Diaper Rash Health News

Diaper rash is the occurrence of a red, scaly and sometimes irritated rash on the bottom, legs, torso or crotch of babies. The rash can occur anywhere that a diaper covers a baby’s body. Though diaper rash is uncomfortable for the baby, it is rarely serious and can usually be treated with gentle at-home approaches.


The main reason diaper rash occurs is prolonged exposure to moisture on the baby’s skin. This happens when the baby is in a dirty diaper for too long. However, diaper rash can also be caused by rubbing and chafing from a diaper that's too tight. Sometimes, a baby can get irritated or have an allergic reaction to certain soaps, baby wipes or the diaper itself. An adverse reaction to antibiotics can also cause diaper rash.

Treatment of Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is usually a short-term problem that can be easily remedied. The best way to prevent the problem is to change a baby’s diaper frequently, and let the baby go without a diaper at certain times so that air can circulate on the baby's bottom. For treatment, choose a zinc oxide ointment or petroleum jelly to treat the rash in a gentle way. Also use mild soaps and pat the baby’s bottom dry after baths, rather than rubbing. Finally, make sure the area is completely dry before putting on a new diaper.

There may be times when a health care provider should be consulted about a diaper rash. The infant should see a doctor, for instance, if the rash is accompanied by pimples, ulcers, bumps or nodules or if the baby has a fever or is losing weight. A rash within six weeks after birth also should be checked by a doctor, as should a rash that doesn’t go away after a week of treatment. Also, consult a doctor if the rash spreads to other areas of the body, such as the baby's face or arms.

SOURCES: American Academy of Pediatrics; American Academy of Family Physicians

Date Posted
Article Title
Could You Raise a 'No-Diaper' Baby?

Physician couple found it's possible, but daycare workers and babysitters may not want to give it a go

Health Tip: Avoid Diaper Rash

Keep your little one dry and clean

Common Infant Vaccine Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Bowel Complication

But chances of complication much lower than with previous rotavirus vaccine, studies show

Many Low-Income Moms Struggle to Afford Diapers: Study

Shortage leads to a host of physical, mental, and social problems for families, researchers note

How to Prevent, Treat Diaper Rash

Excessive moisture, lotions and wipes can irritate a newborn's skin

Health Tip: When a Doctor Should Evaluate Diaper Rash

Signs that medical attention may be needed

Health Tip: When Diaper Rash Needs a Doctor

Signs that you should call a pediatrician

Health Tip: Prevent Diaper Rash

Keep baby's bottom clean and dry

Health Tip: Baby Diapering 101

How to get started

Health Tip: Doing Your Baby's Laundry

Protect sensitive new skin

Health Tip: Heal Baby's Diaper Rash

Suggestions to help it go away