What are the Most Common Causes of a Bleeding Diaper Rash?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Kathryn Hulick
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2019
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The most common causes of a bleeding diaper rash are yeast infections, allergic reactions, and diarrhea. Determining what caused a bleeding diaper rash is very important where treatment is considered. Over-the-counter diaper rash ointment is typically effective, but the rash may reoccur if the root cause isn't dealt with. Diaper rash that doesn't respond well to any type of readily available treatment may require prescription medication.

A yeast infection that causes bleeding diaper rash can develop as a result of antibiotic use, or from wearing a dirty diaper for a long period of time. Yeast infections may also be the result of prolonged, untreated diaper rash. When yeast is the culprit, there may be pus-filled red bumps on a baby's groin, buttocks, and legs in addition to the bleeding. Most of the time, commercial diaper rash creams won't cure a yeast diaper rash. Doctors often recommend the use of topical anti-fungal creams to eliminate yeast. These creams are available over-the-counter and by prescription.


Diapers and wipes are typically covered in fragrance, alcohol, and other chemical-coated materials that babies are occasionally allergic to. If a baby develops a bleeding diaper rash that keeps coming back, a trial and error process regarding diapering products may be necessary. Parents should try switching to fragrance and alcohol-free wipes or trying another brand of diapers. Cloth diapers are also a good option for children with skin allergies because they contain no chemicals. If cloth diapers are used, it is important for parents to change them regularly because they are generally not as absorbent as disposable diapers.

Certain types of foods or food allergies could also be responsible for bleeding diaper rash. Too much juice or any other food or beverage with high levels of acid can easily irritate a baby's skin. One of the symptoms of lactose intolerance in babies is also diaper rash. If a baby is allergic to a specific food that may be causing diaper rash, a breastfeeding mother should also stop eating it until she is done nursing.

Diarrhea can cause bleeding diaper rash because it is more acidic than a normal stool, and often causes severe irritation when in contact with a baby's sensitive skin. It is also common to wipe a baby with diarrhea more often than usual due to the increase in soiled diapers, and the extra wiping could worsen the condition of the irritated skin. Cleaning the rash with warm water and patting dry with a soft cloth rather than using wipes may reduce a baby's discomfort. In most cases, diaper rash caused by diarrhea will cease to be a problem as soon as stools return to normal.


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