How Painful are Diaper Rashes, Really?

If you’re a current parent or a parent-to-be, you’re probably well aware of diaper rash. Diaper rashes spring up in a baby’s genital area due to the moist, irritating environment of a wet diaper. It’s quite common, and can be alarming at first sight due to its blotchy, red, and/or pink appearance. Most mild to moderate cases of diaper rash go away in 2-3 days as long as proper treatment is being given to the area. Even so, as parents we want to know how irritating diaper rash is to our little ones since they can’t verbally communicate yet.

Do diaper rashes hurt?

In general, diaper rashes put babies in a state of discomfort. However, their pain level depends on several different factors, as the intensity of diaper rash can range from mild to severe cases. When the diaper rash looks pink and the affected skin appears to be dry, you’re only looking at a case of mild diaper rash. Mild diaper rashes can be uncomfortable for a baby, especially when stool or urine comes in contact with the rash, but generally your baby is not in pain. Babies likely won’t cry when experiencing mild diaper rash symptoms, and should be eating and sleeping as normal.

As for severe diaper rash, it can be very painful for little ones. Indicators of severe rashes include bright red, raw, and/or broken skin. A severe diaper rash may also develop bumps, blisters, sores, or pus-filled pimples. These typically cover a larger area than a mild rash and often extend into the genital area. Severe rashes will be highly painful to the touch, and any rubbing against diapers, clothes, or contact with urine and stool will be similarly painful. A baby who is experiencing a severe diaper rash will often show signs of this discomfort. For example, they may be visibly unhappy, have trouble sleeping, or seem sick. If you notice any of the signs of severe diaper rash, contact your pediatrician to seek treatment. Your baby may need a prescribed diaper rash treatment or antibiotic to clear up the affected area.

How can I ease the pain of diaper rash?

To help heal and relieve the pain of diaper rash, keep the diaper area clean, dry, and moisturized. Change your baby’s diaper as soon as you notice it is soiled to prevent prolonged contact with urine or stool. You may even want to give your child some diaper-free time or keep their diaper fastened loosely to let the area air out and breathe. Make sure that any products you use, including baby lotion, wipes, and diaper rash creams are free of irritating or drying ingredients.

We recommend using NOLEO 3-in-1 Diaper Care to clean, treat, and moisturize the area. Our organic, natural, and hypoallergenic formula is made with just 5 simple ingredients, so it’s gentle and effective on sensitive baby skin. It’s also great for preventing future cases of diaper rash. We do not recommend using NOLEO on a broken skin rash. Instead, use petroleum jelly to heal the broken skin. Once healed, follow the petroleum jelly treatment with NOLEO. Simply use it to clean the diaper area when you’re changing your baby. NOLEO replaces baby wipes, lotions, and diaper rash creams, so you can minimize your carbon footprint and keep changing time simple. The best way to prevent diaper rash is with frequent changing and NOLEO 3-in-1 to keep their delicate skin healthy and moisturized!

How long does diaper rash take to heal?

Most cases of mild diaper rash should clear up in 2-3 days with at-home treatments and good diaper changing habits. If the diaper rash persists or worsens after 3 days, even after taking proper steps to treat and clear it, this could be a sign that the rash is caused by a yeast or bacterial infection. In this case, contact your pediatrician for treatment plans and medical advice. If you notice that your baby has a fever of 100.4°F or more, call a doctor immediately.


It can be incredibly difficult to see your little one in pain, even if the source is a common diaper rash. Rest assured that mild cases should not cause you to fret over how uncomfortable your child is. Following at-home treatment guidelines should clear the diaper rash up in a matter of days. However, if your child does appear to be in pain or you notice other symptoms of severe diaper rash, consult your doctor for appropriate treatment.




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