Diaper Rash: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 8/24/2020

Diaper rash is a term that refers to a skin irritation that occurs in the area covered by a diaper in babies and toddlers.

Signs and symptoms of diaper rash may vary slightly depending on the cause. Contact with an irritant usually produces a red rash in areas with contact with urine and stool. Infections such as Candida can also involve skin folds. Other signs and symptoms can include

Causes of diaper rash

The most common cause of diaper rash is contact dermatitis, or inflammation of the skin due to contact with an irritating substance such as urine or stool. Both bacterial (staph and strep) and yeast/fungal (Candida) infections are also common causes of diaper rash. Both of these types of infections tend to arise from a disruption of skin integrity and overwhelming the natural defense mechanisms present in the skin. Diaper rash is not a sign of neglectful care. Allergic reactions are another possible, but less common, cause of diaper rash.

Other diaper rash symptoms and signs

  • Blisters
  • Itchiness Around the Anus
  • Peeling
  • Pimples
  • Red Rash in the Diaper Area


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.