What is nappy rash?
What is nappy rash?
Nappy rash is one of the most common skin conditions of your baby’s early life. It is an irritation of the skin anywhere in the nappy area. While it might be sore for your baby, the good news is that it is rarely serious.
Nappy rash most often affects your baby’s sensitive skin when there is prolonged contact with urine or stools. Learn more about what causes nappy rash here.
Your baby’s bottom may have red patches or the whole area may be red. The skin may look sore and can feel hot to touch. Read more about spotting nappy rash below.
If your baby is suffering from nappy rash, you can use Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream to soothe and treat your baby’s skin. The very best way to deal with nappy rash however is to prevent your baby getting it in the first place.
These steps will help:
- Change wet or soiled nappies as soon as possible. Young babies need changing as many as ten to twelve times a day, whilst older babies at least six to eight times
- Ensure you clean the whole nappy area thoroughly using plain water or baby wipes, wiping front to back
- Lie your baby on a towel and leave the nappy off for as long and as often as you can in order to let fresh air get to the skin
- Use a barrier cream such as Sudocrem Care & Protect
- If your baby does get nappy rash you can treat it with Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream.
If you are using a nappy rash cream and the rash remains or your baby develops a persistent bright red, moist rash with white or red pimples, which spreads to the folds of the skin, they may have a thrush infection. You will need to use an anti-fungal cream, available either from the pharmacist or on prescription from your doctor. Ask your pharmacist or health visitor for advice.
Occasionally nappy rash can become persistent or can be related to other skin conditions like eczema. If you are at all worried, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor or health visitor.
How to spot nappy rash?
How to spot nappy rash
You can often quickly detect nappy rash by looking for these effects:
• A slight redness in the nappy area (This tends not to affect the skin folds.)
• Your baby’s bottom and upper thighs can become red and moist
• Skin can also become sore, spotty and hot to touch
• Patches of dry, flaky skin may also develop
• In more severe cases, blisters and pus filled spots may appear.
Nappy rash can be soothed, healed and prevented from coming back by using the Sudocrem range at every nappy change.
Types of nappy rashes
While you might think that nappy rash is all the same, there are actually three main types of rash:
1. Normal nappy rash
The most common occurrence of nappy rash is when the skin looks red and sore, and can almost appear shiny. This is usually caused by your baby’s bottom being in contact with a dirty nappy for a prolonged period or if the baby has a bout of diarrhoea. It is often the combination of wee and poo which causes the most irritation. Mild nappy rash should disappear after a few days of following the steps above — sometimes it can go over night.
2. Fungal nappy rash
Different types of nappy rash require different treatments. A fungal nappy rash is a form of thrush and treatment is often an anti-fungal cream which your GP will need to prescribe. This should be applied thinly to the affected area. The fungal rash shows as tiny red spots and the genitals can appear swollen and can sometimes occur if your baby is on antibiotics. It is important that, if the nappy rash is fungal, you avoid your usual barrier cream as this can make the condition worse. If you are unsure, ask your GP or Health Visitor for advice.
3. Bacterial nappy rash
A bacterial nappy rash shows as infected spots or pimples and your baby is likely to have a fever. It can develop from a normal nappy rash when the skin has broken and an infection has developed because of bacteria entering the broken skin. This type of nappy rash may well need antibiotics so you should see your GP for treatment advice and monitoring as soon as possible.
What causes nappy rash?
What causes nappy rash?
The most common cause of nappy rash is when your baby’s skin becomes inflamed after contact with the chemicals in urine or faeces.
Nappy rash is likely to occur if nappies are not changed often enough or if your baby has diarrhoea. However, if your baby has particularly sensitive skin, it can occur even when the nappy area is frequently cleaned.
Sometimes friction caused by the nappy rubbing against your baby’s delicate skin or washing detergents that have not been thoroughly rinsed out of terry nappies (reusable nappies) can also cause nappy rash to the develop.
When is nappy rash more likely to occur?
Nappy rash can affect your baby’s bottom at any time and the reasons can be unclear. Particularly as some babies naturally have more sensitive skin and may be more prone to the condition.
However, there are certain times when babies are especially susceptible to nappy rash, such as:
- During teething.
- Changing from breast to bottle feeding.
- When your baby feels unwell.
(If your baby has a cold, their stools may be soft; meaning that nappy rash may be more likely to occur.)
- After antibiotics.
(Which can upset a baby’s digestive system causing diarrhoea.)
- Starting on solid foods.
- Sleeping a full night for the first time.
(Meaning that their nappy may be changed less often.)
- Drinking cow’s milk for the first time
Soothing nappy rash
Treating nappy rash
If your baby’s skin in the area covered by the nappy is sore, red and feels warm to touch your baby may have nappy rash.
You can follow the steps below to treat nappy rash.
- Change your baby’s nappy every time it becomes wet or soiled.
- It is really important to stop the chemicals in urine and faeces aggravating your baby’s delicate skin.
- Leave the nappy off for as long as possible to let your baby’s skin get some fresh air.
- Try to ensure that your baby’s nappy fits well and is not chafing or rubbing.
- Avoid using any soaps, detergents or bubble bath that could be irritating your baby’s skin.
- Ensure your baby’s skin is clean and dry before using a fresh, clean and dry nappy.
- Use a nappy rash treatment cream such as Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream at every nappy change to soothe and heal the skin.
Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream is clinically proven to help by soothing the soreness, helping the skin heal and protecting the skin from further attack by irritants or infection. You can use Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream at every nappy change.
If the rash persists, speak to your doctor or health visitor.
The best treatment for nappy rash is to prevent it in the first place. You can read more about preventing nappy rash here.
Preventing nappy rash
Preventing nappy rash
To prevent your baby getting nappy rash follow these tips:
- Change your baby’s nappy as soon as you can when it becomes wet or soiled
- Carefully wash the nappy area with warm water and cotton wool, gently patting until dry
- Just letting their skin breathe can work wonders. So whenever possible, leave their nappy off for an hour or so
- Try to change your baby’s nappy before putting him or her down to sleep
- Use a barrier cream such as Sudocrem to protect your baby’s skin.
Despite your best efforts nappy rash can occur and is very common in young babies, you can read about treating nappy rash here.