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Diaper Rash (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

It is usually not necessary to call the doctor for a simple diaper rash. Keeping the diaper area clean and dry should prevent most diaper rashes. However, even the best prevention is sometimes not enough.

  • Call your doctor if these conditions develop:
    • The rash does not get better despite treatment in four to seven days.
    • The rash is getting significantly worse or has spread to other parts of the body.
    • The rash appears also to have a bacterial infection, with symptoms such as a pus-like drainage or yellowish colored crusting. This is called impetigo and may need to be treated with antibiotics.
    • You are not certain what may be causing the rash.
    • You suspect the rash could be from an allergy. The doctor can help you pinpoint the possible allergen.
    • The rash is accompanied by diarrhea continuing for more than 48 hours.

It is very rare to need to go to the hospital for diaper rash. However, should your child appear to be in severe pain, or if you notice rapid spread of the rash with fever, you should seek medical attention.

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