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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2013 May;29(5):617-23. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e31828e9b7f.

Is there a relationship between hygiene practices and skin and soft tissue infections in diapered children?

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Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA.



The perineal and gluteal regions are the most frequent areas of skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) in diapered children. No studies have investigated the relationship between perineal and general hygiene practices and SSTIs in this population. This study was conducted to evaluate this relationship.


A cross-sectional observational study was conducted in an urban pediatric emergency department. Subjects were recruited into 3 study groups as follows: gluteal/perineal SSTIs (SSTI), diaper dermatitis (DD), or healthy normal skin (NS). Survey responses were analyzed for significance followed by a clinically oriented staged regression to model predictors of SSTI compared with the NS and DD groups.


There were 100 subjects in the SSTI, 206 in the NS, and 151 in the DD groups. Race was the only demographic characteristic that differed between the groups. After adjustment for race, no day care attendance, history of SSTI, household contact with SSTI history, and higher propensity for diaper rash were associated with SSTI compared with NS. Regression results comparing SSTI to DD revealed no day care attendance, history of SSTI, household contact with SSTI history, less sensitive skin, and less diaper cream use to be predictors of SSTI.


Perineal and general hygiene practices were not significantly different between children with SSTI compared with children with NS or DD. Based on the results of this study, further prospective studies should evaluate diaper hygiene practices that prevent DD and subsequent SSTIs, the preventative role of day care attendance, and effective interventions that minimize the risk of recurrent SSTIs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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