How To Treat Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is no fun for baby -- or mom! Learn the best way to treat it and make your little one's bottom feel better fast.

1. CHANGE DIAPERS OFTEN Minimize contact with urine and poop, which cause most diaper rashes. Swap a soiled diaper for a fresh one every two to three hours -- more frequently if your baby has a rash -- and as soon as she wakes up from sleeping.

Changing diaper
Alexandra Grablewski

2. USE FEWER WIPES Some of the ingredients in them, even wipes made for sensitive skin, may cause an allergic reaction and a rash. If the rash looks uniformly red and is everywhere you used a wipe, try switching brands. Ditto for diapers.

Diaper Change
Alexandra Grablewski

3. AIR OUT HER SKIN A little diaper-free time could help soothe and dry out the rash. Situate your bare-bottom babe on a towel or blanket to play, and wrap it around her if you have to pick her up. If she's mobile, keep her in a room that can handle accidents.

Treating Diaper Rash
Alexandra Grablewski

4. SLATHER ON DIAPER CREAM Zinc- or titanium-based creams provide a barrier to help keep poop and pee away from tender skin. And skip the powder. Pediatricians no longer recommend it, because inhaling it can be dangerous.

Treating Diaper Rash
Alexandra Grablewski

5. KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS Rashes caused by yeast and bacterial infections need a prescription. Watch for small red bumps, blisters, crusty patches, or abscesses with pus. If you see this or the rash doesn't improve in a few days, call your doctor.


  • Don't be overzealous about cleaning; you may remove healthy bacteria that keep yeasts and bad bacteria in check. When you can, use a washcloth and warm water instead of wipes.
  • For older babies, citrus fruits, juices, and tomato-based foods such as pasta sauce can contribute to a sore, red bottom. Stop serving them until the rash clears up.
  • Remember: Rashes happen to the most vigilant moms; it's not a reflection of your diaper skills!

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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