Identifying the Causes of Diaper Rash

  • The primary cause of diaper rash is prolonged and increased exposure to wetness/moisture
  • Other contributing factors are:
    • The closed environment created by the diaper that increases warmth and moisture
    • Chafing from friction or rubbing against diapers
    • Prolonged contact of the skin with urine, feces, or both

Helping Moms Recognize When Diaper Rash Is Likely to Occur

  • Help mom recognize that certain triggers are associated with diaper rash
  • At every diaper change, take precautionary measures to protect baby’s delicate skin


  • Do not apply baby’s diaper too tightly
  • Change wet or soiled diaper right away
  • Allow diaper area to dry before applying a new diaper
  • Protect baby’s tender skin with a diaper rash product

Solid foods

  • New foods, particularly solid foods, can change the content of baby’s stool, increasing the likelihood of diaper rash1
  • Changes in mom’s diet for breastfed babies can increase the potential for diaper rash to develop1

Antibiotic use

  • Because antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, their use has been associated with diaper rash1
  • Antibiotic use in breastfeeding mothers may cause diaper rash in their babies11

Reference: Diaper rash. Mayo Clinic Web site. Accessed January 22, 2016.