It looks (and can be) painful but the good news is that it's usually easy to manage. Babies’ skin is softer and thinner than adults and more easily irritated. Some babies have particularly sensitive skin which can quickly become red and irritated when left wet. Hence some babies have frequent or continual nappy rash while others never suffer. For your baby’s comfort, it is better to try and prevent nappy rash than to treat it once it has happened.
Simple nappy rash is a burn-like rash in areas touched by the nappy. It is red, slightly rough, and scaly. If the rash does not clear, the skin may break and become infected. One of the most common infections in the nappy area is Candida Dermatitis (thrush) - a brighter red shiny rash with sharply outlined patches, often with smaller spots out of the main area. Unlike a simple nappy rash, the creases of the skin may also be red. An antifungal cream such as Canesten is necessary in this case. Daktozin combines an antifungal with a zinc oxide ointment - specially formulated for fungal infections associated with nappy rash.
What Causes Nappy Rash?
A baby’s skin may be chafed by damp and friction from the nappy; and irritated by contact with:
- Bowel motions - especially loose motions which may be caused by certain foods, medicines or when teething.
- Urine - especially when the nappy is left on too long or when covered by plastic pants. Plastic pants keep moisture in and stop air circulating making nappy rash more likely.
- Chemicals - in nappy e.g. detergents, bleach, water softener, fabric softener, nappy rinse or in nappy change creams or wipes.
Useful Tips for Preventing Nappy Rash
- Expose the nappy area to the air. (Apply a sunscreen if that exposure is outdoors)
- Change the nappy as soon as you’re aware it’s wet or dirty.
- Apply a healing, protective cream or foam at each nappy change (eg Zinc & Castor Oil Ointment).
- Try to eliminate new foods or chemicals which may be the cause.
- Thoroughly rinse nappies when washing.
Click here for a full list of products for the prevention and treatment of nappy rash available from CyberChemist.
See Your Doctor If:
- The rash spreads outside the nappy area.
- The rash worsens after 2 days of recommended treatment.
- The baby also has a fever, is irritable, has a loss of appetite or other signs of illness.