This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff and is brought to you by Desitin.

What Are the Treatments for Diaper Rash?

Most diaper rashes respond well to home treatments and don't need medical care. Change your baby’s diaper often, and let him have some naked time so his skin can completely dry. That will help improve the irritated area.

If the condition doesn’t get better after 3 or 4 days, call your pediatrician.

For an ordinary rash, the doctor may recommend an over-the-counter ointment containing zinc oxide to protect the skin.

If your child ends up getting a bacterial infection, he may need an antibiotic ointment.

For diaper rashes caused by candida, your pediatrician will prescribe an antifungal cream and possibly an antifungal medicine, taken by mouth as a liquid, to clear up patches of thrush in your baby's mouth.

For diaper rashes involving the skin conditions seborrheic dermatitis or eczema, doctors sometimes prescribe corticosteroid cream. Over-the-counter antifungal and mild corticosteroid creams containing hydrocortisone are also available. You should check with your child's pediatrician before you try them instead of prescription creams.

How Can I Prevent Diaper Rash?

It's hard to do. Your best strategy is to let your baby go without diapers as much as possible.

You can shorten a case of diaper rash, or make it not as severe, by keeping your baby dry and clean. Change his diaper as soon as it becomes soiled.

If you use cloth rather than disposable diapers, wash them in hot water. Also, use bleach or vinegar in the rinse water and add extra rinse cycles to help kill bacteria and remove traces of soap.

Some doctors discourage the use of talcum (baby) powder because it’s bad for your little one's lungs if accidentally inhaled. But it’s safe if used as directed.

WebMD Medical Reference

NEXT IN THE SERIES

From WebMD

More on Diaper Rash