What is diaper rash?

  • Diaper rash is mild redness and scaling of your baby's skin in the diaper area. It is usually caused by irritation from prolonged contact with heat and moisture, especially during the warmer months. In worst cases, diaper rash can lead to pimples, blisters, and other sores. If the rash becomes infected, the irritated skin may become bright red and swollen. Small red patches or spots may spread beyond the main part of the rash, even outside the diaper area.


What can I do to prevent diaper rash?

  • Keep your baby’s bottom clean, cool, and dry.
  • Change your baby's diaper promptly.
  • Whenever possible, let your baby go without a diaper so the skin can air dry.
  • Try placing your baby on an open cloth diaper during naptime.
  • Check the diaper shortly after your baby falls asleep and replace it if it’s wet. Babies often urinate right after falling asleep.


Are there any home remedies for diaper rash?

  • Yes. Some parents have succeeded in treating diaper rash by applying breast milk or an egg white wash to the rash.
  • Other recommended home remedies from around the world include fresh air, tea bags, lard, oatmeal paste, bag balm, and even milk of magnesia.


How do I know what treatment is best for my baby?

  • Every baby is different. The best way to find a diaper rash remedy that works for your baby is to get to know your baby’s body.
  • Keep a journal about your baby and share it with your pediatrician. Create an entry every time your baby has a reaction to something.
  • If your baby’s diaper rash isn’t responding to normal creams and powders, try a home remedy. If the rash persists or worsens, consult your pediatrician. 


Are there any treatments I should avoid?

  • Do not use creams that contain boric acid, camphor, phenol, methyl salicylate, or compound benzoin tincture. These ingredients can be harmful.


What causes diaper rash?

  • Not changing diapers promptly: Prolonged contact with urine and feces can irritate sensitive skin. Check your baby’s diaper frequently and change promptly if it’s wet or soiled.
  • Chafing or rubbing: Make sure that skin folds are clean and dry and that the diaper is not too tight.
  • Contact with irritating chemicals: Your baby's bottom is very delicate. Some chemicals that are found in detergents, fabric softeners, baby lotions, fragrances, soaps, and baby wipes can irritate the skin. Talk to your pediatrician or pharmacist about which products to avoid.
  • A diet of formula instead of breast milk: Breastfed babies may experience fewer diaper rashes because they tend to have smaller-volume stools that are less irritating to the skin.
  • Preexisting skin conditions: Babies with preexisting skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or eczema, may be more likely to develop a diaper rash.
  • Other conditions: Diaper rashes are not exclusive to infants and young children. They can also develop in people with conditions such as incontinence and paralysis.


What causes diaper rash to become infected?

  • Dirty diapers: The warm and damp environment created by a wet or soiled diaper is a perfect breeding ground for bacterial and yeast infections. These infections are more common in babies who have diaper rash. Signs of infection include blisters, pus, red bumps in the creases of the skin, and severely swollen red areas.
  • Use of antibiotics: Antibiotics can disrupt the normal balance of “good” bacteria that keep organisms such as yeast under control. Antibiotics taken by a nursing mother can also affect the baby.


What is a yeast infection?

  • Yeast is a fungus that lives on the skin and in the intestines. It thrives in warm, damp places, such as skin folds and wet or soiled diapers. When yeast grows in excess, an infection occurs.
  • Babies taking antibiotics, and breastfed babies whose mothers are taking antibiotics, are at higher risk for yeast infection. That's because antibiotics kill the “good” bacteria in the body that keep yeast in check.


How can I tell if my baby has a yeast infection?

  • A yeast infection looks different from diaper rash – the infected area has little red dots along the border, and its shape is symmetrical where skin touches skin.
  • A yeast rash lasts longer than two days and doesn't respond to diaper rash treatments.


How can a yeast infection be cured?

  • Applying an antifungal cream to the infected area, bathing your baby in warm water twice a day, and frequent diaper changes will usually clear up a yeast infection within a few days.
  • Before diapering, make sure your baby’s bottom is clean and dry. Then make sure the diaper is loose enough to allow airflow.
  • If you have any questions or if the infection persists, please consult your pediatrician.