Diaper Rash

Also known as: diaper dermatitis.

What is diaper rash?

Diaper rash is a very common inflammatory skin problem. It refers to the red and irritated skin on your baby’s bottom beneath the diaper. It can range in severity.

What causes diaper rash?

Causes include prolonged wetness or stool in the diaper, but can also be from tight fitting diapers or clothing that chafes and irritates the skin. New foods may also cause diaper rash, as well as following antibiotic treatment and bacterial or yeast/fungal infections.

What are the symptoms of diaper rash?

Redness, a tender-looking irritated skin in the diaper area including the buttocks, thighs, and genitals. Pain, fussiness, and crying when the area is touched is also symptomatic. It can spread from the diaper area to the stomach and thighs, and if severe may bleed, have blisters, open sores, ooze, itch, and be accompanied by a fever.

What are diaper rash care options?

Prevention is best; keep the buttock area clean and dry by changing a baby's diaper frequently. Use warm water to clean the bottom after each diaper change, rather than alcohol-based wipes. Pat the skin dry, use ointment after each diaper change, put diapers on loosely, or allow the baby to go “bare bottom” without a diaper from time to time.

If the diaper rash persists, a steroid cream, topical antifungal cream or an oral antibiotic may be prescribed.

Reviewed by: Ana Margarita Duarte, MD

This page was last updated on: August 30, 2021 12:58 PM

Children's Dermatology

The Division of Dermatology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital focuses on the latest medications and technology available for the specialized treatment of all skin diseases and disorders affecting children of all ages.

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