Diaper rash

Diaper rashes occur on the skin that is covered by your child’s diaper. They are very common and are usually caused by skin irritation from urine and bowel movements. They can also be caused by infections, such as bacteria or yeast.

Diaper rashes are usually red, itchy, and can be painful. Sometimes the rash can be raised, peeling or contain fluid-filled blisters.

To treat a diaper rash, try to let your child’s skin be exposed to air as much as possible. Check their diaper frequently. Change it when it is wet and immediately after a bowel movement. Gently clean the area with warm water and pat the area dry. Use ointment or paste (with zinc oxide or petrolatum) every time you change the diaper. Seek medical care if:

  • the rash is severe or persistent (lasts more than three days)
  • the rash begins to bleed or ooze or is solid bright red
  • your child also develops a fever
  • appears unusual

Common questions

diaper rash

What are the common causes of diaper rash in children?

Diaper rash is commonly caused by prolonged skin exposure to urine and bowel movements, which can irritate the skin. It can also be triggered by infections, such as those caused by bacteria or yeast. Other factors include chafing from diapers, sensitive skin, and the use of certain baby wipes or laundry detergents.

How can I identify if my child has a diaper rash?

Diaper rash typically appears as red, itchy skin in the diaper area. It may be raised, peeling, or have fluid-filled blisters. The affected skin might also be warm to the touch. If you notice any of these signs, it's likely your child has a diaper rash.

What are the best ways to treat and prevent diaper rash?

To treat diaper rash, allow your child's skin to be exposed to air as much as possible. Change diapers frequently, especially when wet or after bowel movements. Clean the area gently with warm water and pat dry. Apply a diaper rash ointment or paste containing zinc oxide or petrolatum with each diaper change. To prevent diaper rash, keep the diaper area clean and dry, and consider using hypoallergenic and fragrance-free products.

When should I seek medical attention for my child's diaper rash?

Seek medical care if the diaper rash is severe or persistent (lasting more than three days), begins to bleed or ooze, is solid bright red, or if your child develops a fever. These could be signs of a more serious infection or an allergic reaction.

Can diaper rash be a sign of an underlying health issue?

While most diaper rashes are due to skin irritation, persistent or unusually severe rashes could indicate an underlying health issue, such as a yeast infection, bacterial infection, or an allergic reaction to a product. In rare cases, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. If the rash doesn't improve with typical home care or if it frequently recurs, it's important to consult a healthcare provider for further evaluation.

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