- Any rash on the skin covered by a diaper
- Age: Diaper-wearing age group (birth to 3 years)
- Stool and urine left on skin causes a chemical irritation
- Worse during bouts of diarrhea
- Secondary infection by yeast or bacteria
When to call your doctor
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- Bright red skin that peels off in sheets
- Fever and looks infected (spreading redness)
- Age less than 1 month old with tiny water blisters or pimples in a group
- Age less than 1 month old and looks infected (yellow scabs, spreading redness)
- Age under 1 month old and looks or acts abnormal in any way
- You think your child needs to be seen urgently
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
- You think your child needs to be seen, but not urgently
- Any pimples, blisters, boils, yellow scabs, or spreading redness
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If
- You have other questions or concerns
- Rash is very raw or bleeds
- Rash has spread outside the diaper area
- Rash is not better after 3 days of using yeast cream
Parent Care at Home If
- Mild diaper rash
CARE ADVICE FOR DIAPER RASH
- What You Should Know:
- Diaper rashes are very common in babies.
- Often caused by not cleaning stool off the skin soon enough.
- Here's some care advice that should help.
- Change More Often:
- Change diapers more often to prevent skin contact with stool.
- You may want to get up once during the night to change the diaper.
- Rinse with Warm Water:
- Rinse the baby's skin with lots of warm water during each diaper change.
- Wash with a mild soap (such as Dove) only after stools. Reason: Using soap often can interfere with healing.
- Do not use diaper wipes. Reason: They leave a film of bacteria on the skin.
- Leave Bottom Open to Air:
- Expose the bottom to air as much as possible.
- Attach the diaper loosely at the waist to help with air exposure.
- When napping, take the diaper off and lay your child on a towel. Reason: Dryness reduces the risk of yeast infections.
- Anti-Yeast Cream:
- Most diaper rashes respond to 3 days of warm water cleansing and air exposure. If you've tried this or the rash is bright red, suspect a yeast infection.
- Buy an anti-yeast cream such as Lotrimin. No prescription is needed.
- Use Lotrimin cream 3 times per day.
- Raw Skin:
- If the bottom is very raw, soak in warm water for 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of baking soda to the tub of warm water.
- Do this 3 times per day.
- Then, put Lotrimin cream on the rash.
- Sore or Scab on End of the Penis:
- Use an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin. No prescription is needed.
- Do this 3 times per day.
- Reason: The sore is a bacterial infection that can cause painful urination.
- Diarrhea Rash:
- If your child has diarrhea and a rash around the anus, use a protective ointment. Examples are petroleum jelly, A&D or Desitin.
- This forms a barrier between the skin and the stool.
- Otherwise, these generally are not needed.
- Caution: Wash off the skin before putting it on.
- What to Expect:
- With proper treatment, most diaper rashes are better in 3 days.
- If the rash does not respond, a yeast infection has probably occurred.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Rash isn't much better after 3 days of using yeast cream
- Your child becomes worse
Author: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last reviewed: 9/1/2012
Last revised: 1/13/2013 3:44:54 PM