A diaper rash is essentially a skin irritation that comes from prolonged contact with a wet or soiled diaper. It’s usually mild, but can occasionally become severe. Charles Shubin, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician with Mercy Family Care Physicians in Baltimore, explains, “Diaper rashes come from wearing diapers, so limiting wearing them would be the most effective prevention approach. But that wouldn't be socially acceptable, so the next best approach is to create a barrier to protect the skin.”
Barriers most often include diaper creams and ointments. Some diaper rashes clear easily with topical treatments, while others persist.