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5 Steps to Cure Diaper Rash

Author: CHKD Medical Group, Dr. Christy Fontana
Published Date: Monday, March 12, 2018

By Dr. Christy Fontana, Premier Pediatrics

Diaper rash can alarm parents and annoy babies, but most cases can be resolved with simple at-home treatments.

Most babies get diaper rash at some time. The most common cause is leaving a dirty diaper on too long. Making sure your child has a clean, dry bottom after every diaper change is the key to preventing diaper rash. But if a red, irritated rash does break out, here’s what you can do to treat it and help keep your baby comfortable.

Step 1

Check the diaper area hourly, and change diapers promptly when needed.

Step 2 

Clean the diaper area gently with warm water and a soft cloth. Be sure to wash everywhere, including in folds of skin. If needed, you can use a mild soap to clean the skin. Be careful with wipes containing alcohol or perfume; they can increase irritation.

Step 3 

Allow your baby’s bottom to air-dry. Constant moisture can worsen the rash.

Step 4 

Apply an ointment before fitting a fresh diaper. Petroleum jelly can protect sore skin and can be cleaned off easily. Powders are not recommended. Do not use them without talking to your pediatrician.

Step 5 

Make sure air can get to the diaper area. Put diapers on loosely and don’t use plastic or rubber pants that keep air out.

It’s time to call your pediatrician when:

  • Your baby has a fever higher than 101.5 degrees.
  • You do not see the rash get better after three days.
  • The rash gets worse or spreads to other areas of the body.
  • The skin is raw, bleeding or blistering, or if pimples, sores or crusting develops.


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About CHKD Medical Group

Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.