October 22, 2021

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For babies, infants and toddlers with a tendency towards eczema or sensitive skin, one of the most important things to consider in helping their skin is choosing the right diapers.  

Disposable diapers may use disperse dyes as wetness indicators.  These change color as a signal that the diaper is need of changing.  Unfortunately these disperse dyes have been linked to contact allergies and sensitization in kids.  

For children with a tendency towards sensitive or eczema prone skin, I routinely recommend seeking dye-free diapers to reduce the overall allergen load facing the child’s skin every day. I make this a part of the overall maintenance of gaining better control over eczema.  

I find that diaper companies are a little frustrating in that they do not always disclose the presence of these dyes.  Some state that they are "free and clear”, however this type of product claim is open to interpretation and often only focused on fragrances and not dyes.  

I have found that looking for plain diapers that do not have claims for “wetness indicators” on the box can be the only way to find the right option. 

Diaper Primer

Diapers are composed of multiple layers.  The layer that touches the baby’s skin is meant to wick away moisture to the second layer.  This layer is absorbent.   It is usually composed of Super Absorbent Polymers (SAP). The last layer is waterproof to hold in the moisture and prevent it from leaking out onto clothing. Disperse dyes are often added to the lining as a wetness indicator.


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