Acid Diaper Rash: Treatment for Acid Butt Burn 56

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.

In an effort to slay the spam monster and ensure no comment is left unread, your comments are moderated and won't appear until approved. Sorry about that, and thanks for reading!

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

  • Ashley A.

    Last night I gave my son a healthy portion of blueberries and all was well. This morning is when the acidic poops started and lasted until around 7 this evening. I decided that he was going to have a bland diet all day and that seem to really help calm the poops down. His poor bum at one point looked like blisters. I changed from wipes to patting him down with a wash cloth. I even put him in the bath but the warm water seemed to light him on fire. I started with Desitin to have a barrier then graduated to A&D ointment (works the best for him). Then around 6 this evening I switched to Aquaphore ointment and a dose of Tylenol. Now he just has a typical red sore bottom. So here’s the question: should I have tested for allergies or do you think this was a one off situation?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      If this was the first time he’d had blueberries, you might try them again see if it happens again. Some kids are just sensitive to certain foods.

  • Ashley

    My son is two and he has fructose intolerence. I have been very slow in re-introducing fruits into my son’s diet per recommendation of an allergist. Bananas and watermelon have been fine but just gave him blueberries yesterday afternoon and he has been excreting the acid for half the night, is walking with his legs over extended to the sides and sitting funny. Strawberries also have given us a hassel.

    If you can get a Dr to prescribe Silver Sulfadiazine 1% Cream it works miracles! Its commonly used on burns. My son had burnt his hand prior to the first occurrence of the acid butt and had a ton left over (thank God for that). I had tried everything else from extra strength Desitin to calmoseptine. I put one coat of the Silver Sulfadiazine 1% Cream mixed with a little extra strength Desitin and within 1 diaper change the angry red was gone. In a day the rash was almost gone except scabs.

    • unwirklich admin

      You might have less trouble experimenting if you looked up a fructose content guide. Here’s an example. Banana and watermelon are both pretty neutral in that they have similar levels of fructose and glucose, which often makes them doable for those with intolerance. There will still be some trial and error of course (blueberry is also usually ok), but it might help at least know which are probably a no-go.

  • Lili

    No more blueberries for my one year old daugther( she really loves them) this has happen twice and it got so bad she couldn’t sit anywhere, and no cream helped. I don’t use baby powder(cancer), used corn starch to keep dry but its no magic, the rash is getting better and the pain has gone away.

  • Callie Sandoval

    Im having this issue with my 2 year old son. The only thing that has been able to help is a warm bath with epsom salt. I’ve tried allot ot butt pastes, and have made a few myself. I have no insurance so i cant afford a doctor visit.. Please let me know what worked best for you all!

    • Anonymous

      Look into Child Health Plus for your childrens health insurance. I cannot afford health insurance for myself or my husband but we went through the state for our kids and pay less than $20 a month (for both!) And they have great coverage.

    • Gabrielle Osegueda

      We use aquaphor baby for my son. I use regular aquaphor on my fresh tattoos and it immediately soothes the burn. I figured AQ Baby would do the same! After 12 hours the rash was gone and it was scabbed over. He was in no more pain after the first application!

  • Kristina

    We are still trying to pinpoint the cause of my 2 year old’s acidic diapers (corn is a HUGE problem for him but there is something else we haven’t quite figured out). The best way we found to treat the rash is to use corn starch. Any diaper creams (also vaseline and aquaphor) we’ve tried keeps some moisture next to the rash, with the corn starch it absorbs all the moisture and we notice the rash clearing in about a day.

  • MegsFitness

    I made a paste with aquaphor and baking soda last night because my girl was inconsolable. I let her sleep without a diaper on so that she could air out, and I gave her some Tylenol for the pain. Nothing in her diet is new or different, but I think she might be teething (molars). I wish there were something I could do to prevent the pain altogether. 🙁

    • unwirklich admin

      Honestly, if it were me I would take her to either your pedi or a dermatologist. Regular diaper rash shouldn’t be long-term and should respond to proper care. I know teething can sometimes cause off diapers and illness, but I’ve never heard of it being as severe as you describe.

      • MegsFitness

        You’re right on point. Her pediatrician surmised that a virus caused the digestive upset and said that because the acidity was so high, it didn’t matter if we changed her immediately, it’d still cause burns. We picked up desitin max (to create a barrier) baby powder (because desitin won’t stick to the blisters) and a probiotic to try to bring her digestive flora back in balance. He also recommended using a spray bottle with baking soda and water to rinse her bum because the commercial wipes can be mildly acidic (due to the preservative).

        If it doesn’t clear up soon, we have to get an anti fungal cream because he said yeast would thrive.

  • Mindy

    Hi, good luck to all the babies, I hope they’re better quickly. Blueberries did this to my nephew’s bum. He outgrew the sensitivity, luckily. Even though I don’t like products with petroleum, once in a while I think it is okay. Bag Balm takes off severe diaper burns, rashes, and bleeding in just a day or two. Definitely use products without synthetic fragrance as well.

  • Karen Rex

    Our baby bottom is terrible. Still on formula. . So don’t know where acid is. Change as soon as he goes. It’s terrible tried everything from Destin to a and d boudrex butt paste Dr Smith spay. It gets where it bleeds. The Dr gave us Dr Smith nothing clears it

    • Gina

      My girl had terrible acid poops. We used baking soda baths daily, used aquaphor (desatin and other creams made it worse), and at times nystatin cream if the burns were in her folds. Occasionally we used a alum/baking soda based powder to neutralize the acid.
      She was on alimentium and got acid poops from growing spurts and teething. Once she was old enough, I put cucumber in her water and fed her more cucumber (mainly the soft middle) to help balance the acid in her body.

    • Stephanie

      Have you found anything to work? Our daughter is also only on formula and experiencing this as well. She has even been to a specialist and prescribed the strongest creams and still no improvement. As far as it being dietary, she has been on the same formula since birth and used to not have this issue. She is on nutramagin formula. Please any help would be very useful, she is miserable!

      • Mindy B

        On my little one, the only thing that works is a prescription for VUSION. It’s​ like magic! The only problem is our insurance doesn’t cover it, so I have to pay out of pocket.

      • Nichole

        Nutramagin can work wonders for babies with mild food allergies. My youngest daughter did great on it. Unfortunately, it’s made from broken down milk proteins. For babies with severe milk and/or soy allergies, a genuinely hypoallergenic formula would work much better. I’ve heard of many people using elemental formulas.
        My youngest son’s had something called MSPIES and it required a lot of food modification on my part.
        I hope you find something that works for your little one.

      • Jade

        Hello wondering if you found anything out my little one is a month old and having this same issue and also on the same formula u are using it brings me to tears everytime I change her she is in so much pain

      • LK

        I realize your post is a couple of months old, but I wanted to share our experience with you. Our son was 10 weeks early and we had to ‘fortify’ my breastmilk by adding formula for additional calories. At times he had more formula than others and it was always Nutramigen from day 1. At a certain point, maybe when he was around 4 months old, the diaper rash was so bad he had basically been naked (bum-wise) for 2 straight days and he was clearly in agonizing pain. After making myself nuts over what I was eating and also eliminating virtually everything from my diet I decided to try Alimentum instead because I didn’t know what else it could possibly be. The horrible rash he had suffered from for a LONG time was gone within 24 hrs of stopping the Nutramigen. It might be worth it for you to try a different formula. Good luck and I hope things are already better!

    • Nichole

      It could be caused by a milk and/or soy allergy. My little ones had to have hypoallergenic formula as to avoid acid poop, severe spitting up, silent reflux and abdominal pian.

  • Gileanne

    my son gets butt burn/rash when he has any type of fruit (even with bananas!) and tomato paste.. there are this organic curlz that have apple powder stated in their ingredients, will it burn him as well or apple powder is not acidic as the fruit/puree?

    • unwirklich admin

      I really don’t know, if even banana gets him I’m not sure it’s the fructose giving him trouble..if it isn’t the fructose, he may do fine with the apple powder because it is more processed.

  • Brandy Alterman

    Did you seek any sort of GI consult for this?
    I have a 8 week old, and we have been fighting an acid rash for the last 6 weeks. She has some acid reflux and we have switched to Alimentum. We (dad/I and the doctor), have tried everything– from OTC creams, Silvadene burn cream, baking soda soaks, a compound acid binding cream, blow drying each diaper change, etc. We are now to the GI consult because her pediatrician (who is absolutely wonderful and has made this his mission to figure out) is out of options. I’m not quite sure what to expect, and found this read at the perfect time.

    • unwirklich admin

      I didn’t, my pediatrician actually couldn’t figure out why she had been losing weight while breastfeeding (despite ample supply/good latch) and had the rash/diarrhea. I made the connection through trial and error by keeping a food diary, then confirmed with just my regular doctor.

  • Karrie

    Did (does) your 4th baby have a blue vein in between her eyes? My child with this rash did. He also had some problems with some of his teeth starting to decay. These babies are called “sugar babies” and they are sensitive to sugar. It’s an eastern medicine kind of thing. Fascinating. I just found your post tonight after trying to figure out what’s with this poop and terrible rash and why he gets it sooo much worse than his brothers had. And as soon as I read fructose sensitivity it all came crashing back. Time to become thoroughly well read on this topic. Thanks so much for this post!

    • unwirklich admin

      No, she doesn’t have a vein. Fructose sensitivity is just a result of an immature digestive system. My daughter is now just over 18 months and as almost outgrown it. When she was 6 months any fruit, any at all, whether it was 1 raisin or a full cup of juice, gave her a horrible rash and diarrhea, now she can even drink apple juice (which is the worst one). It only seems to be a problem at this point if she has a ton of fruit in one day, say, like multiple cups of apple juice. My pediatrician said that’s fairly normal, for kids to outgrow fructose intolerance by age 2.

      • Gileanne

        My son has had it since 6months when he started eating fruit purees. He is currently 12 months. I can’t even give him fruit/veggie mix pouches as it burns his butt quickly. Also pouches with tomato paste make his butt burn.. do you know if quinoa is also acidic? I think the times i’ve given him a pouch with quinoa his butt tends to become red (although not as bad as with fruits/tomato paste). It’s so hard because even the snacks they sell all contain some sort of fruit powder/ juice concentrate and I’m even scared to try those.. Do you know if these snacks that contain say, apple powder or some sort of juice concentrate in their ingredients, can also contribute to butt rash? Dr recommended EPC cream (Extra Protective Cream from Secura sold via Amazon) and it helps clear it out.. Glad to know he should outgrow it in a couple of months!

        • unwirklich admin

          Quinoa is a grain, it isn’t acidic no, and though it does contain some fructose I think it’s balanced much like bananas and shouldn’t be causing an issue if fructose is really what’s behind the rash. Are the poops super runny, frothy, or seem poorly digested? They’ll also smell really bad and sort of sweet (like fruit). With our daughter she even had trouble breastfeeding if I had eaten fruit, so I’m wondering if maybe it isn’t another ingredient in your purees, will straight, like from the peel banana do it?

    • Ashley

      My son has had acidic poop since he was a few weeks old (we call this fire tush at this point) and he turns 2 later this month. Early on we had breastfeeding and feeding issues in general – turned out he had a corn sensitivity (in all powder formula) and we were fine until 10 months old when he started daycare. Long story short, teething was the noticeable cause and we outgrew some of the corn sensitivity (only avoided straight corn).

      Now fire tush is back. And has been for 7 weeks no matter what we do (creams, oatmeal baths, air, no diaper wipes, etc) or who we see (pediatricians, specialists, etc).

      I suppose I’m seeking a follow up. How is you daughter today? Was it natural and artificial fructose intolerance? Best courses of treatment that you found?

      • unwirklich admin

        She could not have fructose of any kind, which made things very hard, they put high fructose corn syrup in more than you’d think. She is about 18 months now and she has pretty much completely outgrown it. She’ll still get a but of rash if she has a lot of high fructose foods (like multiple cups of apple juice for example) but it’s nothing like it was when she was younger. In the case of fructose, our pediatrician told us most kids outgrow it by age 2 because it’s not an allergy, it’s an intolerance as a result of an underdeveloped digestive system. I’m not sure if a corn sensitivity would work the same way, but if you’ve been told it isn’t a true allergy, I’d bet so.

        • Amber

          My son has this same problem. When he gets it really bad, I sometimes give him baby Advil or baby Tylenol. His father asked if its really needed. What are your thoughts? I don’t think it is a big deal. He is clearly in pain.

          • unwirklich admin

            I agree, if it is obviously hurting him there’s no issue with a little pain reliever as long as it doesn’t become a chronic thing. Daily use for instance of Tylenol is very hard on the liver and kidneys.

    • Teresa

      Hi Karrie! My 6 month old son just got his first terrible butt rash tonight.. it’s been because he has pooped 7 times today 🙁 We didn’t introduce any new foods, he’s eating all purees that he has had before, plus formula, so I am hesitant to think ours is food-related, but I am curious more about the blue vein in between the eyes. My son has that. Did you change your child’s diet, and did the blue vein go away?

      • jennifer

        my going on 5 month old daughter just got burn butt I call it that cause it looks like first degree burns…I have cried seeing it…I feel like such a bad mom no matter what I do (frequent diaper changes, oatmeal bath, nystatin, etc. even medicated powder and it doesn’t seem to have any effect on her diaper rash…last night I left her all night without a diaper and when she got up this morning her burns/rash was dry then I had to go to the store put a diaper nystatin and medicated powder on her to go while at the store she went poop and when I got home I opened her diaper and once again it was peeled and bleeding…mind you she has two bottom teeth coming in…so I’m pretty much at a loss ..any opinions to help this mom of an almost 5 month old

        • unwirklich admin

          has her diet changed at all or the type of diapers you’re using? If not, you might see her pedi. They have some prescription strength creams that helped our first born (he has eczema so evvvverything gave him a rash.