43 answers

Severe Diaper Rash - 18 Month Old Boy

My son has a severe diaper rash. He is 18 months old. It seems to get worse every day for over a week now. His skin is bleeding in several places. I have put diaper rash ointment (Bourdaux's) on at every changing since this started. I change his diaper (Huggies) frequently - almost once an hour and immediately when dirty. Any ideas what is causing this or what I can do to get rid of it?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

After 6 long weeks of terrible diaper rash on my 18 month old son - raw skin bleeding in several places, I FINALLY got rid of it - with your help!! I tried several things first - took to doctor, got antifungal prescription cream, had 4 stool tests done, got special diaper cream from pharmacy called Calmoseptine, tried overnight diaper cream with high zinc oxide, changed diet, eliminated baby wipes, etc..... Nothing Worked!!!! Finally, I tried a suggestion a few of you mentioned (that I ignored at first because I thought it wasn't my case) and changed his brand of diapers!! Apparently he gets a reaction from Huggies brand diapers!! I realized that I had usually used Kirland brand from Costco and had only recently switched to Huggies, which I thought were comparable (and I couldn't get to Costco for awhile). On a long-shot, I bought a box of Pampers. After 4 days, his excrutiatingly painful diaper rash was gone. I was amazed! Thank you - i NEVER would have tried that suggestion if you hadn't mentioned it!!

Featured Answers

I agree it may be a yeast infection. My youngest son also had a rash and raction with Huggies. The thing that worked the best for eiher of my boys was to leave the diaper off as much as possible. I used cloth with the oldest till he was almost a year old. At 18 months you should beable to start potty training him. But seriously take him to a doctor if it is bleeding and let the fresh air get to it.

I suggest good old fashioned corn starch and alternate with aquaphor.

Oatmeal baths help too!

Good Luck

My wonderful pediatrician had me use Triple Paste Cream and Aquaphor ointment. My son has not had a rash or irritation on his bottom since.

More Answers

Hi C.,

Our twins use to get really bad diaper rash. We use to put maloxx on them when we changed them instead of diaper rash cream. And depending on how bad it was we would rub maloxx on it and then some corn starch. They have bad diaper rash because of the acid in their pee and the maloxx helps clear that up just like when you have heart burn. The corn starch does the samething, just a dry one.
Good luck!

If his skin is bleeding I would take him in to the pediatrician. You don't want him to get an infection. In terms of diaper rash ointment, I might also try the triple paste brand and even some aquaphor over the really bad areas. Good luck and God Bless!

Hi C.,
Think about anything that has changed since he started having the horrible rashes - detergent, fabric softener, new foods, new vitamins, different brand of diapers, etc. Anything different could possibly be something that he is allergic to.

Have you tried some neosporinn to help with the area where it is bleeding? I would also call the dr. My daughter had a severe diaper rash shortly after she was born and then actually prescribed an ointment to help clear it up.

The diaper rash could be a fungal infection. Get an antifungal from the drugstore, you can ask the pharmacist which one to use. Usually the same antifungal that is used for vaginal yeast infections. If it is a fungal infection, and each one of my kids had at least one, you should see inmprovement within a day or two, but use it for the full time it is recommended or it could come back. If that doesn't clear it up,or if it gets worse, it could be a bacterial infection, and you would need to see a dr. for a prescription.

My daughter had same thing at around that age, I took her to the DR and he yelled at me about her diet, saying if she didn't eat so much greasy food she wouldn't have that problem which she didn't eat a whole lot of greasy food, and so he gave me a script and I left his office to never go back again, he was not nice... but the script worked. My advice, see the DR and see if it is something he is eating.

I would definitely take him to the doctor. My friends son also had this happen and it turned from a yeast infection into a really bad infection. If they decide it is just diaper rash, ask for some good ol Magic Butt Cream! Works wonders!! My twins needed it for a while and it cleared up within 2 days!

Give him daily baths until it is gone. That helps keep his skin clean (acid free). I use A&D Original Ointment and just smother it on real thick after his skin is completely dry. That stops the urine and acid from strong bowel movements from penetrating his skin.
If this does not help. See you pediatrician. They have prescription rash creams that are amazing.

Good luck with you little guy. Hope it clears up quickly.


Don't use wipe's thay will make the rash worse. Use warm wash cloth or put his but under warm running water. Do this for pee diapers too just to rinse him. let him air dry for about 10 mins make sure his but is completely dry before putting anything on it. try vasaline it will block any water hiting the area. I wouldn't put anymore diaper cream on him. Go to your pharmacist there is something called Calmoseptine Ointment it is a pink cream in a green and white tube. Your pharmacist may have to order it. Put this on thick you should see an improvement within two applications. The tube of ointment should cost about 11 to 15 dollars. but this stuff is the ultimate diaper cream. I used it on all 4 of my kids. I still use it on my 4 year old when she gets irritated down in the crouch area.

Hi C. -

I see you have a ton of responses already, so I'll try to keep mine short and sweet.

When my son developed a rash similar to what you're describing, we took him to his ped and he wrote us a script for "Nystatin" cream, that stuff cleared the rash up in a matter of days.

On a more regular basis, I only use Desitin cream to treat his bottom (the original thick white cream). Desitin has the highest concentration of Zinc Oxide (40%), the active ingredient in diaper creams. I figure, why play around with the other stuff, which typically only has 10-20% Zinc Oxide? Desitin is more expensive, but worth it in my opinion. I typically apply it when I know he'll be in a diaper for an extended period of time (riding in the car, overnight, etc.).

Ironically, my son had that bad rash when we used Huggies, too. We've since switched to Luvs, and we love them (no pun intended)! He hasn't had a rash since.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Hi C.,

All three of my boys broke out like that when I used Huggies. I could only use the Pampers on them. Since he is bleeding in spots I would take him into the doctor to cinfirm whether or not it might be a yeast infection, too. If it is then the doctor will give you a perscription that will clear it up quickly Ketaconizole (not sure of spelling) worked wonders for my boys.

Good luck - S.

my daughter had a rash like this. I used the A+D zinc oxide cream. it's a whitish cream and worked great. I also kept a diaper off her as much as possible. when i would change her i would let her run around for an hour or so no diaper. if your son would play in a play pen for a while, you could leave him in there no diaper. yiou would have to clean up accident, BUT it would really help him out. you could do that this weekend, and if no improvement by monday take him to the doctor's as other's have suggest.

when i did this, my duaghter's butt showed SIGNIFICANT improvement by the time she went to bed. She had the same thing a small rash that got bad fast and was bleeding.

This may sound crazy but use milk of magnesia. my daughter had a horrible rash and this was the only thing that worked. I just poured a little bit on her bottom and it started clearing up over night. takes the sting out and helps dry it up.

Hey Chantalle, you're going to need to take him to your doctor. It sounds like a fungal diaper rash. You'll have to get a prescription cream. I'm a mom of two and a nurse, and I've been through this with both my boys. You'll be amazed how quickly it clears up with the prescription cream! Good luck.

it could be a yeast rash which you can treat at home with any yeast ointment (same stuff you would treat yourself with) If that doesn't work you can talk to your Dr. about getting him prescription strength cream.

Everyone will have their own suggestions, I'm sure. I've had wonderful luck using cloth wipes with Dr. Bronner's hemp and tea tree oil soap (a very small amt diluted in a coffee/travel mug) plus a small amount of Triple Paste diaper cream. I can't say enough about Triple Paste, I've recommended it to 3 friends and even the worst diaper rash has cleared up within 2-3 days. It's expensive but so worth it! You can find it at Target, BRU, Buy Buy Baby, etc.

I also let my daughter's bum air out for a good 10 minutes in the morning, but that would be a lot harder to do with a mobile 18-month-old. Good luck to you!

you should probably take him to the dr. If the rash has developed into broken skin areas, you will want to be careful about what you put on it. my daughter had a bad rash (uncommon for her) and it kept spreading for more than a few days. n othing was clearing it up. i took her to the dr. and it was a yeast rash (not sure if boys get this). the point is, she prescribed a cream that cleared it up in one day! he may need more than typical creams!

I agree it may be a yeast infection. My youngest son also had a rash and raction with Huggies. The thing that worked the best for eiher of my boys was to leave the diaper off as much as possible. I used cloth with the oldest till he was almost a year old. At 18 months you should beable to start potty training him. But seriously take him to a doctor if it is bleeding and let the fresh air get to it.

It could be the diaper brand. My children can't wear Pampers.

I was told (and found it to work) to try a totally different kind of diaper cream. For my daughter, only the thick, white, Aveeno worked. But for my son, it didn't work at all, and he got so bad his skin was bleeding also. A friend told me to switch to A&D ointment (the yellowish/clear/slippery kind) and it worked like a charm. I guess different babies have different rash issues.

Oh yeah, and I also had to use only the unscented/alcohol free wipes. I prefer the ones without aloe only because the aloe leaves a stickiness.

If it`s getting worse, it could be a yeast infection.

If it is red bumps that are bleeding, and it doesn't get better with desitin (that is the best, the original, not creamy) then it is probably a yeast infection. If he is still nursing, then it may be internal too. Mine all had it internal and on the bum, and I had thrush nipple. Mine was caused by an antibiotic that I took while nursing. i would get the medication from the doctor to treat it, it was so painful for mine, that they cried at diaper changes and the med the doctor gave was cheaper (4 dollars) than the over the counter stuff, and worked in the first treatment. He might need an oral medication too, so if the doctor doesn't give you a script for it, then ask what to do if it comes back or ask for an oral med right away. Poor baby.


Get Bag Balm. It is the best thing for diaper rash that I ever tried. Drug stores carry it,it is for cows udders,but it works great. It is in a green square metal box.
If that doesn't help go to to your doctor.
Good luck

That was about the age we found out my daughter was allergic to Huggies. We now use the Kirkland brand from Costco, it mtook 2 rounds of oral antibiotics, perscription antibiotic cream and an anti fungal to get rid of the diaper rash. What you have is a diaper rash that has gotten infected. I would take him into the peditrician and try some different brands of diapers.

I would suspect a food allergy. I have friends whose children have severe food allergies and often it shows up in the diaper area.

This might sound weird but my friends daughter had this and they tried all different types of rash cream. She was in Huggies also. They ended up switching diapers to Pampers and it cleared up. She had suddenly developed a reaction to the Huggies.

I am not sure if this was mentioned yet, but believe it or not Maalox antacid and athlete's foot cream along with your butt paste. This is all over the counter and it works! My ped told me right over the phone. Good luck.

He might need to move up a diaper size. Have you tried using baby powder as well.

Honestly, I'd have his pediatrician take a look too.

When our son had a bad rash like that, our pediatrician gave us a "recipe" that worked like a charm. Mix equal parts Balmex, Desitin, and Lotrimin AF and use that as a diaper cream. Make sure you get at least one non-creamy ointment because the thicker consistency creates a better barrier to protect from contact with waste. Good luck--it's hard when their little bottoms hurt and you can't fix it!

I suggest good old fashioned corn starch and alternate with aquaphor.

Oatmeal baths help too!

Good Luck

First of all, I don't like Huggies. I feel that they don't absorb as well as Pampers. Next, try calmoseptine (you have to get it from your pharmacist). Its the best for diaper rashes. If it still does not go away after a few days, then it might be yeast and you will have to get a antifungal med from your pediatricain.

Good Luck!!!

My doctor suggested Calmoseptine when my daughter had a persistent diaper rash. It's not on the shelves but it's not a perscription either. You just have to ask the pharmacist for it, they keep it behind the counter for some reason.

Having said that, I think you're beyond the point of trying to treat it without a doctor's assisstance. A bleeding diaper rash sounds horribly uncomfortable and I've heard that sometimes they progress to be infections and a doctor's intervention is neccessary.

God speed! I pray your little boy finds relief soon!

My son had one similar and it turned out to be a yeast infection. We were even sent to a dermatologist and spent a fortune on creams. When that didn't help the pediatrician said to change diaper brands and try a probiotic (you can buy a childrens one at Whole Foods). That worked! He's never had a rash since.

The ointment that our doctor recommended is Calmoseptine. It is available through the pharmacy. It is not by prescription but is available behind the pharmacy counter. Ask a pharmacist...we got it at CVS. It works fabulously and cleared up a very bad rash in about a day. Package is white with green writing. Phone number on tube is 1 800 800 3405.
Good luck.

It might be a yeast infection. When my daughter was about the same age, she got a bad yeast infection and it manifested into a nasty, nasty diaper rash. She would just pee a tiny bit each time because it hurt so bad to go on her bottom.

We broke open Udo's Yeast specific probiotics, gave her 1/2 a capsule each day, or maybe twice a day I don't remember. We just mixed it in some yogurt. Then we sprayed Colloidal silver on her bottom as well as had her take it oraly (colloidal silver is kind of like a natural antibiotic, but it's awesome for topical skin issues as well)
After 24 hours of this her rash improved so much that she no long had any trouble peeing/pooping due to pain and it was totally cleared up within a week.

Just an idea

Try pure cornstarch and apply with cotton balls. Ointment could be irritating more because you need to keep skin dry as possible. Also try using baby powder with cornstarch when rash clears up to keep it from coming back. I learned this from experience. S. J

Sure sounds like yeast. Treat it with monistat or a generic, sold for vaginal yeast infections. Keep it clean, dry, and covered with yeast. Let him air dry when you can during the day. Don't put any other kind of ointment on it. This should work and you may have to do it for several days or more then watch for it in the future. If you're breastfeeding, watch for thrush in both of you. These yeast things can be stubborn. If you have thrush your pedicatrician should be able to give you both the medicine you need. The diaper rash can also be treated with nystatin but I think you may need a prescription for that.

Hello C..

My daughter had issues with butt wipes. The only ones I could use were Pampers Sensitive touch. Even the unscented and "all natural" gave her a diaper rash.

I hope you find what is givingthe reaction.


Hi C. ~
Has your son recently been on antibiotics? If so, it's probably a yeast infection. You can use monistat for that and it should clear right up.
You can also try the nystatin cream like someone else suggested. My grandson recently had a viral infection (no antibiotics), got a diaper rash worse than any he usually might get, and the nystatin helped.

My wonderful pediatrician had me use Triple Paste Cream and Aquaphor ointment. My son has not had a rash or irritation on his bottom since.

MAGIC BUTT CREAM!!! We got a prescription for this from the doctor and it was fabulous! Cleared up the diaper rash within a day or two and when we see it starting to return we use it immediately and the rash is usually gone by the next diaper change! It is great!

My pediatrician recommended a 3 part concoction. It is equal parts Nivea cream, Milk of Magnesia, and Zinc Oxide (he recommended A+D ointment) We used this on my middle son after he had gotten severe diarrhea that landed him in the hospital due to dehydration. It only took a couple of days for the rash to clear up. The other thing that worked for my 3 kids was Monistat(or generic). My daughter had a reaction to her own urine touching her skin and we had to switch her to dial antibacterial body wash to clear up the nasty rash she had. Other wise, i would agree with trying a different brand of diaper. Could be just a simple allergy to something in the Huggies.

Call you ped. It may be a yeast infection and if so...he needs an antibiodic cream. My son got one once.

Baths with baking soda...helps the itching swelling. And let him air dry.

I HATE diaper rash cream. I don't think it works well... have you tried aquaphor lotion? If it is a diaper rash...not a bacterial infection...it will clear it up almost completely over night. Slather a ton on.... it keeps the moisture out.

My son had severe diaper rash as well, he had blisters almost, an nothing I tried worked. I tried Aquuphor, and anything else my doctor told me and nothing worked. My sister in-law who is a nurse and also has a 13 year old handicap son who is still in diapers, suggested a product called Resinol. The resinol did wonders for my son, and the diaper rash completely went a way. we still use resinol for other things. It is good for alot of different things, burns, poison ivy, scrapes, cuts, rashes. I know when I purchased my bottle I got mine at CVS pharmacy, behind the pharmacy counter. The one bad thing about it is that it is pink and it does stain clothes if you get it on them. At the time I did not care as lomg as it helped with the diaper rash. Good luck I hope this helps

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