Signs of infection from a diaper rash

Signs of a diaper rash infection include:

  • Increased pain, swelling, redness, heat, or tenderness around the rash.
  • Clear, fluid-filled blisters that, when broken open, leave large red, raw areas.
  • Red streaks extending from the rash.
  • Pus in the wound or pus draining from areas of the rash.
  • Fever.
  • Fussiness, agitation, irritability, or combativeness.
  • Swollen glands in the groin.
  • No improvement after 48 hours of home treatment.

Any rash increases the risk for a skin infection. Infection may occur quickly in the diaper area because this area is:

  • Exposed to bacteria in the stool and urine.
  • Warm and wet, which helps bacteria or yeast grow quickly.

Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between irritation and infection. Infections need medical treatment. Irritations can usually be handled with home treatment. Prompt treatment of a skin infection can prevent it from spreading to other areas of the body.

Last Updated: August 1, 2008

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