Cloth diapers & diaper rashes

We are back talking about rashes again in our series we have had the past few weeks. This week we are going onto a bacterial issue, that of Staph and/or MRSA. Some of the saddest emails over the years that stick out are from customers who had their babies battle this, and it was misdiagnosed by the pediatrician, or treated as a minor skin irritation that turned into something worse.

Staph does not come from the diapers, staph comes from another contact point, but needs a place to enter the body. The diaper area is the perfect place for it, since it is warm and damp, and the pressure points where the diaper is tighter on the skin can provide this opening. Staph usually presents as blisters, that may be fluid or pus filled, sometimes with a hard red center on the base of it. They will often start out looking like pimples, and many times will burst and reform within hours.

This has to be taken very seriously, if your baby exhibits these symptoms, you need to take him to the pediatrician, have it diagnosed, and if it is identified as a staph infection, please demand that it be cultured. Some pediatricians will not offer this, but you can insist it be done, and it is in the best interest for the health of your child. What they will do is take some of the fluid or pus in the blister and watch it grow over a few days in their lab, to make sure the antibiotic they prescribe will work for the bacteria that your child is infected with. MRSA is antibiotic-resistent staph, if your baby has MRSA, it means they will have to take the extra steps to make sure the bacteria will respond to the given antibiotic.

For staph and/or MRSA, we absolutely cannot recommend homepathic treatments, this can be serious if left untreated, and does get bad quickly if not taken care of. Sometimes yeast can have blisters that may resemble staph blisters, your doctor will be able to tell which it is, *usually* yeast will not have the raised fluid filled centers that staph has. If your baby is diagnosed with staph, he/she will need to go on an oral antibiotic, and likely be given a bactroban cream (antibiotic cream), and the diapers will need to be disinfected the same way you do for yeast. This involves chlorine bleach. Because of the severity of staph, I do recommend putting the baby in disposables until you can bleach all of your diapers and inserts, staph does not come from the diapers, but can live in them, even through washing and drying.

I have throwing this one out there because I usually get emails of parents new to cloth who fear getting into this rash situation. The truth is I have had it with my kids both in cloth and disposables, staph just wants a place to enter, if you catch it the baby will be just fine, and there is no proof cloth diapers increase the chances of infection from staph.


March 31, 2011. Diaper Rash, FAQ, Q & A.


  1. Kendra replied:

    Thank you for writing this, my daughter has MRSA and I have bleached all of her inserts and pockets with PUL but I am not sure what to do about her fitteds that are hemp/organic non-bleached cotton. Can I use something else to disinfect those? Or are those ruined? She is still in disposables because the rash isn’t clear yet so I haven’t tried the diapers back on her after the bleaching. This is the only blog/info I could find about MRSA and cloth diapers. I am writing my own once this is all over with. So thank you again for writing this!

  2. Ashley May replied:

    Thank you so much for this post. My 1-year-old twins have been suffering from blisters, bleeding, swelling, and skin falling off of their penis’ and testicles for weeks now and 2 different pediatricians have diagnosed it with yeast and severe scratches. I have been researching all day and MRSA fits their symptoms to a T. So frustrated that this is being misdiagnosed! Going back to the dr today to tell them they need to look a little deeper.

  3. Ronny Triano replied:

    when my baby gets diaper rashes, i always use zinc oxide cream to treat it..

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  4. Kent Laditka replied:

    Intestinal troubles after operation may be a indicator of a staph infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. Vomiting and feelings of nausea after surgical treatment may result from toxic shock syndrome, that is a serious problem brought on by widespread staph infection. Individuals who have a feeding tube implanted immediately after surgery have got a bigger chance of getting staph infections as a result of contamination of the tube…

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  5. Tien Gauvin replied:

    Few things are actually more perfect than a baby’s soft, smooth skin. However, due to the fact that it is so delicate and tender, that sweet skin can be susceptible to diaper rash, a moderate inflammation of the skin that induces redness about the diaper area.The majority of instances of diaper rash are triggered by too much dampness and friction. While diaper rashes are usually not serious, they do create unpleasantness for your child. Presently there are a number of diaper rash remedies available for use in your home. Discover which ones work for your infant.Diaper rash often tends to develop in older kids, around 9 months and up. That’s when older babies urinate more, which saturates the diapers and makes the skin damp. Furthermore, older babies have started to consume solid foods, and the varied acids they generate in their urine may result in diaper rash.,

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