Almost every baby will develop diaper rash at least once during the first 3 years of life. Incontinent or paralyzed patients are also at risk.


Daily Skin Care Routine

Change dirty diapers as soon as possible. This will limit exposure to irritants such as urine and feces. It will also avoid excessive humidity. Use disposable, super-absorbent, and breathable diapers.

Be gentle when cleaning the diaper area. Use water and a soft washcloth or baby wipes that are alcohol and fragrance-free. Bathing in water with baby oil is preferable to washing with a cloth. Avoid soaps and detergents (e.g. sodium lauryl sulfate). Let your child go diaper-free as long as possible to let the skin dry and heal.

Apply protective emollients such as a zinc oxide (Dynarex or Rugby) or petrolatum. There is no need to remove the emollient with each diaper change. It can be fully removed at the end of the day. You may also use cod liver oil (Carlson), dimethicone, lanolin, dexpanthenol (Bayer Bepanthen Plus), or Burow solution (Domeboro Soothing Soak Rash Relief Powder Packets).

For Diaper Rash

See a doctor if your baby develops a rash that does not go away, or if you notice signs of a skin infection such as fever, blisters, or pus. Frequent triggers of a diaper rash include prolonged humidity, soap & detergents, stool, urine, yeast, and bacteria. Cellulitis (painful to touch) or Staphylococcus Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSSS) require quick treatment with antibiotics.

Small red bumps that spread into the skin folds or beyond the rest of the diaper rash frequently represent a yeast infection. This condition tends to respond well to application of miconazole 2% cream mixed with petrolatum and zinc oxide.

Rare conditions triggering a diaper rash include zinc deficiency, acrodermatitis enteropathica (inherited zinc deficiency), histiocytosis X, Wiscott-Aldrich syndrome, congenital syphilis, and Jacquet’s dermatitis.