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Pregnancy & Parenting

6 Diaper Rash Warning Signs

By Gwynn Cassidy

Created: 03/02/2010
Last Updated: 01/07/2015

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Diaper rash can be painful for baby and frustrating for mom or dad—especially when it just won't go away. As a new mom, there were several times my son's diaper rash was so persistent that we suffered with an outbreak for almost a week.

In my efforts to control the situation, I asked my mommy and daddy friends for ideas and recommendations and read countless product reviews. I got a lot of advice and suggestions but none worked. I kid you not when I say, at one time or another, I have purchased and tried every single cream, ointment, paste and salve on the market in my quest for the best diaper rash product. You name it—I tried it. It took some time but my efforts were eventually rewarded when I found the one cream that worked on my little guy's tushie and our diaper rash days were soon behind us.

I consider us lucky because we were able to manage and treat our diaper rash at home without a doctor's supervision. There are times, however, when diaper rash needs to be looked at by your pediatrician. Unsure when to call in a professional? The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these six warning signs that diaper rash should be evaluated by a doctor:

  1. The rash breaks out when the baby is six weeks or younger.
  2. The rash has small ulcers or pimples.
  3. The rash is accompanied by fever, nodules or large bumps.
  4. The infant doesn't look well or has lost weight.
  5. The rash spreads beyond the diaper area, including to the scalp, face or arms.
  6. The rash doesn't improve with treatment after a week.

Please post a comment below if you have any diaper rash dilemmas you would like to share or questions to ask. As parents, we're all in this together and sharing our stories help us all become better moms and dads to our little bundles of joy!


It's so glad to hear I'm not the only one!

Diaper rash is so hard to deal with and sometimes there's not much you can do. I always feel so bad when my daughter has it. Often I'll let her run around without a diaper just to help air out the skin and that seems to help.

i too am having difficulty finding a diaper cream that works well. i have used butt paste, desitin, mustella, a&d, hydrocortisone, etc.

what one finally worked for you?

Personally, I like butt paste but it's not always as effective as I would like it to be and it can be a little too dry when I'm trying to apply it. So that I can have another on hand in case I need it, I would love to know which one finally worked for you and your son?

My son is a premie and is now 2 months old and 7 pounds and 7 ounces. he has had such a bad diaper rash that we have used everything!!! The doc gave us nystatin because the rash was a fungus rash. We aired him out as much as we could but nothing was really working. I went to a farmers market and bought aloe leaves. I cut a piece off the aloe leaf and then cut it open like a book. We then spread it on him and sure enough it's starting to clear up. I just started it last night. We are also airing him out a few hours a day.

Thnk you for this! I had no idea dr could get so bad. I will be even more careful now!

FOrgot to ask which one you ended up liking so much!

I'm new here... can I retweet your posts? I saw on one I could but don't see it here. Thanks!

I have found that Balmex works great...even for me when I chafe. They even have a $1 off coupon on their site now.

we have been really lucky--on the rare occasions our son has had diaper rash, we've used aveeno--it's thick and stays well, usually cleared it up by the next diaper change. only once or twice has he had one that lasted more than 1 day (we're pretty sure it was either too much fruit or a specific fruit, we're trying to isolate it now.

What has worked best for us with both of our children is leaving their bottom open to air! We give them a bath, dry them real good and lay them out on a towel for about 30 minutes to an hour. The cause of diaper rash is with a wet or dirty diaper so leaving it off to let the skin breathe is the best thing. Of course if there is no time and we have to go somewhere we put the Balmex on just to protect the skin from further damage.

Using pure aloe from an aloe leaf is the only thing that has been helping so far and we have tried everything on the market.

We use cloth diapers and my son has never had a diaper rash.

Okay so my daughter got this horrible rash about 6 weeks ago, that looked like a burn. I took her to the doctor after 10 days of multiple tubes of Desitin, frequent changes and air dries.. I wanted to make sure it wasn't a yeast infection. The doctor wasn't helpful, basically said it's not a yeast infection and to just keep doing what I was doing.. Switched her off pampers (dry max problems?) and it seemed to improve a ton, but since it had gotten so severe, it just wouldn't clear. Switched to cloth but realized I can't use the cream with them. Now I am using triple paste with Huggies pure and natural but still the rash persist! Should I take her to a different doctor?! It's very frustrating after almost 2 months and multiple tubes of cream!

Thanks so much for the great information. We have a 6 month old and the continual battle with diaper rash is ongoing. Thanks alot!

Diaper rash can be a real painful for the baby and luckily I didn't have to deal with such a problem! I believe in letting the skin “breather” for a few minutes and allowing it to dry before using diapers! Using a Johnson baby lotion is also a good way of protecting the baby's tender skin! The six warning signals will be very useful to moms with babies and I am sure they will keep this handy!

Babies have sensitive skin so mothers must be choosy and take care of their children. Having diaper rash is mostly due to moisture and from diaper itself. I suggest to switch diapers when it happens or sometimes try to have an open air.

SUch good information. I lov e your blog!!!

oh, i never would have thought that diaper rash can be dangerous. thanks for the heads up!

Aloe Vera is safe to use and can offer some relief from diaper rash. It’s antibacterial, antifungal, and very soothing for many types of skin irritations. To make your own Aloe baby wipes (it’s easy, not to mention cheap) check out:


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