Diaper rash: What should I do for a persistent case?

A diaper rash can cause the skin to turn reddened and irritated. It is expected for the baby to experience some redness and irritation occasionally. On the other hand, some have diaper rash that do not seem to settle or appears unusually irritated.

In such instances, treatment is necessary. Luckily, there are treatment options available that can help the diaper rash subside.

What are the possible causes?


The skin of the infant might be irritated due to soaps, perfumes or dyes in diapers. The child might be highly sensitive to baby wipes, clothing or baby wash.



The skin of the infant might be irritated due to soaps, perfumes or dyes in diapers.

In case the child is given antibiotics, the “good” bacteria along with the bad ones might be eliminated. Yeast might start to grow excessively.

If the mother is breastfeeding and using antibiotics, the infant also faces a higher risk for diaper rash.


A diaper rash that does not settle is often due to a yeast infection. Since the diaper is moist and warm area, it naturally attracts yeast that can lead to an infection. The usual culprit is the Candida albicans fungus where the skin turns reddened with red dots or bumps at the borders.


Wetness, moisture and acidity from stool and urine can also lead to a diaper rash. This is likely the cause if the child has diarrhea.

Prescription care

Some of the prescription treatments that can be used to manage a persistent case of diaper rash include:

  • Antifungal cream
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Topical antibiotics

In case the infection is caused by bacteria, the doctor might also prescribe oral antibiotics.

Home remedies

There are also measures that can be done at home to manage a diaper rash while the prescription treatments take effect.

  • Air dry – set a schedule during the day where the baby does not wear a diaper. This helps allow the skin to air out and dry. You can place the child on a washable or waterproof changing mat for 10-minute periods to provide the skin with better air exposure.
  • Choose a bigger diaper – a tight diaper can retain moisture near the skin. By temporarily choosing a bigger diaper, it lessens the irritation and moisture on the current rash. The diaper should also be changed during the night to lessen excess moisture.
  • Utilize a two-part application – in case the doctor suggests a special topical cream, ask if applying a protectant such as petroleum jelly can be used. This can help keep the diaper from sticking on the medicated cream. Remember though that this is not suggested for all cases since petroleum jelly can affect the ability of the skin to dry out.