The effects of wearing diapers on skin

Pediatr Dermatol. 1986 Feb;3(2):95-101. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.1986.tb00497.x.


Wearing dry and wet cloth and disposable diaper materials has certain effects on the degree of skin wetness. These, in turn, affect the coefficient of skin friction, the skin's susceptibility to abrasion damage, its permeability, and its support of microbial growth. These effects were explored using an adult model wearing forearm patches. The adult model was validated by comparisons of skin wetness and friction values for infants and adults determined under similar conditions. Skin wetness was proportional to diaper wetness. With increased skin wetness, there were increased coefficients of friction and increased abrasion damage, skin permeability, and microbial growth. Cloth diaper material produced wetter skin than did disposable diaper material at equivalent loadings.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clothing*
  • Gossypium / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Permeability
  • Polyesters / metabolism
  • Skin Absorption
  • Skin Tests
  • Skin* / metabolism
  • Skin* / microbiology
  • Time Factors
  • Urine


  • Polyesters