Diaper Rash Types and How to Spot Them

Diaper Rash Types and How to Spot Them

How do you identify different diaper rash types? What causes them? And how do you tell them apart from other conditions? We’ll take you through the details.
If your baby has diaper rash, they’re not alone!

Up to 35 percent of babies in the US suffer from the problem at any one time.

We’re going to explore the different diaper rash types and what causes them.

And we’ll explain how to tell diaper rash apart from other problems.

In this article: 📝

  • Diaper rash types
  • What can be mistaken for diaper rash?
  • How do I know if it’s diaper rash or something else?
  • When should I be concerned about diaper rash?

Diaper rash types

Diaper rash is any rash on the part of your baby’s body that’s covered by a diaper.

The different types of diaper rash are:

Irritant diaper rash

This is caused by your baby’s pee and poop irritating their skin.

It’s especially likely when your little one is teething or if they have diarrhea.

Babies with this kind of rash will have reddened skin in the diaper area, often with small red or pink bumps.

Yeast infection

Rashes with shiny pink or red patches and sharp edges could be a sign of a yeast infection.

There may also be pimples, bumps, sores, and cracking or bleeding skin.

The rash is often worst in the folds of skin at the groin.


Some babies are allergic to the chemicals in wipes, lotions, or laundry detergents.

If you’ve just applied a product and the rash is showing up in the same place, an allergy may be to blame

Irritant diaper rash is the most common of the diaper rash types.

And the good news is there are things you can do to help keep your little peanut rash-free.

What can be mistaken for diaper rash?

Conditions like eczema, impetigo, heat rash, and psoriasis can also result in rashes.

And while their diaper may irritate them further, it’s not the underlying issue.

Psoriasis is relatively rare in babies.

But because it appears in the diaper area, it can be easy to mistake for diaper rash.

It can also look bumpy and red.

And sometimes, the skin becomes thick and red, with gray or silvery scales.

Eczema can also lead to patches of red or hard, scaly skin.

But it’s rare for it to be in the diaper area and nowhere else.

With impetigo, the skin develops sores, often filled with pus.

They usually appear on the face, hands, and feet but can show up in the diaper area too.

There’s a chance your baby’s diaper rash could also be caused by the heat.

If you think this could be the case, try giving baby a cooler (not cold!) bath and apply a cool compress to the rash.

How do I know if it’s diaper rash or something else?

In most cases, the location of the rash on your baby’s body will tell you if it’s diaper rash.

If it’s only in the diaper area, chances are that’s what it is.

But that’s not always the case.

And sometimes, as with diaper psoriasis, it can be really hard to tell the difference.

If you’re worried, the safest bet is always to consult a doctor.

They’ll be able to take a look at your baby’s skin and advise on the best course of action.

When should I be concerned about diaper rash?

Diaper rash looks sore, but it’s not usually anything to be too worried about.

If it isn’t causing your baby too much discomfort, it’s probably an irritant rash.

Applying a barrier cream will protect their skin, and the rash should clear up after about three days.

But if it doesn’t go away, or if your baby appears to be in pain, take them to the doctor.

The same applies if the rash is bright red and moist, with red or white pimples.

That could be a sign of infection.

There are lots of different diaper rash types.

The most common kind, irritant diaper rash, will clear up quickly with some barrier cream.

But if your little peanut is in discomfort or you’re worried, check in with a doctor.

They’ll be able to advise on the best approach.

And if you’d like some extra support through all of this, join us on Peanut.

You don’t have to do this alone.

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