Baby Care Blog

What Causes Diaper Rash: Obvious & Sneaky Culprits

There’s nothing more upsetting than changing your baby’s diaper only to discover an ugly, painful looking, shiny red rash on her most sensitive skin. As a mom, you want answers, “What is that?!” “Where did that come from?!” And more importantly, ”How do I make it go away!?”

Even for the most informed mom, it can be shocking to see diaper rash for the first time because it seems to appear out of nowhere. Diaper rash also looks horrible. The rash might consist of small, angry red bumps or water-filled blisters. Sometimes the skin is pink with patches of bright redness.

The good news is you can quickly kick diaper rash discomfort to the curb with Boudreaux’s®. Once you identify it as diaper rash, you can start to treat its symptoms immediately by slathering on Boudreaux’s Butt Paste® -- Original Boudreaux’s Butt Paste®, Maximum Strength Boudreaux’s Butt Paste® or Boudreaux’s Butt Paste with Natural* Aloe®.

After baby’s behind is clean and thoroughly dry, apply a thick layer of Boudreaux’s® to form a protective layer against further irritants. The active ingredient, zinc oxide, helps fight the diaper rash. Moms say it works immediately to sooth diaper rash discomfort and starts relieving on contact, and they see improvement within hours of the first application.

Now you’ve figured out your plan of attack to address that nasty rash with Boudreaux’s®, but how do you prevent it from coming back? Let’s take a look at the main causes of diaper rash -- some of them may surprise you!

Too much wetness

The main trigger of diaper rash is prolonged wetness. Think about it, your baby’s wet diaper is typically full of pee or poop. Even if it’s not a poopy diaper, a pee pee diaper will be moist and warm. No matter how absorbent a diaper may be, that wetness is still making contact with your baby’s sensitive skin. Plus, babies wear diapers 24/7! And babies have all sorts of little skin creases and folds in their diaper area, which makes for even more friction, especially if skin is damp.

So how do you ease this prolonged wetness problem? Give your baby diaper-free time. Perhaps it’s after a diaper change when she can air dry, which is recommended before applying Boudreaux’s®, or maybe after her bath, she can crawl around in all of her glory for a while. It’s not easy to take a break from diapers, but with a little bit of planning and a layer of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste® with every diaper change, you can help her keep diaper rash away.

Elevated pH levels are pesky

Even if you change wet diapers as quickly as possible to keep your baby’s bum dry, there are other factors that can cause diaper rash like elevated pHs levels. This is commonly found in your baby’s fecal matter, which is why it can be so irritating to her sensitive skin.

Depending on her developing digestive system, she may experience higher pH levels at time. For example, is she has a bout of diarrhea, this can trigger diaper rash, because the pH levels in her poop may be higher.

Be mindful of pH levels in baby wipes

Another potential culprit that can cause diaper rash in baby wipes. That’s because the pH of cleansing products can impact the microbiological spectrum of your baby’s sensitive skin. Soaps or wipes with high pH values can increase the probability of harmful bacteria growth (AKA diaper rash). If you choose soaps/cleansers with a lower pH of around 5.5, they should not cause changes in the microflora.

Sneaky super absorbent core

When you’re out and about with your baby, opting for disposable diapers that are deemed “superabsorbent” sounds like a novel idea. More absorbent means less time in changing rooms and more time having fun. But that plan can backfire if the chemicals in the diaper (like color dye) are actually causing diaper rash. This happens because some babies are slightly allergic to dyes in certain brands of disposable diapers. If your baby has diaper rash and you just can’t identify the cause, you might try switching diapers.

Diaper rash factoids & more causes of diaper rash

  • Diaper rash is the most common dermatologic condition experienced during the first three years of life
  • The primary cause is prolonged or increased exposure to wetness to the skin
  • Chafing from friction against diapers and/or tight clothing can cause diaper rash
  • You’re more likely to see diaper rash when you introduce solid foods to baby’s diet
  • Diaper rash can occur when breast-feeding moms eat certain foods
  • If baby or mama is taking antibiotics, that can be a cause of diaper rash
  • If your baby has any skin conditions like eczema, she may be more prone to diaper rash
  • Diaper rash can be triggered by new products like soap, wipes, diapers, detergent or fabric softener

Did you discover icky diaper rash on your baby’s beautiful bum? What was the first thing you did to kick diaper rash to the curb? Let us know in the comments section on our Facebook page.

*Other ingredients may not be natural. Natural refers to the source of the ingredients and allows for only a minimal, non-chemical processing of those ingredients.