Most babies suffer from nappy rash at some point, especially babies aged between 9 and 12 months. Nappy rash is very common skin irritation, appearing as red patches on your baby’s bottom and genitals. These red patches will look sore and may be hot to touch. Particularly bad cases may see spots and blisters. It is important to understand the causes of nappy rash.
- A wet or dirty nappy touching baby’s skin for too long
- Certain types of soap, detergent, bubble bath and baby wipes
- Rubbing and chafing
- Side effect of diarrhoea or other illness
- An increase in the acidity of bowel movements when baby is teething
The best way to treat nappy rash is to avoid these causes. Do this by following these simple tips when changing your baby’s nappy.
- Change baby’s nappy as soon as possible. Younger babies will need to be changed more than older babies, often as many as 12 times a day.
- Wipe from front to back and take your time to clean baby thoroughly. Warm water should be enough. Certain baby wipes and soap can be used if required, just be sure to rinse thoroughly with warm water after using them.
- Lie baby down on a soft towel and let the fresh air get to their skin for as long and often as you can.
- Apply barrier cream in a thin layer so the skin can still be seen through the cream. Thick applications of cream can prevent air getting to the skin and make the condition worse. Use after every wash, especially if your baby has particularly sensitive skin. Weak hydrocortisone cream can be used in severe cases, but only if your doctor approves.
- Fasten nappies loosely, allowing room for air to circulate around your baby’s bottom.
- Consider changing the type of nappy you use. Many brands offer ‘extra-absorbent’ alternatives.
If you follow these steps and your baby’s nappy rash shows no sign of improvement, or even worsens, after a few days you should consult your doctor. For more information about nappy changing, read our how to change a nappy article.
Other Types of Rash
You should contact your doctor immediately if your baby’s rash becomes swollen and baby develops a fever as this could be assign of bacterial infection. Bacterial rashes are also very warm.
Particularly bright rashes could be caused by fungal infection. Fungal rashes will be particularly severe in the folds of baby’s skin, with less severe ‘spots’ surrounding the worst affected areas. Again, you should consult your doctor if you suspect your baby has a fungal infection.