Current Environment:

Diaper Rash

Diaper Rash is a term for any rash affecting the skin typically covered by a diaper. Most diaper rashes can be treated at home and do not require medical intervention.

Symptom Management

Change Frequently:

Change diapers frequently to prevent skin contact with stool. It may be necessary for you to get up during the night to change the diaper.

Rinse With Warm Water:

Rinse the baby’s skin with warm water during each diaper change. Add in a mild soap (such as Dove) only after stools. Avoid diaper wipes.

Increase Air Exposure:

Expose the bottom to air as much as possible. Try attaching the diaper more loosely at the waist to help with air circulation. When napping, take the diaper off and lay your child on a towel.

Anti-yeast Cream for Bright Red Rashes:

If the rash is bright red or does not respond to 3 days of warm water cleansing and air exposure, it could be a result of a yeast infection. Apply over-the-counter (OTC) Lotrimin cream to the area 2 times a day.

Raw Skin:

If the bottom is very raw, soak in warm water for 10 minutes, 2 times per day. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the tub of warm water. Afterwards, apply the OTC Lotrimin cream.

Pain Medicine:

For pain relief, give acetaminophen every 4 hours OR ibuprofen every six hours, as needed. Before administering medication, please review our medication dosing guides.

Sore or Scab on End of the Penis:

Apply an antibiotic ointment 3 times per day.

Diarrhea Rash:

If your child has diarrhea and a severe rash around the anus, use a protective ointment (barrier ointment) such as petroleum jelly, A+D, or Desistin. Otherwise these are not needed. Make sure to wash off the skin before applying.

Expected Course

With proper treatment these rashes are usually better in 3 days. If they do not respond, a yeast infection has likely occurred.

When to Call the Office

  • Your child is less than 12 weeks old and has a fever of 100.4°F or higher rectally.
  • The rash doesn’t improve after 3 days of treatment for yeast (OTC Lotrimin cream).
  • The skin in the diaper area is bright red and peeling off in sheets.
  • Blisters or crusting occur in the area.
  • Your child becomes worse.


©1994-2022 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines, LLC.

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances