Baby Diaper Rash

Symptoms of Diaper Rash

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 baby diaper rash, there is wide variation in what it 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:

 Pinkness or Redness

Pinkness or redness over a small or large area, wherever the diaper touches

 Dryness or Peeling Skin

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

 Papules and Pustules

Dry raised bumps (papules) or fluid-filled raised bumps (pustules)

 Edema, or Swelling

Edema, or swelling

Diaper rash causes

The primary cause of diaper rash is prolonged and increased exposure to wetness/moisture against the skin. Other factors contributing to severe diaper rash are:

Diaper Rash Cause: Closed Environment

Closed environment created by diaper prevents air from reaching baby's bottom and increases warmth and moisture

Diaper Rash Cause: Friction

Friction from rubbing against diaper or in skin folds, makes it easier for irritating substances to penetrate skin

Diaper Rash Cause: Urine

As urine breaks down, the pH of the skin rises causing enzymes from the feces to become more active further irritating baby's skin

Diaper Rash Cause: Bacteria

Infant skin hasn't yet developed the defenses to prevent bacteria from entering the compromised tissue

Diaper rash evaluation guide

Identify the different levels of diaper rash symptoms and decide how to best treat your baby.

When to call the doctor

  • Your baby cries in pain when the diaper rash is touched
  • Your baby has a fever
  • The diaper rash is severe, 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.