How to Prevent and Treat Diaper Rash

Diaper rash can occur as a result of various causes. Most often, contact with urine or the diaper itself are to blame. Today we want to share some guidelines to keep in mind to prevent diaper rash. We'll also share some home remedies to treat this common condition.
How to Prevent and Treat Diaper Rash

Last update: 14 November, 2018

Today, we’ll share all you need to know to help prevent and treat diaper rash. The rubbing of a diaper against your baby’s skin can produce very bothersome irritations. It’s a common condition that can appear in any child that uses diapers.

Small children have very sensitive and delicate skin. Many parents have a hard time treating diaper rash. This is mostly because it occurs in the genital region, which is almost always covered up. So, what can be done?

Between the ages of 4 and 16 months, babies are most prone to suffering from diaper rash. In many cases, this has to do with contact with urine or fecal matter. This is especially true when little ones start eating solid foods. Their feces become more irritating to the skin.

In the case of diarrhea, the contact with a baby’s delicate skin can lead to diaper rash or other irritations. This is true even when parents and caretakers change diapers right away.

How to identify diaper rash

Identifying diaper rash really isn’t all that complicated. All you need to do is gently feel the area around your child’s bottom and observe the area visually.

The most affected areas tend to be around the border of the diaper. You’ll see red spots, rash, or simply skin irritation in the form of dark pink splotches .

While this condition is treatable at home, we also suggests consulting a pediatrician or pediatric dermatologist .

At the same time, diaper rash can turn into wounds in advanced cases, or when children scratch the area. The wounds can then lead to fungal or bacterial infections. If that’s the case, then treating the infection is more important than treating the rash itself.

How to Prevent and Treat Diaper Rash

How to treat diaper rash

The first step to treat diaper rash consists of washing the area with lukewarm water. You should do so at every diaper changing, making sure to use neutral soap to avoid causing further irritation. Stay away from glycerin soaps, as they can affect the pH of your baby’s skin.

While cleansing oils and lotions exist for cleaning baby bottoms, they shouldn’t replace the soap and water wash.

All you need to do is carry your little one to a faucet. Scoop some running water up with your hands and allow it to fall gently on the affected area.

The next step is to dry, but you need to be sure to be extra gentle. Use a soft cotton cloth and slowly pat dry.

The idea is to leave your baby without a diaper for a bit. Rather than putting another diaper on right away, it’s important to allow your little one’s skin to breathe.

Many parents are afraid their baby may pee or poop during this time – which is understandable. These moments of freedom are a great source of happiness and relief for babies. However, good hygiene still needs to be a priority.

Once your baby’s skin is dry, then it’s time to apply whatever healing lotion, oil or ointment you’ve chosen. There are several traditional products that serve this purpose, including lotions that hydrate and nourish the diaper area.

It’s important to remember that many times, these creams may produce the opposite effect. According to your baby’s skin type, some chemical components like zinc oxide can actually cause more irritation.

“The most affected areas tend to be around the border of the diaper. You’ll see red spots, rash, or simply skin irritation in the form of dark pink splotches”

Other home remedies

A great alternative is to reach for natural products and home remedies to help treat diaper rash.

One of the best is rice powder, which serves as an anti inflammatory. Lotions that contain calendula or oatmeal also help to reduce irritation and swelling.

At bath time, you can place some cloth bags filled with oatmeal in the tub. Another option is to create your own oatmeal compresses. Simply apply them to the affected area.

How to Prevent and Treat Diaper Rash

The final step to treat diaper rash is remembering that you shouldn’t adjust your baby’s diaper too tightly. By putting it on loosely, you’ll allow more air to circulate. 

Also, keep in mind that waiting too long to change a wet or soiled diaper is counterproductive. This bad habit only increases your child’s chances of suffering from diaper rash.

Breastfeeding mothers have a great advantage when it comes to diaper rash. All they need to do is apply a bit of breast milk to the affected area. Breast milk contains various reparative substances that relieve a number of childhood discomforts.

In conclusion, the best way to prevent and treat diaper rash is with regular diaper changes and proper rinsing. Furthermore, you should find the right product to protect your little one’s skin all day long.

With these simple care techniques, you’ll keep your baby happy, radiant, and free of discomfort .

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Azcona, L. Dermatitis del pañal. Farmacia Salud. Farmacia profesional. 2010; 24 (1): 60-62.
  • Zambrano E, Zamabrano A, Fernández T. Dermatitis del pañal. AEPED [En línea].

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.