Common Causes of Diaper Rash


Did you know that diaper rash is one of the most common skin conditions for infants and children? Or that it can affect up to 35% of infants between 9-12 months old?


As a parent of an infant or toddler, it’s important to know how to identify and remedy these skin irritations in a safe and effective way. After all, your little one doesn’t come with a manual and educating yourself on ways to care for your child’s health and wellness will go a long way.


Thankfully, most rashes are short-lived and can easily be treated at home (so you don’t have to make an abrupt clinic visit in your slippers).


To put your mind at ease, we’re sharing the best ways to manage diaper rashes to avoid tears and sleepless nights.


Identifying rashes and their causes

With many common causes of diaper rash, it can be difficult to pinpoint the actual type (there are several). To help you recognize the rash types and their causes, we've created a helpful guide for you below.


Type: Irritant Dermatitis

The primary one is irritant dermatitis — which is caused by increased exposure to wetness against the skin from soiled diapers. When air is trapped near your baby’s bottom, warmth and moisture tend to occur. Typically, you’ll notice redness and swelling on your little one’s skin along the top of the diaper, over the bum and around the legs.


Type: Candida Dermatitis

Another one of the most common types of diaper rash is candida dermatitis. This is specifically caused by yeast overgrowth inside the diapered area and has an appearance of redness with pus. Yeast thrives in a warm and wet environment and occurs when there is an imbalance in the microbes living on the baby’s skin (allowing irritation to form).


Type: Allergic Dermatitis

The third type, allergic dermatitis, is caused by an allergic reaction to chemicals or materials used while changing the diaper. To find the root cause of the rash, you’ll want to look at the ingredients listed on the products you use to ensure they are fragrance-free and don’t have chemical substances. Besides showing visible redness, the skin may also be dry and flaky in some areas.


Type: Bacterial Dermatitis

A fourth common type is bacterial dermatitis. These bacterial rashes occur when the skin is already irritated or has small cuts from vigorous wiping. Since infant skin hasn’t developed enough of a defense to prevent bacteria from entering the compromised tissue, their skin can suffer until they are able to build resistance.


Once you learn the common causes of diaper rash irritation and become familiar with each type, it’s time to seek the proper treatment for your little one. 



If you Google online, you'll see several touted cures, from how to use cornstarch for diaper rash pain relief to trying a variety of over-the-counter creams. To help with your research, we're sharing what medical experts typically recommend for treatment.


When researching how to use cornstarch for diaper rash prevention, several recommend using a paste or barrier cream with zinc oxide to soothe skin while also preventing contact with feces and other irritants. When using this treatment, it’s essential to apply a thick layer on the rash. Parents often don’t use a sufficient amount (which results in continued irritation) so don’t be hesitant. The best part about pastes and creams is they are also excellent for preventing irritation before the problem starts.


As you educate yourself about all of the remedies reported online, including how to use cornstarch for diaper rash irritation, please remember to lean toward trusting the advice from qualified medical professionals.



The best way to abstain from rashes is by learning when to change a diaper, which should be done frequently and speedily. The key is getting your kiddo a new diaper as soon as you know the current one is wet or soiled. Since prolonged exposure to a moist diaper is one of the common causes of diaper rash irritation, it’s crucial to think ahead. Parents should also aim to change their infant’s diaper every two to three hours and before bedtime.


Another way to prevent this problem from surfacing is to size up or loosen your little one’s diaper. This will give their skin more space to breathe, especially at night when they are in their diaper the longest. Additionally, you should allow diaper-free time for healthier skin (with a towel down to prevent accidents). It’s also helpful to steer clear of juices that are acidic and may cause diarrhea. Knowing when to change a diaper can easily prevent irritations from occurring and keep your little ones’ baby-soft skin feeling its best.


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Want to learn more about how to be steps ahead of diaper rashes? Our online parenting courses can help! Click here to sign-up for a seven-day trial and access them for free today.