The term "rash," though often used by patients and clinicians alike, is a very general term that explains a number of different skin conditions. Rashes can be caused by a variety of factors including exposure to environmental agents, allergies, viruses, reaction to drugs and medications, and pests like lice or the scabies mite. While most rashes are not serious and last only a few hours to a day or two, some skin outbreaks can be indicators of life threatening conditions and it is important to understand the characteristics of these rashes.
Diaper rash is a common form of inflamed skin (dermatitis) commonly linked to continuously wet or infrequently changed diapers, diarrhea, and using plastic pants to cover diapers. Diaper rash also may develop after solid foods are added to your baby's diet, when breast-feeding mothers eat certain foods or when your baby is taking antibiotics.