rash can alarm parents and annoy babies. The rash causes
reddish, puffy, irritated skin in the diaper area. The rash
generally is caused by a combination of moisture, acid in
urine or stool, and chaffing of diaper fabric on your baby’s
babies also get a rash from the detergent used to launder
cloth diapers, or from plastic pants, elastic or certain types
of disposable diapers and wipes. Sometimes a yeast infection
may be the cause of a rash. It usually clears up with simple
at-home treatments, such as air drying, more frequent diaper
changes and ointment. (Diaper rash usually affects babies,
though anyone who wears a diaper regularly can develop the
signs. Diaper rash is marked by red, tender-looking skin in
the diaper region — buttocks, thighs and genitals.
Changes in your baby’s disposition. You may notice your baby
seems more uncomfortable than usual, especially during diaper
changes. A baby with a diaper rash often fusses or cries when
the diaper area is washed or touched.
diaper rash can be treated at home with these practices:
Keeping diaper area clean and dry. The best way to keep your
baby’s diaper area clean and dry is by changing diapers
immediately after they are wet or soiled. Until the rash is
better, this may mean getting up during the night to change
you’ve gently cleaned and dried the skin, apply a cream,
paste or ointment. Certain products, such as zinc oxide and
petroleum jelly, work well to protect the skin from moisture.
Don’t try to scrub off this protective layer completely at
the next diaper change, as that could hurt the skin more. If
you do want to remove it, try using mineral oil on a cotton
Increasing airflow. To aid the healing of diaper rash, do what
you can to increase air exposure to the diaper region. These
tips may help:
out your baby’s skin by letting him or her go without a
diaper and ointment for short periods of time, perhaps three
times a day for 10 minutes each time, such as during naps.
Avoid airtight plastic pants and diaper covers.
diapers that are larger than usual until the rash goes away.
Applying ointment, paste, cream or lotion. Various diaper rash
medications are available without a prescription. Talk to your
doctor or pharmacist for specific recommendations. Some
popular over-the-counter products include A + D, Balmex,
Desitin, Triple Paste and Lotrimin (for yeast infections).Zinc
oxide is the active ingredient in many diaper rash products.
They are usually applied to the rash throughout the day to
soothe and protect your baby’s skin. It doesn’t take much
– a thin covering will do. The product can be applied over
medicated creams, such as an antifungal or a steroid, when
necessary. You could also apply petroleum jelly on top, which
helps keep the diaper from sticking to the cream.
pastes or creams may be less irritating than lotions. But
ointments and pastes create a barrier over the skin and don’t
allow it to receive air. Creams dry on the skin and allow air
through. Talk with your doctor about what type of product
would be better for your child’s rash.
general rule, stick with products designed for babies. Avoid
items containing baking soda, boric acid, camphor, phenol,
benzocaine, diphenhydramine, or salicylates. These ingredients
can be toxic for babies.
Bathing daily. Until the rash clears up, give your baby a bath
each day. Use warm water with mild, fragrance-free soap.
following alternative treatments have worked for some people:
Witch hazel (winter bloom), a flowering plant. A study showed
that applying an ointment made with witch hazel to diaper rash
helped. The study included 309 children.
Human breast milk. Results are mixed on whether human breast
milk applied to diaper rash is better than other treatments.
One study showed that applying breast milk to diaper rash is
an effective and safe treatment. Infants with diaper rash were
treated with either 1 percent hydrocortisone ointment or
breast milk. The study included 141 infants. Treatment with
breast milk was as effective as the ointment alone.
study compared human breast milk with a cream made from zinc
oxide and cod liver oil. Newborns with diaper rash were
treated with the cream or the breast milk. The study included
63 newborns. Treatment with the cream was more effective.
Calendula and aloe vera. A study comparing aloe vera and
calendula in the treatment of diaper rash in children found
each to be an effective treatment of diaper rash.
Shampoo clay (bentonite). A study showed that shampoo clay was
effective in healing diaper rash and that it worked faster
than calendula. The study included 60 infants.
Other substances. Other natural remedies have been tried,
including evening primrose and a mixture of honey, olive oil,
and beeswax. Further study is needed to prove their
effectiveness for treating diaper rash. Some of these
substances may promote bacterial growth.
see a doctor:
severe or unusual
worse despite home treatment
Bleeds, itches or oozes
Causes burning or pain with urination or a bowel movement
accompanied by a fever
baby’s skin doesn’t improve after a few days of home
treatment, talk with your doctor. Sometimes, you’ll need a
prescription medication to treat diaper rash.