Acid Diaper Rash: Treatment for Acid Butt Burn 68

After three boys, I thought I’d seen all a butt could turn out—from poop paintings to corn kernels—but when my fourth baby started getting weird acidic poop that literally seemed to eat her skin away, I was sort of baffled. Acid diaper rash was not something I had heard a lot about, but it happens, and it is horrible.
acid diaper rashSo, what exactly is acid diaper rash and how do you spot it?

Acid diaper rash occurs when for one reason or another your baby’s poop becomes acidic and literally burns the skin. For my baby, this was obvious by immediate bleeding rashes (when I knew she had just pooped). These bloody spots almost looked like she’d been poked repeatedly with a small pin and were only where the poop had touched.

Other types of diaper rash occur more frequently where the diaper touches or in skin creases, but this rash will be very red, possibly bleeding, inflamed skin only where the poop is touching, and it will be there no matter how quickly you change the diaper. I think that’s the biggest tell that a rash is acid-based, it happens almost instantly.

Next, the poop that accompanies acid diaper rash is often runny and looks poorly digested, like there are often still recognizable chunks of lunch. In babies that haven’t started solid foods, it just looks very runny and lacks the common seedy appearance. It may also have an off odor, that just doesn’t smell like just poop, almost rancid.

What causes acid diaper rash or acidic poop?

Some babies can get acidic poop from high fruit intake or foods that are high in acid themselves such as tomato, but in my baby girl’s case, it was fructose sensitivity. It can take some diet exploration to pinpoint the cause of acidic poop, but it is almost always a dietary cause.

One of the easiest ways to track a food allergy or sensitivity is to keep a diet log. Note days the rash or acid poop occur and find common factors, then cut one factor at a time to see what works. As fructose sensitivity is a common culprit of acid diaper rash, I caution that not all fruit will get a reaction (bananas for instance are fine) and remember that high fructose corn syrup will also create an issue (“high fructose”).

How do you treat acid poop burns?

In this case, the most important thing is to identify the dietary issue causing the rash and eliminate it. The burns actually heal quite quickly as long as the acid poops stop. In the meantime, it can help to avoid baby wipes by using either a small squirt bottle or just a quick butt rinse in the tub. As it’s the wiping motion that tends to hurt, just dab dry afterwards.

The best diaper rash cream I found for this was the Triple Paste, though I would avoid applying anything but fresh air until the burns are no longer actively weeping. They, at least if your baby is changed quickly, are usually not very severe and it takes less than a day for the rash to look kind of scaly and red (this is like a thin scab over the burn) at that point it’s ok to use the cream and it will help things heal faster.

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68 thoughts on “Acid Diaper Rash: Treatment for Acid Butt Burn

  • Cody & Brooke Hanson

    My daughter is having the same exact issue. I told the doctor that I think it was from her formula because it only started happening when I started introducing formula into a diet, I had started breastfeeding but started losing Supply and had to switch over. The doctor says yeah it’s from the formula but doesn’t recommend I change to a different formula and just keep doing what I’m doing but putting Maalox and coconut oil on it. I’d be more concerned about stopping her from getting the rash in the first place then just constantly treating the poor little ones Burns all the time. So you mentioned a fructose sensitivity, I will be on the hunt for formulas that don’t contain it or start making my own with goats milk( I don’t know the effectiveness with goat’s milk, but it worked really well for my second born when she had sensitive tummy issues). Thanks for the information!

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Jeez! I would also be looking for a different pediatrician, it’s insane to recommend a medication to reduce acids rather than just trying a different formula. Most babies go through an adjustment period to formula, but it’s often constipation, not acid diaper rash. If removing fructose doesn’t help, lactose can be another common trigger and lactose-free formula is easier to find than fructose free. You might find pumping and mixing the formula with that rather than water helps too. Goats milk is totally fine also, they even make goat’s-milk formula, not sure on availability there, but here’s a study that saw no difference in growth between cow/goat milk formula-fed infants. 🙂

  • Lady

    The link you put to the Triple Paste takes you to a toothpaste called Triple Action on amazon. Is this the same thing or have I just wasted money ordering the wrong product? ? Thanks for your reply

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      It sounds like there may not be a matching product (or it’s redirecting you to the wrong product) because from your email you are in the UK. In the US, the link leads to this:
      Triple Paste Triple Paste Medicated Ointment for Diaper Rash, 2-Ounce (Pack of 2)

      Amazon automatically redirects our links to the relevant product in your region, but in this case there may not be a direct match. I apologize if you ordered toothpaste 🙁 . Searching directly on Amazon UK, the closest I find is this: It appears to be from same company, but more for eczema than diaper rash. You may be able to find the diaper rash version at your local store. It would be in the diaper-supply area, and be labeled as a diaper rash cream.

  • Christy

    My son had this as a baby. It was horrible. His skin would slough off his butt when it was really bad. He’s 8 more, and it’s still happening! We’re trying to eliminate citric acid right now, no tomatoes / tomatoe sauces, onions, condiments, citrus fruit /juice, soda, etc. So far so good. I really worries me because I don’t be able to monitor his butt in another 3-5 years.

  • Yiset

    I use corn starch the one for cooking learned this from grandmom and it works on contact releaving the pain immediately the creams would make it hurt worse at least with my boys. Corn starch is just amazing. I also put some plain oatmeal in their bath and let them sit on it for about 10 minutes if the burns are severe this is also just wonderful and affordable.