Pinkness or redness over a small or large area, wherever the diaper touches
How to identify diaper rash
Diaper rash symptoms
Diaper rash usually comes on quickly, and it affects the areas of baby’s body that are in closest contact with the diaper. While there are some common symptoms of diaper rash, there is wide variation in what diaper rash looks like.
Take a look under your baby’s diaper. If diaper rash is causing the problem, you will see some or all of the following symptoms:
Flaking, dryness or peeling/scaling of the skin
Chafing from friction of the diaper rubbing against baby's skin
Sensitivity of affected areas, skin is more sensitive and may be warm to the touch
Dry raised bumps (papules) or fluid-filled raised bumps (pustules)
Edema, or swelling
Diaper rash causes
The primary cause of diaper rash is prolonged and increased exposure to wetness/moisture against the skin. Other contributing factors to diaper rash are:
Closed environment created by diaper prevents air from reaching baby's bottom and increases warmth and moisture
Friction from rubbing against diaper or in skin folds, makes it easier for irritating substances to penetrate skin
As urine breaks down, the pH of the skin rises causing enzymes from the feces to become more active further irritating baby's skin
Infant skin hasn't yet developed the defenses to prevent bacteria from entering the compromised tissue
This baby has some faint pinkness in the diaper area.
This baby has an area of pinkness and a few raised bumps.
This baby has definite pinkness in a large area with some small areas of definite redness. There are also scattered, raised bumps (papules).
This baby has intense redness, peeling, raised bumps (papules) and a few fluid-containing bumps (pustlues). You should contact your pediatrician if your baby is experiencing the following types of rashes, moderate/severe and severe.
This baby has intense redness and large ares of multiple raised bumps (papules) as well as fluid-containing bumps (pustules). You should contact your pediatrician if your baby is experiencing the following types of rashes, moderate/severe and severe.
When to call the doctor
- Your baby cries in pain when the diaper rash is touched
- Your baby has a fever
- The diaper rash blisters or begins bleeding
- The rash spreads to other parts of the body, such as the arms or face
- The rash does not improve in 7 days, or subsides and then reoccurs
Always call your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your baby or her behavior.