers as often as possible (about every two hours for newborns, every three to four hours later).
  • Always remove the diapers immediately after defecation.
  • After each diaper change, clean your buttocks with warm water and dry them gently (e.g. with cotton towels or cotton wool); moist wipes should be avoided because, according to studies, they favor diaper rash.
  • Let the baby kick or crawl naked as often as possible so that there is enough air and light in the bottom.
  • Breastfeeding appears to offer some protection. Among other things, the stool of breastfed babies has a lower pH.

The experts point out that parents should go to the pediatrician with their child early if the buttocks get sore, since this can prevent further spread. In rare cases, another illness can be the cause of the sore bottom. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Barmer: Around 300,000 toddlers have diaper rash - especially east German area countries (accessed: February 11, 2020), Barmer
  • Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ): Windeldermatitis / Windelsoor, (accessed: 11.02.2020),

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