Can Baby Wipes Cause Diaper Rash?

Sometimes you can do everything to avoid diaper rash and still find your baby’s precious skin is red and painful. It’s one of the worst things to deal with as a parent!

If you and your little one have been in the diaper rash trenches despite following all of the best practices, you might find yourself eyeing what you thought was a diaper care friend: baby wipes.

Could your trusty wipes really be the culprit of your baby’s rash?

What are the main causes of diaper rash?

If you’ve already brought your bundle of joy into this world, you’re probably very familiar with the triggers of diaper rash. Some of the main causes of this red, pesky rash include…

  • Unchanged diapers and prolonged contact with dirty diapers
  • Yeast or bacterial infections
  • Changes in diet
  • Too-tight diapers or clothes
  • Sensitive skin reactions to fragrances, dyes, or harsh chemicals

While wipes aren’t on this list, that doesn’t mean they aren’t a factor.

Here’s what parents need to know about the link between wipes and rashes.

Do baby wipes make diaper rash worse?


After using baby wipes, you may notice increased irritation or what seems to be your baby reacting to burning in the diaper area. This boils down to two things:

  • The ingredients in wipes.
  • Ineffective skin cleansing. 

Some wipes are made with harsh chemicals or fragrances that can disturb sensitive skin, trigger allergic reactions, and damage the skin barrier.

Without a healthy skin barrier, your child’s skin is more prone to redness, irritation, and yes, diaper rash.

These ingredients can also disturb your little one’s skin microbiome, the diverse ecology of microorganisms that live on the surface of the skin. 

The skin microbiome is constantly working to maintain the balance of good and bad microorganisms. For example, the skin bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis keeps the skin healthy and maintainsa pH balance with antimicrobial peptides. When the skin microbiome becomes unbalanced, irritation is more likely to occur and your little one becomes more susceptible to diaper rash.

There’s also the elephant in the nursery: Wet wipes aren’t actually good at cleaning up urine and stool. 

It’s true! 

The high water content in the wipes repels and smears rather than wiping away the mess. If you’ve ever noticed that you need wipe after wipe to change a diaper, this is why! 

All of that extra wiping can irritate the skin immediately and develop into a larger issue over time. Combined with the residues left behind, it’s a recipe for a diaper rash disaster.

So, while baby wipes technically don’t cause diaper rash, the effects and properties of wipes make diaper rash more likely.

What’s a safe alternative to irritating baby wipes?

While not all baby wipes contain harsh chemicals, the fact is that wipes aren’t the best at cleansing. 

We all know that frequent diaper changes are important, but if the changing process isn’t getting rid of the stool and urine, you’re sure to have a case of diaper rash on your hands eventually.

The solution? Use an oil-based cleansing cream instead of wipes. Oil cleansing is much more effective than water-based wipes, but it’s gentle and won’t irritate your baby’s skin. (If you’ve ever used oils or cold cream to remove makeup, you’ve seen this magic in motion!)

NOLEO 3-in-1 is an oil-based diaper cream that thoroughly cleans while soothing away redness and leaving a barrier layer that helps prevent rashes. 

Paired with soft disposable cotton pads, it’s an easy and convenient wipe alternative.

Plus, it has been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance™ and is certified microbiome-friendly by MyMicrobiome.

Use it at each diaper change to keep your baby’s diaper area clean, healthy, and rash-free!

As we like to say…


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