Diaper Rash: When Should You See A Dermatologist?

Written by Macey Delcambre, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist on August 3, 2018 No Comments

diaper rash

Diaper rash is a fairly common infection that manifests as inflamed, red, and sore skin along the diaper area (buttocks, thighs, and genitals). Babies with even the most moderate of diaper rash can experience high levels of discomfort. Many parents start to notice the rash by a stark change in their baby’s temperament: they may become fussy or cry while bathing or getting their diaper changed.

Diaper rashes are nearly as hard on parents as they are on the baby. Seeing your child continually uncomfortable is very difficult, and every parent wants to help their child get better as soon as possible. In this post, we’ll cover some tips on treating diaper rashes at home as well as when its time to see a dermatologist or pediatrician.

When to See A Doctor

While most diaper rashes are relatively mild and will go away within a few days with a little home care, there are, however, more serious instances where parents should see a physician.

Seek professional medical care if any of the following occurs:

  • Rash is accompanied by a fever
  • Rash does not improve or gets worse despite home care
  • Rash persists for longer than a week
  • Bleeds, begins to blister or drains pus
  • Blisters or sores begin to appear
  • Baby is in pain while urinating or defecating
  • Baby becomes extremely difficult to console

Depending on the type and severity of the rash diagnosed, your dermatologist may choose to treat the diaper rash with an antibiotic or antifungal cream. A mild steroid may be prescribed in cases where the rash is found to be caused by an allergic reaction.

Home Treatments

A mild diaper rash (where none of the above issues are present) can most likely be treated through various diaper routine changes. While diaper rashes can be caused by infection, allergies, or even the starting of new foods, the most common cause is simple irritation. Wet or dirty diapers that are left on too long can quickly irritate a baby’s sensitive skin.

Here are some simple ways to treat the rash from home:

  • Change your baby’s diaper often to make sure the skin stays clean
  • Try letting your baby’s bottom soak in warm water between diaper changes
  • Clean the skin using a gentle cleanser
  • Fully dry the skin by gently patting it with a soft cloth or letting the area air dry (refrain from any sort of rubbing)
  • Apply a zinc oxide diaper cream between diaper changings
  • Put the diaper on loosely to prevent chaffing
  • Consider letting your baby go diaper-free for a few hours daily to let the area “breathe”
  • Choose diapers and sensitive baby wipes that are free of dyes or fragrances


Macey Delcambre, MD

Macey Delcambre, MD is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is active in various medical organizations including the American Academy of Dermatology, the Texas Medical Association, and the Travis County Medical Society. Dr. Delcambre completed medical school at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine.

Leave a Reply