Last Updated on December 12, 2020 by Kinacle.

Common Causes Of Diaper RashDiaper rash is extremely common, but it can be upsetting for both you and baby. While there are numerous things you can do to reduce the chances of your little one developing the rash, the truth is most babies will develop it at some point. Therefore, it is a good idea to plan ahead and look at the best treatment options available.

In the meantime, let’s look at what the most common causes of diaper rash are. By understanding the causes, it gives you the opportunity to potentially avoid them and minimize your baby’s risk.

Chafing, Rubbing And Diaper Irritation

A very common cause of diaper rash is linked to the actual diaper itself. If the diaper is tightfitting for example, it may chafe and rub against baby’s sensitive skin. This in turn will lead to a nasty, uncomfortable rash.

Some disposable diapers also contain chemicals which your little one’s skin may also be sensitive to. So, it would be worth trying out several different brands to see whether the problem is linked to the diaper itself.

Leaving Dirty Diapers On Too Long

If a dirty diaper is left on for too long, this too can really irritate baby’s skin. Both urine and stools can cause diaper rash, but stools are particularly more irritating. Therefore, babies who are experiencing a lot of diarrhea are more prone to developing a rash if the diaper isn’t changed quickly enough.

The reason behind this is because when stools mix with urine, ammonia develops and this is especially irritating to sensitive skin. It is worth noting that even the best, most absorbent diapers cannot stop a little moisture seeping through to your little one’s skin.

Also, if your baby’s skin is extra-sensitive, even if you change the diaper regularly it may not prevent them from developing a rash.

Yeast Infection

Yeast infections commonly develop from skin infections. The genital, thigh and buttock area provide the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. You’ll be able to tell if a yeast infection is the cause because it’s largely found within the creases of the skin, with red dots often scattered around them.

If your baby has thrush, this can also lead to the development of a yeast infection so that’s something to look out for too.

Dietary Changes

Perhaps the most surprising cause is the introduction of new foods. Many babies start to develop diaper rash when they are introduced onto solids for the first time. The reason behind this is because solid foods alter the composition of the stool. As mentioned earlier, stools can be particularly irritating to baby’s skin. Due to how sensitive your little one’s skin actually is, any changes in the stools can be problematic.

Similarly, if you’re breastfeeding your baby, anything new that you eat will be passed through your milk. So, it could be a change in your diet that causes the rash.


Another cause linked to breastfeeding, if you’re taking antibiotics this can increase the chances of your baby developing a yeast infection.

This is because antibiotics are used to kill off bacteria. The trouble is, they don’t just kill the bad bacteria, they also eliminate the good bacteria which is typically used to ensure yeast levels don’t become problematic. The same applies if your baby is prescribed antibiotics too.

These are the main causes of diaper rash. As you can see, some can be avoided, but the majority of the time diaper rash develops regardless of what you do to try to prevent it.

What Does It Look Like?

So now you know the causes, the question is how can you tell if your baby has diaper rash? It’s typically quite obvious to distinguish diaper rash from other types of rashes.

As the name suggests, it develops around and is isolated to the diaper area. You’ll also find it develops quite suddenly. While a rash is the most obvious symptom, there are a few other things to look out for. Dryness and flaking, raised dry bumps and swelling are other potential symptoms your little one may develop.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that some baby’s experience a milder diaper rash than others. Therefore, the treatment will largely depend upon its severity. It’s a good idea to seek advice from a pediatrician or doctor to find out the best way to treat it.


Overall, by learning the causes of diaper rash you can take necessary steps to prevent it from developing. However, even your best efforts might not stop your baby suffering with it at some stage.

Do you have any tips or advice on treating and preventing diaper rash? Share them below!


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult with a doctor or licensed medical professional before making any medical decisions.

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  1. When the baby was born many people suggested us that we should not use diapers. Some of the reasons they pointed out were:
    baby could develop urinary track infection
    rashes will be common
    Iching will be common
    We did not want to take chances, therefore we began using cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers. Cloth diaper has many problems, but it is safer than disposable diaper.

    1. @vinaya Cloth diapers are always more mess than disposable diapers, if you can endure the stress of always washing them, it’s leakages then it’s probably a good alternative. But generally I think that disposable diapers are a lot better because of the convenience it comes with.

      1. It is true that there will be leakage problem with cloth diapers (we call them nappies). Another problem associated with cloth diapers is you will have to wash them. However, There are a lot more benefits of using nappies than disposable diapers. I tell this from my experience. Nappies will never cause irritations and itchings because you will change once the baby soils the nappie.
        Since you will be using disposable diapers for a long time, your baby will develop rashes and itching.

  2. I can very well attest to the option one and two in the common cause of diaper rash in babies. First babies skins are still too soft and very tender, so therefore it doesn’t need anything that gives added pressure to it. And once the diapers clasp too tight on their skin, the tendency of causing rashes is 100% possible.

    And also, it’s very important to always change the baby diapers immediately they mess it up with urine and poop. Even if it’s not immediately but let it not be more than 30 minutes after the mess, because the long it stays on the baby, the higher chance of it causing the baby harm goes up.

    Personally, I’m of the opinion that it’s not always good to put on a diaper on the baby, sometimes if you aren’t going anywhere but just being at home, it’s better to allow the baby some fresh air down there but not too often in order to avoid the child getting cold flu.

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