All you need to know about: Nappy rash

All you need to know about: Nappy rash

Nappy rash is a common condition that is usually easily treated and nothing to worry about, but ignoring it could lead to further problems. Knowing the facts, symptoms and precautions to take will help you keep your baby’s nappy rash at bay and prevent any later infection.

Q. What is nappy rash?

Nappy rash is a very common condition in babies; it is thought to affect up to a third of nappy-wearing babies at any given time. It appears as a rash on a baby’s bottom and can be quite red in appearance and at times can look blotchy or pimply. Nappy rash will be either dry or moist to the touch, most commonly occurs in babies between the ages of 9 and 12 months, and can occur whether you use disposable or cloth nappies. Your baby’s skin may be tender, but more often than not the effects will be mild and it will not bother your baby.

Q. What causes nappy rash?

The main cause of nappy rash is the skin coming into contact with urine and faeces. Prolonged exposure to wetness and faeces can result in a baby’s soft and delicate skin reacting and developing a red and blotchy rash, but sometimes if the waste matter is affected by issues like sickness, teething or changes in diet, even momentary contact can result in nappy rash. Other causes of nappy rash could be an allergic reaction
to nappy material or a product used on your baby’s skin, such as wipes or cleansers. This reaction is called allergic dermatitis, but this is rare for babies to get and is usually easy to diagnose, as the skin will react quite quickly once the offending product has been applied.

Q. How serious is nappy rash?

When treated as soon as possible, nappy rash is usually of no harm to the baby. However, if the rash is not treated, nappy rashes can develop into something more serious, such as a yeast infection, like thrush or candida. Thrush begins as tiny red spots that multiply and form a solid red blotch or a bacterial infection. With this, your baby may have a fever, and the infection can result in oozing yellow patches or pus-filled pimples. If your baby’s nappy rash does not respond to at home treatment, or begins to worsen, see your doctor for advice.

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Q. How long will it take to heal?

Once treated, your baby’s nappy rash will begin to heal quite quickly. Having “no nappy” time, and making sure to keep your baby’s bottom clean and treated as recommended, will clear up nappy rash in three to four days. If the rash still persists
after this, ask your doctor or family physician for advice, as further treatment may be needed.

Q. How can you treat and prevent it?

Leaving your baby’s nappy off for a while and exposing their skin to the fresh air will help heal the rash and dry the skin. Applying a barrier cream to your little one’s skin every time you change their nappy and changing frequently will help prevent the rash returning. Ditching harsh soaps and using just water to clean your baby’s nappy area in between changes before drying gently with cotton wool or a soft towel will also help to prevent the rash from returning. Limiting bath time to just once a day maximum will prevent any extra drying of your baby’s skin, something to avoid when your baby is already suffering from nappy rash. In general terms, use a mild baby cleanser in the bath to wash your baby and considering changing your nappies to the most absorbent brand possible will also help keep the rash at bay in the future.

maternity & infant