How to Treat a Diaper Rash With Open Blisters

Diaper rash is something most parents see once or twice during the early years of a child's life. It is a form of dermatitis that presents as red, bumpy sores on the genitals, and can be associated with moist diapers. Open blisters indicate an acute condition that may be infected. It may also be the irritation is not from a wet diaper. Any rash severe enough to have open areas should be evaluated by a pediatrician.

Leaving the diaper off the baby can help a rash heal. Credit: David Pereiras Villagrá/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Pat down the genital area with a clean, dry towel.

Step 2

Apply an over-the-counter ointment containing zinc oxide. Rub the ointment over the entire genital area even areas that have no rash, but avoid the open blisters. Talk to your doctor about treating the open areas. Your pediatrician may want you to use an antibiotic ointment or cream on open blisters.

Step 3

Lay the baby on an open diaper when she is napping. This means do not use the tabs to secure the diaper. This allows air to reach the genital area and keep it dry.

Step 4

Change the baby's diapers to ones that are one size bigger than the ones you currently use. This provides more air flow to the genital area and allows for healing.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel

  • Zinc oxide ointment


Have the baby examined by the pediatrician to exclude other possible skin problems such as eczema or an allergic reaction.


The treatment may vary if there is infection. Only your doctor can determine the most effective course of treatment for an infected rash.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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