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Diaper performance: maintenance of healthy skin

P A Wilson, M J Dallas
Pediatric Dermatology 1990, 7 (3): 179-84
Skin wetness is proportional to diaper wetness, and with increased skin wetness, the potential for diaper dermatitis is increased. This study evaluated a wide range of infant diaper products. Eighty healthy volunteers wore 2-inch wetted diaper patches on their volar forearm for two hours. An evaporimeter was used to measure excess skin wetness attributed to the patches. The amount of moisture retained in the patch was also calculated. We found that superabsorbent (SA) disposable diapers kept the skin drier and retained more synthetic urine than cloth reusable and conventional disposable brands, and thus have the greatest potential for helping prevent diaper dermatitis. The SA brands evaluated did an equally adequate job in keeping the skin dry and in retaining moisture. Conventional disposable diapers were less able to keep the skin dry than SA diapers and were not superior to cloth products in most instances. Cloth diapers' performance depended on their composition. Those with several layers of the same fabric were less successful in keeping the skin dry than ones that contained middle layers of different nonwoven components.

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