Diaper rash is a common skin condition in babies. Usually, the rash is due to irritation caused by the diaper and moisture, but it can have other causes.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Diaper Rash?
Most diaper rashes are caused by irritation of the skin from contact with pee, poop, and sweat. Sometimes babies get a diaper rash from an allergy to a type of diaper or fragrances in laundry detergent, fabric softener, soap, or wipes.
Signs of diaper rash caused by irritation or allergy include:
- redness where the diaper touches the skin
- scaly skin
Rashes also can be caused by a skin infection due to yeast or bacteria. If the rash is due to an infection, signs may include:
- red bumps
- a red area with red bumps spreading from it
- red areas in the creases (where skin touches other skin)
- blisters or open sores
- pus-filled sores
- fluid seeping from red areas
What to Do
- Try to keep the skin dry.
- Whenever possible, let your baby spend time without a diaper. Put your baby in a crib with a waterproof mattress cover or on a towel on the floor.
- Check the diaper often and change it as soon as it is wet or soiled.
- With each diaper change:
- Wash your baby's diaper area gently with warm water. When your baby has a diaper rash, try to avoid soaps and baby wipes (these can irritate sore skin).
- Let the skin dry fully. Then apply a diaper ointment or paste that contains zinc oxide (such as such as Desitin, Triple Paste, Balmex, or a store brand).