What is a diaper rash (diaper dermatitis)?

Any rash on the skin covered with diapers is called a “diaper rash”.

What are the causes of diaper rash?

  • irritation from feces and urine
  • allergy to diapers or creams
  • yeast infection
  • lack of zinc in the food
  • seborrheic dermatitis
  • psoriasis
  • histiocytosis (form of a very rare cancer)

    Diaper rash caused by a seborrheic dermatitis

How should I prevent and treat the diaper rash?

  • Use disposable, fragrance-free diapers that contain absorbing gel.
  • Change diapers immediately after they get wet or soiled (check diapers every 2-3 hours).
  • Clean the skin very gently with soft cloth moistened with tepid to warm water. Avoid “baby wipes” and soaps if possible.
  • Apply a thick layer of plain Vaseline (petroleum jelly), Desitin or Triple Paste (NOT triple antibiotic!!!) to the skin.
  • Try to leave baby without diapers to air the skin for 20-30 min after each diaper change if possible.

When should I take my baby to a health care provider?

If the rash develops pus, or if it does not get better after few days of the above explained regimen, and if the baby has diarrhea and/or fevers, you should take your baby to your health care provider.

A baby with red bumps on its abdomen.
This baby developed pus-filled blisters caused by Staphylococcus aureus

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