Disposable nappies for preventing napkin dermatitis in infants

  • Review
  • Intervention




Napkin dermatitis is a common condition that occurs in otherwise healthy infants. It causes discomfort to infants, anxiety to parents and caregivers and contributes to the load on the health care system. A large variety of napkins, both disposable and non-disposable, are available. Evidence is required to assist carers and health care workers in making informed decisions when balancing the pros and cons of different napkin choices.


To Assess whether disposable napkins prevent napkin dermatitis in infants.

Search methods

We searched the Skin Group Specialised Register (up to June 2003), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials in (The Cochrane Library, Issue 3, 2004), MEDLINE (from 1966 to November 2004), EMBASE (from 1980 to February 2003) and CINAHL (from 1982 to November 2004). We searched reference lists of articles. We contacted lead investigators in the area and companies that manufacture disposable napkins for access to unpublished trials.

Selection criteria

Randomised controlled trials in which disposable napkins were compared with other types of disposable napkins or non-disposable napkins, in infants up to two years of age, for preventing napkin dermatitis.

Data collection and analysis

Two authors independently extracted data. The same two authors independently assessed trials for methodological quality. Attempts were made to contact trial authors of the trials identified for clarification of methods and results of published trials.

Main results

We identified 28 studies of the effects of various napkin types on napkin dermatitis. Seventeen studies from nine reports were included. Eleven studies were excluded due to methodology that did not fit the inclusion criteria of this review. Due to the poor reporting of methodology and results of the studies found in this review, there were no quantitative data available for analysis (or meta-analysis). Although the included studies appeared to favour cellulose-core disposable napkins over cloth, absorbent gelling material over cellulose-only core napkins, breathable outer shell over occlusive outer shell napkins and linings impregnated with formulations over plain linings, all of these studies were open to bias due to flawed methodology.

Authors' conclusions

There is not enough evidence from good quality randomised controlled trials to support or refute the use and type of disposable napkins for the prevention of napkin dermatitis in infants.

Plain language summary

Diposable nappies for preventing nappy rash in babies and infants.

The role of disposable napkins for preventing napkin dermatitis in infants is not yet clear. Although generally not a serious condition, napkin dermatitis is common and causes discomfort for infants, anxiety for carers and burdens the health care system. A variety of napkins are available. Carers and health care workers require evidence to assist in the choice of napkins used. This review found that there was not enough evidence from good quality randomised controlled trials to support or refute the use and type of disposable napkins for the prevention of napkin dermatitis in infants. Better studies need to be done.

Резюме на простом языке

Одноразовые подгузники для профилактики пеленочного дерматита [опрелостей] у детей и младенцев.

Роль одноразовых пеленок/подгузников для профилактики пеленочного дерматита у младенцев пока еще не ясна. Пеленочный дерматит является распространенным, хоть и не серьезным, состоянием, и вызывает дискомфорт у младенцев, беспокойство у ухаживающих за детьми и обременяет систему здравоохранения. Существуют разные пеленки/подгузники. Людям, осуществляющим уход за детьми, и работникам здравоохранения необходимы доказательства, чтобы помочь в выборе пеленок/подгузников. Этот обзор обнаружил, что не было достаточных доказательств из рандомизированных контролируемых испытаний хорошего качества, чтобы поддержать или опровергнуть применение и тип одноразовых пеленок/подгузников для предотвращения пеленочного дерматита у младенцев. Необходимо проведение лучших исследований.

Заметки по переводу

Перевод: Юдина Екатерина Викторовна.Редактирование: Зиганшина Лилия Евгеньевна.Координация проекта по переводу на русский язык: Казанский федеральный университет - аффилированный центр в Татарстане Северного Кокрейновского Центра. По вопросам, связанным с этим переводом, пожалуйста, обращайтесь к нам по адресу: lezign@gmail.com