Diaper Rash Care Instructions

Diaper Rash: After Your Child's Visit

Your Care Instructions

Any rash on the area covered by the diaper is called diaper rash. Most diaper rashes are caused by wearing a wet diaper for too long. This allows urine and stool to irritate the skin. Infection from bacteria or yeast can also cause diaper rash.

Most diaper rashes last about 24 hours and can be treated at home.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child’s treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your child’s test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Change diapers as soon as they are wet or dirty. Before you put a new diaper on your baby, gently wash the diaper area with warm water. Rinse and pat dry. Wash your hands before and after each diaper change.
  • It can be hard to tell when a diaper is wet if you use disposable diapers. If you cannot tell, put a piece of tissue in the diaper. It will be wet when your baby urinates.
  • Air the diaper area for 5 to 10 minutes before you put on a new diaper.
  • Do not use baby wipes that contain alcohol or propylene glycol while your baby has a rash. These may burn the skin.
  • Wash cloth diapers with mild detergent. Do not use bleach.
  • Do not use plastic pants for a while if your child has a diaper rash. They can trap moisture against the skin.
  • Do not use baby powder while your baby has a rash. The powder can build up in the skin folds and hold moisture. This lets bacteria grow.
  • Protect your baby's skin with A+D Ointment, Desitin, or another diaper cream.
  • If your child develops a diaper rash, use a diaper cream such as A+D Ointment, Desitin, Diaparene, or zinc oxide with each diaper change.
  • If rashes continue, try a different brand of disposable diaper. Some babies react to one brand more than another brand.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your baby has pimples, blisters, open sores, or scabs in the diaper area.
  • Your baby has signs of an infection from diaper rash, including:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from the rash.
    • Pus draining from the rash.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your baby's rash is mainly in the skin folds. This could be a yeast infection.
  • Your baby's diaper rash looks like a rash that is on other parts of his or her body.
  • Your baby's rash is not better after 2 or 3 days of treatment.

Care instructions adapted under license by Slm. This care instruction is for use with your licensed healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.