Abstract:  The skin of the diaper area has special needs for protection from the irritating effects of urine and feces and prevention of diaper dermatitis. These needs include products such as diapers that absorb the excreta, as well as products for cleansing and conditioning the skin. A number of factors play a role in development of diaper dermatitis, including prolonged exposure to excreta, alterations in skin pH or increased hydration, and changes in skin microbial flora. Recent decades have seen great improvements in our understanding of these factors and our ability to develop new and better products to protect baby skin. Better diaper designs and the development of pH-buffered baby wipes have improved the care of skin in the diaper area. Continuing research offers the promise of new products with additional benefits for caregivers and infants.