Diaper Rash: Causes Prevention and Home Remedies

diaper rash

It is common for babies under the age of 2 years to develop diaper rash.95 percent of children experience diaper rash in the first 3 years of life. The frequent occurrence is between 9-12 months.

What does nappy rash look like?

The nappy rash may appear different depending on its severity. When the rash is mild, it is usually reddish and inflamed. The area could also feel hot on touch occasionally and if not treated, your child may end up developing scales

The rash usually affects the baby’s inner thighs and the bottom. It could also spread to the genitals and if not taken care of early it may cause skin breakage which could cause blood in the stool.

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  • Your baby is likely to be irritated during nappy changes as a result of pain from the breaking skin.

Causes of diaper rash

There are several causes of diaper rash as explained below:

  1. Friction

Majority of the rash cases are as a result of heat generated when the diaper rubs against the baby skin. As a result, the skin may become red, swollen and could eventually break.

  1. Irritation

Baby skin is sensitive and delicate. The washing detergents, diaper perfumes and the acidity of the baby’s urine may react with your baby’s skin causing sudden breakouts.

  1. Fungal infection

Also known as candida infection may appear as reddish appearance and usually occurs after use of antibiotics. Antibiotics reduce your child’s body immunity when used for a longer time, hence increasing the risk of them having a candida infection.

  1. Allergies

As earlier said the baby skin is sensitive, sometimes it reacts with chemicals found in the wipes, soaps and diaper pants.

  1. Diarrhea

If your baby has recently had diarrhea, it could be the cause of the nappy rash. The chemical substances and toxins in the baby’s poo could irritate your child’s skin.

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How To Treat Diaper Rash in Newborn

How do I treat nappy rash? You can treat mild nappy rash at home yourself. Here is how to treat your baby’s nappy rash at home:

  • You should change your baby’s diapers as often as you can
  • Wash your baby’s skin with mild soap and make sure the clothes are also washed in non-irritant detergent.
  • Avoid plastic pants during nappy rash healing period
  • Do not use any new soap that you have not used before on your child.
  • Use a doctor-prescribed anti-fungal cream if your baby’s rash happens to be caused by candida.

Can you prevent your baby from getting a nappy rash?

Nappy rash can be prevented, here is how to:

  • Do not put a nappy on your baby before their skin completely dries off.
  • Avoid tape adhering to your baby’s skin. It could be the cause of allergic reactions.
  • Wash your hands every time before you change your child’s diapers to prevent infections.
  • Use an absorbent nappy to enable reduce moisture on your baby skin.
  • Apply a thin layer of a barrier cream, which you should ask your doctor to recommend for you. Apply this cream each time before you put on a diaper on your baby.
  • Always find the time when you can keep your baby diaper free. This will enable proper air circulation in the skin. However, clean the floor before you leave your baby nappy-free, this way you will prevent any infections.
  • Avoid bathing your baby too much. This dries up their skin and gives room for irritation. If you think your baby’s skin is dry, you can get apply petroleum or zinc oxide. It helps soothe minor skin ailments such as nappy rash

Home remedies for diaper rash

The main cause of diaper rash is usually prolonged exposure to dirty diaper and moisture from wet diaper. Well, diaper rash can be treated at home by using the following remedies:

  1. Baking soda

Baking soda is alkaline in nature with healing properties. Here is how to get rid of nappy rash using baking soda:

  1. Dissolve a tablespoon of baking soda in in three cups of water.
  2. Pat your baby’s bottom using a clean towel soaked in this water each time you change a diaper.
  3. Alternatively, you can add two tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water into your baby’s tub
  4. Use this mixture to bath your baby’s bottom three times in a day.
  5. Always dry your baby’s skin after bathing him before putting on a diaper

2.Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a widely used home remedy. It contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that help alleviate nappy rash. Coconut oil also has a soothing effect on the baby’s skin. Here is how to treat nappy rash using home remedies:

  1. Add a significant amount of coconut oil to the bathing water.
  2. Use this mixture to wash your baby’s bottom at least three times in a day.
  3. Coconut is a good moisturizer for the baby’s skin. It will also help kill fungal infection.


Cornstarch is great in absorbing moisture. For this reason, it helps the skin dry faster help to help treat nappy rash. Here is how to get rid of nappy rash using cornstarch:

  1. Put a tablespoon of cornstarch in bath water
  2. Soak the baby in water for about 10 minutes
  3. Finally bath your baby in the solution.
  4. Repeat the procedure twice daily until baby skin look better


Protein soothes the skin. There are relatively high amounts of protein in oatmeal that could help ease your baby’s skin. Oatmeal also contains a natural chemical called saponin, which is great in eliminating unwanted dirt from the skin pores. Here is how to use this home remedy to treat nappy rash:

  1. Add a table spoon to bath water
  2. Allow your baby to soak in water for about 15 minutes
  3. Finally bath your baby in the solution.
  4. Repeat the procedure twice daily to help heal nappy rash completely.

When to call a doctor

In most instances, nappy rash is nothing to worry about. However, call your doctor when:

  • The nappy rash is getting severe and spreading to the other parts of the body
  • The outbreak is not getting better after treatment lasting more than a week
  • You are not sure what the cause of the rash is
  • The nappy rash is occurring during diarrhea
  • You think the nappy rash could be a result of allergic reactions.

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