How To Treat Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is no fun for a baby—or parents! Here's how to treat diaper rash and make your little one's bottom feel better.

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 they wake up from sleeping.

Diaper change with wet wipes
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Use Fewer Wipes

Some of the ingredients in wipes, even ones 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.

Also, 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.

Air Out Your Baby's Skin

A little diaper-free time could help soothe and dry out the rash. Situate your bare-bottom baby on a towel or blanket to play, and wrap it around your little one if you have to pick them up. If your baby is mobile, keep them in a room that can handle accidents.

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.

Don't Forget About Food

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.

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.

The Bottom Line

Rashes happen to the most vigilant parent; it's not a reflection of your diaper skills! But tips like changing your baby often, using less wipes, applying diaper cream, and paying attention to unusual symptoms can really help.

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