Effects of Breathable Disposable Diapers: Reduced Prevalence of Candida and Common Diaper Dermatitis


Frank Akin Ph.D. Kimberly Clark Corp., 1400 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Roswell, GA 30076.


Infants wearing breathable disposable diapers experienced significantly less diaper dermatitis (DD) compared to infants wearing standard, nonbreathable disposable diapers in a series of double-blind clinical trials. Severe DD, including confirmed infection with Candida albicans, was reduced by 38–50% among infants wearing highly breathable (HB) diapers. The prevalence of DD was inversely related to the breathability of the garments. The inhibitory effect of breathable diapers on the survival of Candida was further confirmed in controlled experiments with adult volunteers. A suspension of C. albicans cells was applied to delineated sites on the volar forearm. Each site was then covered by a full-thickness patch from either an HB or a standard diaper. Survival of Candida colonies was reduced by almost two-thirds in the breathable diaper-covered sites compared to the control sites.