Diaper Rash

Dr. Ayush PandeyMBBS,PG Diploma

December 01, 2018

March 06, 2020

Diaper Rash
Diaper Rash

What is diaper rash?

Diaper rash, also known as diaper dermatitis, is a red patchy condition on the skin of the baby's bottom. The incidence reported globally differs due to differences in the use of diaper, hygiene practices, toilet training, and child-rearing methods. In infants, the estimated prevalence is 7-35%. It can occur as early as one week following birth, but the maximum incidence occurs between 9-12 months of age.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

The major symptoms include:

  • Skin may appear red; tenderness may develop in the thighs, buttocks or genitals.
  • Babies cry and feel uncomfortable; they become fussy when the diaper area is washed.

What are the main causes?

Diaper rash is mostly associated with improper diaper changing practices such as prolonged use of wet diapers or infrequent change of diapers. Such practices can lead to skin sensitivity. The common causes are as follows:

  • Prolonged contact of the diaper to the skin: This can cause irritation to the baby.
  • Infection: Urine soaked in the diaper, when it remains for long, can change skin pH; thus favouring the growth of bacteria.
  • Allergy: Some diaper material can make the skin of babies sensitive.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

It can be diagnosed by observing the red patches and baby’s overall behaviour. There are no particular tests needed and one may treat it at home itself.

Treatment includes:

  • Use of mild steroidal cream
    • Anti-fungal cream
    • Topical antibiotics
  • Self-care tips:
    • Clean, dry, and be gentle while cleansing the diaper area.
    • Wash cloth diapers in bleach or boil clothes for 15 minutes.
    • Rinse the diaper thoroughly to ensure that all excess detergent is removed.
    • Increase air circulation in the diaper area by keeping the baby without diaper for some duration.
    • Use soothing lotions/creams over the rash.
    • Avoid products containing salicylates, benzoic acids, camphor, boric acid, and phenol.
    • Bath your baby each day with warm water and fragrance-free soaps.

Diaper rash is a treatable condition which can resolve rapidly with proper care. However, it is better to prevent it with the help of good sanitation and hygienic practices to avoid complications.


  1. KidsHealth. Diaper Rash. The Nemours Foundation. [internet].
  2. Seattle Children’s Hospital. Diaper Rash. Seattle, Washington. [internet].
  3. American Academy of Dermatology. Rosemont (IL), US; Prevent and treat diaper rash with tips from dermatologists
  4. American Academy of Family Physicians [Internet]. Leawood (KS); Diaper Rash
  5. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Nappy rash

Medicines for Diaper Rash

Medicines listed below are available for Diaper Rash. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.