Can Diaper Rash Cause Fever? Understanding the Link Between Diaper Rash and Fever in Babies

Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
By Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
Updated on November 15, 2023

Diaper rash is a common skin irritation that affects many babies. While diaper rash itself is typically not serious, it’s understandable to worry when your little one develops other symptoms like a fever. In this article, we will explore the relationship between diaper rash and fever and help determine when extra medical attention may be needed.

Can diaper rash cause fever?

In most cases, no – a diaper rash itself does not cause a fever. Diaper rash is typically a localized skin irritation caused by factors like moisture, bacterial infections, or chemical irritation from stool or urine. This irritation is contained to the diaper area and does not often result in a systemic infection or fever.

When can diaper rash be a sign of something more?

In rare cases, a diaper rash could potentially signal an underlying infection if it has spread beyond the diaper area or is accompanied by additional symptoms like fever, lethargy, or poor appetite. If the diaper rash appears infected with signs of pus, oozing, or the skin around it looks red and swollen, it’s a good idea to contact your pediatrician. This can indicate the rash has progressed to a bacterial infection that may cause fever and other symptoms as the body fights it off.

Other potential causes of fever with diaper rash

While not directly caused by the diaper rash itself, it’s possible a concurrent illness like an ear infection, throat infection, or urinary tract infection could cause both the rash and fever symptoms. Teething can also contribute to diaper rash and cause low-grade fever. Always contact your pediatrician if your baby’s fever remains high or any rash/infection seems severe – they can properly diagnose the issue and ensure your little one feels better.


In summary, the diaper rash itself generally does not lead to fever. However, if the rash appears infected, has spread, or fever accompanies other concerning symptoms, it’s important to seek medical guidance. Catching an underlying infection early helps lead to a faster recovery. With TLC for the rash and consultation with your pediatrician when needed, you can keep your baby comfortable and help prevent any serious complications.

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