Share this article

print logo

Dealing with troublesome diaper rash

Diaper rash is one of those nasty little problems that most infants and toddlers will experience at some time, and that means their parents will have to deal with it.

In most cases, diaper rash is due to the fact that children in diapers have skin that is in constant contact with urine and stool. Despite frequent diaper changes, and hypoallergenic, fragrance-free wipes, diaper rash can happen to any baby. Some children have very sensitive skin and are more prone to diaper rashes.

Diaper rash does not mean that you are not changing diapers enough, or that you need to change brands of diapers or wipes. It most cases it just means that your child’s “butt” needs to be more protected.

Diaper rash “potions” come in many forms: creams, lotions, ointments. I prefer a diaper cream that is thicker and has zinc oxide as a base, as it is more protective and acts as a barrier to the skin. Others may prefer a petrolatum-based diaper cream like A&D or even Aquaphor.

Many times you may try several different products and each parent/your-baby duo has their preference.

If a diaper rash is persistent despite using a diaper cream, then your baby may have developed a secondary yeast (candidal) diaper rash. This often looks like diaper rash with small red bumps that are spreading, “satellite lesions,” as they are called. But sometimes, a yeast infection does not look like the classic, but may just be a red diaper rash that does not get better.

In either case, try an over-the-counter yeast medication in duo with the regular diaper cream.

In most cases, the over-the-counter product will clear it up.

If the rash does not improve, it may require a visit to your pediatrician for a prescriptive antifungal cream.

Yeast diaper dermatitis is quite common and the ultimate cure? Potty Training!

The Kid’s Doctor appears the second and fourth Saturday in Refresh. Dr. Sue Hubbard is a pediatrician, medical editor and media host. Submit questions at