Skip to main content

How to Treat Diaper Rash


So you’ve discovered an angry red patch on your baby’s bottom: Hello, diaper rash. Diaper rash - an unfortunate, but common, part of infanthood - is marked by bright red, inflamed skin, or a patchwork of tiny red dots. But have no fear, you can treat baby’s sore bottom with these four steps, and the condition should clear in three to four days. Goodbye rash, hello happy baby.

  1. Change baby often: Change will do the baby good. Diaper changes that is. Change your little one more frequently than usual to prevent moisture from further irritating their inflamed skin. Take time to allow their bottom to dry between diapers, even leaving their diaper off for a bit if possible.
  2. Be gentle with cleaning: Be kind to baby’s bottom. Use a gentle touch when wiping, keeping in mind the area is sensitive. Choose alcohol- and fragrance-free wipes avoid further irritation. For baby wipe alternatives, you can use a soft wash cloth with warm water or a squirt bottle to rinse the area between baths. And when you do suds up, use a mild soap and allow them to completely dry after the bath before re-diapering.
  3. Use a diaper-rash cream or ointment: Changing and cleaning your child is a good start, but it might not be enough. Go the extra mile to protect that soft baby skin with a cream that contains zinc oxide. Don’t be shy! Apply the cream liberally, thoroughly covering the entire area. If you can’t remove all the cream between diaper changes, no problem, you can remove it entirely at the end of each day with a bath or warm wash cloth.
  4. Know when to see a doctor: Don’t forget that diaper rash is extremely common and usually resolves within three to four days. Still, if after that time you’re concerned that there’s been no improvement or are worried that your baby’s bottom may have an infection, don’t be afraid to call your pediatrician.  

Baby’s skin can be sensitive and unpredictable, but with the right care, you can keep it soft and snuggly – and that makes baby happy, too.

Third-party references and links provided in this article are for educational purposes only. No sponsorship or endorsement is implied. Information was used from the Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Dermatology.

© Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017

What nobody tells you about teething

5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Teething

Myriah Rosengarten of Mommy Shorts on what she should have known.