What Is Diaper Rash? Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

  • By: Ashley
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Your baby’s bottom is red and sore. You’re not sure what to do about it 

A diaper rash can be uncomfortable and frustrating for both you and your baby.

Diaper rash can be caused by a number of things, including wetness, bacteria, yeast, and contact with urine or feces. It’s important to identify the cause of the diaper rash so that you can treat it properly.

Let’s dive deep into this common baby ailment!

What Does Diaper Rash Look Like

There are a few different types of diaper rash, but they all have one thing in common: redness. The most common type of diaper rash is called erythema multiforme and it looks like small, red spots on your baby’s skin and bright red skin. Other types of diaper rash can look like a bad sunburn, with large areas of redness, or they can be more pimply in nature.

No matter what the rash looks like, it’s important to treat it as soon as you notice it. If left untreated, diaper rash can lead to a skin infection.

How do I know if it’s diaper rash or something else?

Diaper rash is a common skin condition that affects the diaper area. It causes a red, irritated, and sometimes bumpy rash. The cause of diaper rash is usually wetness and friction from diapers, but it can also be caused by other things like soap, detergent, or food. Diaper rash can occur in any baby, but is most common in infants who are not yet walking.

What Causes Diaper Rash

There are a number of things that can cause diaper rash, including:

  • Wetness: A wet diaper can irritate your baby’s skin and lead to a rash.
  • Bacteria: Bacteria can grow in a wet diaper and cause irritation.
  • Yeast: Yeast is often present in small amounts in the gut, but it can overgrow and cause a rash.
  • Contact with urine or feces: Urine and feces can both irritate your baby’s skin and cause a rash.

Babies who have skin problems such atopic dermatitis or seborrheic dermatitis (eczema) are more prone to get diaper rash.

Do diaper rashes hurt?

Most diaper rashes are not painful. However, if the rash is severe or becomes infected, it may be quite painful. If you have a diaper rash that is causing pain, please see your doctor for treatment. Treatment will depend on the cause of the rash and may include changes in diet, use of over-the-counter medications, or prescription medications. In some cases, a doctor may need to prescribe an antibiotic or other medication to clear up the rash.

If you are caring for a child with a diaper rash, be sure to keep their bottom as dry as possible. Change their diaper often, and avoid using harsh soaps or lotions on the area. If the rash does not improve with home treatment, or if it becomes worse, please consult your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment of diaper rash is essential to preventing further complications.

How To Treat Diaper Rash

If your baby has a diaper rash, follow these steps:

  • Clean your baby’s bottom with warm water and a mild soap after every diaper change.
  • Change diapers often and keep the area clean and dry.
  • Apply a barrier cream to your baby’s skin after every diaper change.
  • Place a cool, damp cloth on the rash to help soothe it.
  • Allow your baby to air out his or her bottom if he or she has a rash.
  • If the rash does not improve after a few days, take your baby to see his or her doctor.

If your infant develops a fungal infection topical antifungal cream is needed. If your kid develops a bacterial infection, you can treat it with either topical or oral medicines or antibiotic cream. Proper treatment is needed for these types of diaper rash.

For a skin irritation try and discover what did irritate the skin and cause baby’s rash.

How To Treat Severe Diaper Rash

If your baby’s diaper rash is severe, you will need to treat it with a prescription cream. The most common prescription cream used to treat diaper rash is called topical corticosteroid. This cream helps to reduce inflammation and irritation.

Topical corticosteroids are available in both ointment and cream form. Your doctor will likely prescribe a cream if your baby has a lot of open sores. An ointment is better for areas with less rash.

Your doctor may also prescribe an oral antibiotic to help clear up the infection. If your baby’s diaper rash is caused by a yeast infection, you will need to use an antifungal cream.

How To Get Rid Of Diaper Rash Fast

If your baby’s diaper rash is mild, treating diaper rash can be done home. The most important thing is to keep the area dry and clean. Change the diaper any time they have a wet or dirty diaper. The best diaper rash treatment is to change the diapers often and not leave them sitting in a soiled diaper.

You can use a barrier cream or or diaper rash cream to protect the skin from moisture. Petroleum jelly, zinc oxide, and dimethicone are all good choices. If you prefer natural then there are lots of natural home remedies which work brilliantly for diaper dermatitis.

Change your baby’s diaper often, and make sure to clean the area well. You can use a warm, wet cloth or a baby wipe. Many moms swear by breast milk as a barrier ointment and diaper free time to clear up mild rashes. When introducing new foods keep a food diary to see if baby reacts to any!

If your baby’s diaper rash is caused by yeast infection, you can use an over-the-counter antifungal cream. Examples of these creams include clotrimazole and miconazole.

You should see improvement in a few days. If the rash does not improve, or if it gets worse, you should call your doctor.

How Long Does Diaper Rash Last

Most diaper rashes clear up within a few days with home treatment. If the rash does not improve after three days of home treatment, call your child’s doctor.

If your child has a fever, is vomiting, or has diarrhea, call your doctor right away. These could be signs of a more serious infection.

How To Prevent Diaper Rash

There are some things you can do to help prevent diaper rash, like changing your baby’s diaper often, letting the baby go without diapers for a while, and using a barrier cream.

There are a few things you can do to help prevent diaper rash:

  • Change your baby’s diaper often, especially if it’s wet or soiled. Keep your baby’s diaper area clean and dry!
  • Allow your baby to go without a diaper for short periods of time, as long as you are keeping an eye on them.
  • Clean your baby’s bottom with warm water and a mild soap after every diaper change.
  • Apply a barrier cream to your baby’s skin after every diaper change.
  • Allow your baby to air out his or her bottom if he or she has a rash.
  • Ensure when you wash diapers, all laundry detergent residue is removed. Read our guide to washing cloth diapers.
  • A natural baby powder like cornstarch can help!

Yeast Diaper Rash

The rash is caused by an overgrowth of the yeast, Candida albicans, in the diaper area. This yeast is normally found on the skin and is usually harmless. However, when it multiplies excessively, it can cause a red, irritated rash. The rash can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as itching and burning.

A fungal diaper rash is different to a bacterial diaper rash and need to be treated differently. What may work on bacterial, can actually make a fungal rash worse. When a diaper rash occurs it is important to identify the type of rash on the irritated skin and treat it accordingly.

A bacterial infection or an allergic reaction can be treated by changing the baby’s diet, baby wipes or laundry detergent and ensuring the diaper area is fully cleaned. If your child has sensitive skin then switch to more natural products.

If your baby has a yeast diaper rash, you will likely notice that the rash is red and slightly raised. The skin may also be shiny and have small bumps on it. In severe cases, the rash can cause the baby’s skin to peel.

How To Treat Yeast Diaper Rash

The best way to treat a yeast diaper rash is by using an over-the-counter antifungal cream. You can also use a barrier cream, such as petroleum jelly or zinc oxide, to protect the baby’s skin.

If your baby is resistant to over-the-counter medications, you may need to see a doctor for prescription medication.

In addition to using medication, it is important to keep the diaper area clean and dry. Change your baby’s diaper often, and make sure to clean the area well with a gentle soap and warm water. Allow the skin to air-dry completely before putting on a fresh diaper.

If you are using cloth diapers, it is important to wash them in hot water and detergent after every use. You may also want to consider using a bleach-free detergent.

How to Prevent Yeat Diaper Rashes

You can also help prevent yeast diaper rashes by following some simple tips:

  • Avoid using products that contain harsh chemicals or fragrances at diaper changes.
  • Make sure your baby’s skin is dry before putting on a fresh diaper.
  • Change your baby’s diaper often, especially if he or she is wet or soiled.
  • Gently pat baby’s bum dry with a soft cloth.
  • Use a barrier cream, such as petroleum jelly or zinc oxide, to protect the baby’s skin.
  • Wash your baby’s clothes and diapers in hot water and detergent after every use.
  • Consider using a bleach-free detergent and avoid fabric softeners.

If you are using disposable diapers, you can also help prevent yeast diaper rashes by using a type of diaper that is designed to reduce the risk of rash. There are several brands of disposable diapers that contain an antifungal agent which helps to prevent yeast overgrowth.

Will a yeast diaper rash go away on its own?

A yeast diaper rash can be treated with anti-fungal medications, but it will usually go away on its own. However, because yeast is a live creature that must be eliminated, yeast infections can take many weeks to recover.

In most cases, a yeast diaper rash will clear up within a week or two without any treatment. However, if the rash is severe or lasts for more than a few weeks, you should see your doctor for evaluation and possible treatment.

Your doctor may prescribe an over-the-counter anti-fungal medication or a prescription cream. You might want to look at the solid foods your baby is eating if frequent diaper rashes which are yeast based appear.

When should I be concerned about diaper rash?

Most diaper rashes go away on their own, but there are some cases when you should be concerned. If the rash doesn’t improve after a few days of home treatment or if it gets worse, consult your pediatrician. Additionally, if your baby has a fever or is extremely irritable, those could also be signs that something more serious is going on and contact your baby’s doctor.

Take Away

Diaper rash is a common skin condition in babies with sensitive skin. The most effective way to treat diaper rash is by using an over-the-counter antifungal cream or prescription medication. You can also help prevent diaper rashes by following some simple tips, such as changing your baby’s diapers often and ensuring the area around their bum stays dry. If you are having trouble managing yeast based diaper rashes, try switching to gentle wipes or detergent that don’t contain harsh chemicals. Diaper rash usually clears up within a week or two without treatment but if it lasts for more than 2 weeks then contact your doctor right away!

Cloth Diapers x
Cloth Diapers