Diaper dermatitis in Lithuania: prevalence, methods of prevention and treatment and parents’ knowledge

Neringa Borodičaitė1, Gabija Jasionytė1, Inga Kisielienė2,3

1Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine

2Clinic of Infectious Diseases and Dermatovenereology, Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine

3Children’s Hospital, Affiliate of Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos


Background: Diaper dermatitis (DD) is a common irritant contact dermatitis in the perineal area. It develops after prolonged contact with urine and faeces.

Aim of the study: To identify the incidence and parents’ knowledge of DD.

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was performed. The questions were designed to collect sociodemographic data and assess parents’ knowledge (maximum 15 points).

Results: 739 parents participated in the study. DD occurred in 200 (27.1%) children – 90 (45.0%) girls and 110 (55.0%) boys. 101 (50.5%) children had DD more than once. Recurrence of DD was significantly more frequent in girls than boys (58.9% vs. 43.6%, respectively, p = 0.021). The average age for developing DD was 4.69 ± 3.96 months. In most cases general practitioners (31.5%), paediatricians (24.0%) and dermatovenereologists (4.0%) were visited; 40.5% parents did not seek medical attention. 309 (41.8%) respondents said they had insufficient knowledge about DD. 145 (19.6%) parents’ knowledge was evaluated as unsatisfactory. There was no significant difference of knowledge between parents whose children had DD and those whose children did not (p = 0.777), but younger parents (< 30 years) showed better results than the older ones (≥  30 years) (10,1 vs. 9,8, respectively, p = 0.052).

Conclusions: In Lithuania, 27% of children develop DD, predominantly at the age of 4-5 months. DD tends to reoccur in girls. Low usage of barrier ointment is associated with a higher incidence of DD. Parents, especially those over the age of 30, lack knowledge about DD. More effective educational measures are needed to reduce the incidence of the disease.

Keywords: parental education, parents’ knowledge, diaper dermatitis.