Helpful Tips for Diaper Rash: What You Need to Know


Diaper rashes are a common skin concern for infants and toddlers. They cause red splotches and scales to appear in the genital area and on the child’s bottom. But, there are ways to help treat a bad diaper rash at home.
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Diaper rashes are common because they grow in warm, moist places. That makes a diaper the perfect place for the rash to develop. Factors that can make diaper rash more likely include:
diapers that are too tight
sensitive skin
irritated skin
introducing new foods
In some cases, a diaper rash might spread up the child’s legs and to the stomach. Fortunately, you can treat most mild cases at home. Try the tips below to help relieve your child’s diaper rash.

1. Keep it clean and dry

1. Keep it clean and dry
The most important step you can take to prevent and treat a rash is keeping your baby’s diaper dry and clean. When you change the diaper, clean the area gently with a soft cloth or a squirt of water from a bottle. Wipes are fine, just be gentle.
Don’t rub the skin too hard, and avoid wipes with alcohol. It can also help to give your child some time without a diaper when they have a rash. You can lay towels or disposable waterproof pads down so that your child can have some diaper-free time.

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2. Change diapers often

2. Change diapers often
It’s best to change your child’s diaper as soon as possible. It only takes a little bit of trapped moisture to irritate the skin and cause a rash. That’s why even slightly wet diapers should be changed right away, especially if your child has an active diaper rash.

3. Switch to disposable diapers

3. Switch to disposable diapers
Cloth diapers have several benefits, but they’re not the best choice when your child has a diaper rash. It can help to switch to super-absorbent disposable diapers until the diaper rash heals. They’ll help keep your child dry and can promote faster healing.

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Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.
Current Version
Jun 5, 2023
Written By
S. Srakocic
Edited By
Willow Banks
Copy Edited By
Chris Doka
Nov 29, 2021
Medically Reviewed By
Carissa Stephens, RN, CCRN, CPN
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5. Apply soothing creams
You can use pastes or barrier creams that contain zinc to soothe the skin and prevent contact with feces and other irritants. Examples of these products include:
Triple Paste
Apply a thin layer to prevent stool or urine from touching your baby’s skin.
Jellies like Vaseline may be ideal, since they’re inexpensive and usually contain fewer dyes or perfumes. However, jellies may stick to cloth diapers and can be hard to wash off. They also don’t offer a barrier as strong as other creams.
Consider alternative soothing remedies
Some people claim that alternative or natural remedies provide better relief for their child’s diaper rash.
However, most of these methods haven’t been researched and aren’t backed by scientific studies. Use caution with any of them and stop if you notice that the rash is getting worse or doesn’t seem to be healing.
Popular alternative remedies include:
aloe vera gel
calendula cream
witch hazel ointment
shampoo clay
breast milk
Shop for diaper rash creams
Order these soothing creams online:
Triple Paste
A+D Ointment
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6. Avoid these products

6. Avoid these products
When it comes to preventing and treating diaper rash, less is more. Avoid using highly fragranced products, including fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free are much less irritating for many babies.
You should also refrain from using baby powder on your baby. It’s a no-no for babies because they can inhale it, which can harm their lungs.
Cornstarch is another remedy that isn’t safe to use on little ones because they can also inhale the powder, and it can irritate their lungs. Cornstarch can also worsen diaper rashes caused by the fungus Candida.

What causes diaper rash?

What causes diaper rash?
Diaper rashes are caused by moisture and friction irritating your child’s skin. It often happens when urine and feces sitting against their skin in the diaper cause the skin to become red irritated. However, this isn’t the only cause. Other causes include:
diapers rubbing, chaffing, and causing irritation
an allergic reaction to laundry detergent, bubble bath, wipes, or another product that touches your child’s skin
a reaction to antibiotics
an allergic reaction to newly introduced foods

Are there risk factors for diaper rash?

Are there risk factors for diaper rash?
Diaper rashes are common and can happen to any child who wears a diaper. However, some risk factors make it more likely that a child will develop a diaper rash.
These include:
being between 6 and 9 months old
having diarrhea
having a cold or other illness
taking antibiotics
starting to eat solid foods
starting to sleep through the night

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