Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is any rash in the skin covered by a diaper.  Almost every child gets diaper rash; it is one of the most common skin disorders of infants and children.

 Most diaper rashes are due to prolonged contact with moisture.  Rashes may also be caused by bacteria, ammonia, diarrhea, and yeast.  A child in either disposable or cloth diapers can get diaper rash.


Most diaper rashes improve in three to four days with proper treatment.  The best thing you can do for your baby’s skin is change diapers frequently.  Leave your baby’s bottom exposed to air as much as possible. Fan his bottom after diaper changes or even use a blow dryer on a cool setting to gently dry the skin. Apply a thick, greasy barrier cream to protect the skin from new moisture.  These emollients include Desitin paste, A&D, Vaseline, and even Crisco.  Apply generously—at least 1/8 inch thick.  When in doubt, use more! Note: You do not need to completely remove all diaper creams from the skin with each diaper change.  Wipe off the top layer and reapply. Avoid talcum powder as it may cause your baby to wheeze.

If the rash does not improve, suspect a yeast infection.  Yeast causes bright red skin (which is surprisingly not very painful) with satellite polka dot type spots at the edge.  Yeast infections are most common in the skin creases.  If your baby also has thrush, suspect a yeast infection. 



 During office hours if:

  • The rash is not improving after      three to four days
  • If you suspect a yeast infection (see above)
  • If the skin looks infected:pimples, blisters, pus-filled, spreading redness
  • Your child starts acting sick

 Immediately if:

Diaper rash is never a medical emergency; please call only during business hours if you have concerns

Call or Visit

  • phone: (616) 243-9515

  • FAX: (616) 243-1815

  • after hours: (616) 776-7401

  • or contact us via the Patient Portal

  • Alger Pediatrics
    733 Alger St. SE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49507