Diaper rash

  • Alternative Names

    Dermatitis - diaper and Candida; Candida-associated diaper dermatitis; Diaper dermatitis


    The best treatment for a diaper rash is to keep the diaper area clean and dry. This will also help prevent new diaper rashes.

    • Always wash your hands after changing a diaper
    • Ask your doctor if a diaper rash cream would be helpful. Zinc oxide or petroleum jelly-based products help keep moisture away from baby's skin when applied to completely clean, dry skin
    • Avoid using wipes that have alcohol or perfume. They may dry out or irritate the skin more
    • Do NOT use corn starch on your baby's bottom. It can make a yeast diaper rash worse
    • Do NOT use talc (talcum powder). It can get into your baby's lungs
    • Change your baby's diaper often, and as soon as possible after the baby urinates or passes stool
    • Lay your baby on a towel without a diaper on whenever possible. The more time the baby can be kept out of a diaper, the better
    • Pat the area dry or allow to air-dry
    • Put diapers on loosely. Diapers that are too tight don't allow enough air and may rub and irritate the baby's waist or thighs
    • Use water and a soft cloth or cotton ball to gently clean the diaper area with every diaper change. Avoid rubbing or scrubbin the area. A squirt bottle of water may be used for sensitive areas
    • Using highly absorbent diapers helps keep the skin dry and reduces the chance of getting an infection

    If you use cloth diapers:

    • Avoid plastic or rubber pants over the diaper. They do not allow enough air to pass through
    • Do NOT use fabric softeners or dryer sheets. They may make the rash worse
    • When washing cloth diapers, rinse 2 or 3 times to remove all soap if your child already has a rash or has had one before


    Topical antifungal skin creams and ointments will clear up infections caused by yeast. Nystatin, miconazole, clotrimazole, and ketaconazole are common ones.

    Sometimes a mild, topical corticosteroid cream may be used. Talk to your doctor before trying this on your baby.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    The rash usually responds well to treatment.


    Complications from Candida-associated diaper rash can include:

    • Secondary infection

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if:

    • The rash gets worse or does not go away in 2-3 days
    • The rash spreads to the abdomen, back, arms, or face
    • You notice pimples, blisters, ulcers, large bumps, or pus-filled sores
    • Your baby also has a fever
    • Your baby is taking an antibiotic and develops a bright red rash with spots at its edges. This might be a yeast infection
    • Your baby develops a rash during the first 6 weeks of life