Doctors and providers who treat this condition


Diaper Rash, Noninfected (Infant/Toddler)

It is common for the skin covered by a diaper to become irritated. Affected areas include the skin folds, particularly on the upper and inner legs; genitals; and buttocks. The area will be red, with small bumps or scales. The rash can grow quickly. This condition is called a noninfected diaper rash.

Diaper rash is often triggered by urine and feces, which are irritants to the skin. Young children’s skin can also be irritated by baby wipes, laundry detergent and softeners, and chemicals in diapers.

The best treatment for diaper rash is to change a wet or soiled diaper as soon as possible. The soiled skin is gently cleaned with warm water. After the skin is air-dried, a barrier cream or ointment, such as zinc oxide, is applied liberally over the rash. Usually the rash will clear in a few days. Left untreated, the affected skin can develop a yeast or bacterial infection.

Home Care:

Medications: The doctor may recommend a barrier cream or ointment to use for the diaper rash. Follow the doctor’s instructions for applying this product to your child’s skin.

General Care:

  1. Change your child’s diaper as soon as it is soiled. Always change the diaper at least once at night, even if you have to wake the child.

  2. Gently pat the area clean with a warm, wet soft cloth. Dried feces can be loosened by squeezing warm water on the area or adding a few drops of mineral oil. If soap is used, it should be gentle and free of fragrance.

  3. Allow your child to be diaper-free for periods of time. Exposing the skin to air will allow it to heal. Avoid using a hair dryer or heat lamp on your child’s skin. They may cause burns.

  4. Apply a generous layer of barrier cream or ointment on the rash. The cream can be left on the skin between diaper changes. New layers of cream can be safely applied on top of previous, clean layers. A layer of petroleum jelly can be applied on top of the barrier cream. This will prevent the skin from sticking to the diaper.

  5. Put the diaper on loosely.

  6. Use a breathable cover for cloth diapers. Avoid using rubber pants. Slit the elastic legs and cover of a disposable diaper in a few places. This will allow air to circulate.

  7. Avoid using powders like talc or cornstarch. Talc is harmful to the baby’s lungs. Cornstarch can cause the infection to get worse.

  8. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water before and after changing your child’s diaper.

  9. Watch the area of any signs of infection (see below).

Follow Up

as advised by the doctor or our staff.

Special Notes To Parents:

Current studies show that diaper rash appears with almost the same frequency in children wearing cloth or disposable diapers. Other studies show that children who are breastfed tend to have fewer episodes of diaper rash.

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

  • Fever greater than 100.4°F (38°C)

  • Continuing or worsening rash after several days of treatment

  • Blisters, open sores, raw skin, bleeding

  • Signs of pain or itching

  • Signs of infection, such as increased redness or swelling, worsening pain, or foul-smelling drainage from the rash


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