Different Types of Diaper Rash: A Complete Guide for Parents

  • By: Debbie
  • Date: March 18, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

As any parent will tell you, diaper rashes are the worst!

Parents are constantly searching for the best way to prevent diaper rash. We get it, we all want what’s best for our babies. 

The problem is that it is difficult to tell what will be the best treatment until you know the type of diaper rash your baby has, or what’s causing it. Once you work that out, you are halfway to treating the diaper rash.

Diaper rash is not just a minor annoyance. It’s also a symptom that something is amiss with your child’s skin and can lead to very painful skin conditions if not treated quickly and with the appropriate treatment.

The three different types of diaper rashes

There are four main types of diaper rash. One that is caused by skin irritants, one as a result of an allergic reaction, one caused by candida or yeast or bacterial infection. The appropriate diaper rash treatment will depend on what type of diaper rash your baby has so its important to identify the rash in the diaper area before commencing any treatment.

Positively identifying the type of diaper rash is a great first step in the right direction for your baby.

Skin Irritation Rash

Most diaper rashes are caused by skin irritants, so if your infant has a skin irritant-induced diaper rash, the first thing you should do is try to determine the source of the skin irritation. 

Irritation is caused by feces and urine. Prolonged contact with urine or stool might irritate a baby’s delicate skin. Because feces are more irritating than urine, your infant may be more prone to diaper rash if he or she has frequent bowel movements or diarrhea.

Rubbing or chafing Rashes can be caused by tight-fitting diapers or clothes that rub against the skin.

Irritation caused by a new product. Your infant’s skin may be irritated by baby wipes, a new brand of disposable diapers, or a detergent, bleach, or fabric softener used to launder cloth diapers. Ingredients present in some baby creams, powders, and oils can also contribute to the condition.

Itchy, red, raised, scaly skin in the diaper region is a sign of allergic contact dermatitis. Skin that comes into touch with the diaper’s colors might become sensitive and develop an allergic response. Some baby wipes include preservatives, which might induce an allergic response.

Babies who have skin problems such as atopic dermatitis or seborrheic dermatitis (eczema) are more prone to get diaper rash. The inflamed skin of atopic dermatitis and eczema, on the other hand, primarily affects places other than the diaper area. Depending on the severity of the eczema, a doctor may offer a steroid cream or another therapy.

Yeast Diaper Rash

A yeast diaper rash is not the same as an ordinary diaper rash. A common cause of diaper rash is an irritant. In the case of a yeast diaper rash, however, yeast (Candida) produces the rash.

Yeast is a microbe that is alive. It lives naturally on the skin but can be difficult to control when there is an overgrowth. You will often find it in the skin folds where an irritant diaper rash is not usually evident.

Diaper rashes that won’t go away are frequently caused by a yeast infection. Your baby’s diaper is a warm, wet environment that draws yeast, which can lead to illness. The fungus Candida albicans, also known as yeast, is responsible.

If your baby’s diaper rash may seem red and inflammatory, with white, fluid-filled blisters or large areas covered in a white, scaly covering it could be a yeast infection.

A yeast infection can occur if a kid has a severe diaper rash that splits open and oozes. To prevent a diaper rash becoming worse its vital that you change wet or dirty diapers as soon as possible. A wet or dirty diaper next to inflamed skin in the diaper area will inflame it even more.

Remember baby’s skin is very sensitive skin and it doesn’t take long for a diaper rash to turn into pus-filled sores if not treated in time. Frequent diaper changes are needed and use a barrier diaper cream to keep the baby’s skin protected from prolonged exposure.

Bacterial Diaper Rash

Bacterial infections in the diaper area are often caused by two bacteria,

Perianal streptococcal dermatitis is characterized by a brilliant red, well-defined rash produced by group A beta-hemolytic streptococci. Symptoms include a perianal rash, itching, and rectal discomfort; one-third of patients may also have blood-streaked feces.

If you have a bacterial infection you will most likely need topical or oral antibiotics to treat the rash.

How do you know when it’s bad diaper rash and when it’s just normal?

When your child is suffering from diaper rash, you’ll know that he or she is very uncomfortable. You can also tell if a diaper rash is getting worse by watching your baby’s behavior and noting how it changes.

Your baby might cry or show signs of discomfort if he or she is experiencing diaper rash. It will be evident when your child cries because of diaper rash, but it can also be hard to tell if a diaper rash is actually getting worse. If you see signs of it getting more inflamed or that you baby is in pain, then its a bad diaper rash and you will need to see if its a yeast rash so you can apply a topical antifungal cream on the irritated skin.

How often should you change the diaper?

If your child is not experiencing a diaper rash, they you can change the diaper every 2-3 hours unless it is soiled.

If your baby’s diaper rash appears then you should put a fresh diaper on with more frequent diaper changes, ensure you clean the diaper ara with a soft cloth and warm water and ensure that you remove any excess moisture from the area.

If your child’s rash gets worse you should consider if there have been any allergic reactions to food, laundry soap, baby lotions baby powder or diaper brands. Often something as simple as changing diaper brands will help. Skin sensitive to environmental factors will often manifest itself as bright red skin, this is irritant dermatitis. Home treatment and removing the irritant will clear up irritant contact dermatitis. Skin sensitivity can be genetic or just because!

When your baby starts solid foods this is when most diaper rashes begin to occur. It is vital you keep a food diary of your baby’s diet which you can give to your child’s healthcare provider should the symptoms not clear up.

Is there something wrong with my diet if my baby gets yeast infections?

A diaper rash or yeast infection on a baby’s bottom can be a sign of a digestive tract imbalance. This occurs when the normal balance of bacteria in your baby’s body is disrupted. A baby can get a diaper rash if he or she suffers from a yeast infection (a condition caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the colon). It can also happen when your baby has an intestinal infection or when he or she takes antibiotics either directly or via your breastmilk.

Does the yeast diaper rash come back often?

If you yeast diaper rash comes back often on baby’s bum then you may need to consider why. Causes could be diet or environment. Candida rashes happen more frequently if babies are not kept clean and dry, are taking antibiotics (either directly or via a mothers breast milk), or have diarhea caused by a food allergy.

Choosing Baby Names x
Choosing Baby Names

If using cloth diapers it is vital that you kill off an cadidada spores which may be present on the diaper.

Can you eat yogurt and/or use yogurt on a yeast diaper rash?

Yes! Yogurt is a natural and safe treatment for a yeast diaper rash. You can just put yogurt in the diaper area to treat the skin infection at each diaper change. Yogurt’s anti-inflammatory characteristics aid in the fight against microbial infection and the treatment of skin rashes.

However, make sure it is a natural yogurt. Any yogurt containing sugar will ‘feed’ the yeast and make the rash worse.

Is diaper rash cream a good idea?

Yes, to treat diaper dermatitis or for preventing diaper rash either a homemade treatment or an over the counter diaper rash cream will work.

If you are looking for a natural treatment, then read our guide to natural treatments for diaper rash here.

Many diaper rash products contain zinc oxide as an active component. They are often rubbed to your baby’s rash throughout the day to calm and protect his or her skin. It doesn’t need much — just a thin layer will suffice.

Zinc oxide is great at preventing diaper rash because it gives the skin a protective layer. However, even with a protective barrier it’s vital you change diapers frequently and if you child is in day care remind your child’s provider to do the same.

When necessary, the product can be put over medicinal creams such as an antifungal or a steroid. You might also use petroleum jelly to protect the diaper from clinging to the cream.

Can diaper rash cream make it worse?

Yes, maybe! If your child diaper cream contains irritant contact dermatitis then it could make the condition worse. Some creams or treatments, like cornstarch, should never be used with certain rashes, like yeast raches.

If your diaper rash includes pus filled bumps then you will probably need an antiviral cream to deal with it and a diaper rash cream will not work.

 Take Away

So, what are the key takeaways? First and foremost, it’s important to keep your baby clean and dry, as this will help reduce the chances of a yeast infection or diaper rash. You should also bathe your baby regularly (every other day is typically recommended) and change their diaper often – especially if they have a rash. If you do notice that your child has a yeast infection or diaper rash, be sure to try some of the natural remedies we mentioned, such as yogurt or oatmeal baths. And finally, if over-the-counter creams don’t seem to be working, it may be time to consult with your doctor.