Baby Diaper Rash

5 minutes read

Diaper rash is a skin rash that mainly occurs when the child wears a diaper, especially for infants between 9 and 12 months.

What causes it to happen?

🔶 Irritation

It is the most common cause of diaper rash, usually caused by irritants such as urine or feces.

🔶 Infection

It may be a yeast infection or bacterial infection as the lousy hygiene (changing diapers) or too much moisture (diaper left on for too long). Your doctor may prescribe your baby antibiotics or antifungal medicines.

🔶 Allergy

 It is a less common cause of diaper rash, but some babies have skin sensitivity or are allergic to diapers.

What can I do to take care of my baby?

Here are the “ABCD” methods you can follow with:

✅ Air

Air out the skin by allowing your baby to go diaper-free, which is the most effective way to treat irritation by reducing contact with urine and feces.

✅ Barrier

For mild to moderate diaper rash, we suggest topical barrier ointments or pastes containing ingredients such as zinc oxide, petrolatum, or lanolin, which can physically block irritation and moisture from contacting the skin and minimize friction. For severe diaper rash, we suggest the addition of low-potency topical corticosteroids such as 1% hydrocortisone, which can be applied twice a day for 3~7 days, and the barrier products should be applied last. You can apply topical barriers thickly at every diaper change, but remember not to use products containing preservatives, fragrances, or other additives (boric acid, camphor, phenol, benzocaine, salicylates) because they may further irritate the skin.


Gently clean the skin of the diaper area with warm water and use a mild and fragrance-free liquid soap (example brand: Cetaphil). After cleaning, please dry the area by gently patting it with a towel. Alcohol-free and fragrance-free baby wipes can be used as an alternative but should discontinue if the skin becomes irritated or broken down. Though cleaning is important in preventing diaper rash, overzealous cleansing can promote irritation and delay skin healing.

✅Disposable diapers

During diaper rash, please use disposable diapers instead of cloth diapers. Changing the diaper frequently every 2 to 3 hours is recommended, especially after every bowel movement; you should change it immediately. Before changing a new diaper, ensure your baby’s skin is clean and dry.


When to see a doctor?

Most diaper rashes can be treated at home and go away after a few days. However, if the diaper rash does not improve after a few days, and your child develops a fever, bloody stool, or other worrisome symptoms, you should contact the health care provider.


Watch our post on FB: ABCD of baby diaper rash protection


1. UpToDate: Diaper dermatitis

2. Mayo Clinic: Diaper rash

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