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Pink Diaper Syndrome

Once in a while there might be a pinkish stain in the diaper of young babies. Not surprisingly, parents may be worried about the pink stain, thinking that they are seeing blood in the urine. It is not from blood, however.

Our urine contains different kinds of crystals. Usually, these are mixed into the urine itself and we are not aware that they are there. However, in the diaper, the urine may disappear enough that these crystals appear.

One kind of these crystals is called “urate crystals.” These turn pink in the air, looking much like the color of Calamine Lotion. Urate crystals form a powder as they dry. You can test this by scraping a little bit of the deposit away with your fingernail. You will see that it is powdery. (Blood, by comparison, does not turn into powder.)

The condition is absolutely harmless and there is nothing to worry about.

Reviewed by Robert Allison, MD, July, 2013

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