Kids Home > Diaper Rash Signs and Symptoms

Depending on the particular cause of diaper rash, signs and symptoms may vary. In most cases, the indication is a flat, red rash within the diaper area; the most common areas affected are the buttocks, upper thighs, lower abdomen, and genitals. In more severe cases, symptoms and signs may include pain, raised rash, peeling of the skin, and bleeding.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Diaper Rash?

A diaper rash is any rash in the skin area covered by the diaper. It can affect anyone who wears a diaper, although it is most common in infants and toddlers. The peak time for diaper rashes is between 9 and 12 months of age.

What Does a Diaper Rash Look Like?

Your basic run-of-the-mill diaper rash is a flat, red rash within the diaper area. The buttocks, upper thighs, lower abdomen (stomach), and genitals are the most common areas affected. It is normally not found within the folds of skin between the body and thighs or body and genitals.
There is variation in what a diaper rash looks like based on how severe it is and what is causing it. In more severe cases, the skin can be painful and the rash raised, thickened, peeling, weeping, and/or bleeding. Other signs include blisters, pimples, and/or open sores within the red area or on the outside of the main rash.
A diaper rash is caused by the irritation of the sensitive skin of a baby (generally from urine or stool) that has been overexposed to moisture inside the diaper. If caught quickly enough, it should clear up easily with some simple at-home treatments. Ignoring the condition may lead to an infection (usually with yeast) that can take longer to get better.
A yeast diaper rash looks more severe. Some signs and symptoms of a diaper rash infected with yeast include:
  • Dark red areas of skin, with or without raised bumps and/or yellow pus-filled blisters
  • Smaller areas of rash and/or pus-filled blisters on the outer edges of the main rash.
A yeast-infected diaper rash is also often in the skin folds between the body and thighs or around the genitals. The tip of the penis can be affected.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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