A common ailment for babies, is nappy rash, a type of dermatitis occurring in the area covered by the nappy, where baby develops a sore, red rash. This can cause a lot of discomfort and should be treated straight away. Some babies get nappy rash on a regular basis from a young age, while some will not get it at all. There may be no definite cause for nappy rash and it can appear when you least expect it.
There are several things that can contribute to your baby developing a nappy rash:
- Ammonia produced in your baby’s urine can be a factor particularly when a baby’s skin has been in constant contact with a wet nappy for too long.
- Faeces, especially if your baby has had diarrhoea.
- Babies with sensitive skin tend to be more prone to nappy rash.
- Friction between the nappy and your baby’s skin
- Perhaps it’s the soap you’re using on baby
- Candida Albicans or thrush that is present in faeces. Thrush infections thrive on moist and warm skin areas.
Look for red, sore and possible swollen skin. Sometimes just a small part of the skin in affected while in other cases the whole area is irritated. Baby will probably be feeling unwell and having difficulty sleeping.
To assist in clearing up your baby’s nappy rash, it’s helpful to:
- Use a disposable nappy with a liner, at least until the rash disappears. This can really help.
- If you are using cloth nappies, wash and wring them thoroughly and preferably dry them in the tumble dryer which will make them softer.
- Change your baby’s nappy more often. This avoids leaving baby in a wet or dry dirty nappy for extended periods.
- Clean your baby’s nappy area very gently using a wet washer or olive oil on cotton wool, or non-perfumed wipes.
- Avoid using plastic pants where infection can thrive.
- Use a cream to form a barrier at each nappy change to keep moisture from your baby’s bottom, i.e. a zinc cream works well. Your pharmacist will be able to advise you on the best barrier cream to use.
- Leave your baby without a nappy for as long as possible during the day. This gives the skin time to fully dry out.
- Avoid using powders as this can be a breathing hazard to your baby and will not assist with clearing up your baby’s nappy rash.
If the rash persists for more than a couple of days, there is likely to be an underlying infection such as thrush or a bacterial infection. Thrush is a fungal infection that thrives in moist warm areas and it will need to be treated with an antifungal cream. Your local pharmacist or doctor can provide you with advice.
- If your baby is clearly in pain as a result of the rash or the rash Is not responding to treatment, check with your pharmacist or doctor as to what form of pain relief is best.
- Give your baby lots of cuddles during this time where they be feeling poorly.