Nappy rash is quite common amongst babies, but that doesn’t mean your bub has to suffer the discomfort and pain of a persistent rash.
There are very simple steps to avoid it, including using Huggies Nappies, which are clinically proven to help prevent nappy rash. Regular use of Huggies Baby Wipes after every nappy change can also help prevent the causes of nappy rash.
Combined with good baby skincare, you can minimise the risk. However, there is still a chance your baby can get it so it helps to know the symptoms of nappy rash and how to treat it.
The causes of nappy rash
Nappy rash is commonly caused when a baby’s skin is exposed to a wet or dirty nappy for too long.
Urine is normally sterile, but germs on a baby’s skin can change the chemicals in urine into more skin-irritating chemicals such as ammonia. Diarrhoea can also cause nappy rash. Even the most absorbent nappy will need frequent changing if diarrhoea is a problem, as moisture will be present in a larger surface area on your baby’s skin. If your baby is left in a dirty nappy for too long, then nappy rash is likely to develop.
Most babies will get nappy rash at some stage despite mum and dad’s very best efforts. It can strike even the cleanest and driest little bottom if your bub’s skin is especially sensitive, or if he or she has an allergy to something they’re eating or wearing.
It is one baby health condition that can strike anywhere. Some babies never get it even if they aren’t changed as frequently, while other babies develop rashes when they have a cold or some other viral illness.
Other causes of nappy rash include:
- Friction from rough nappies rubbing and chafing at baby’s sensitive skin
- Sensitivity to chemicals in some laundry detergents and fabric softeners. Some scented soaps and lotions can also irritate bub’s skin.
- Plastic pants – they prevent airflow and hold moisture in. While they may keep your baby’s clothes clean and dry, they also make it more difficult to detect moisture.
How to tell if your baby has nappy rash
A red or sore bum is pretty hard to miss. The main symptoms of nappy rash:
- Bub is probably fussier and not sleeping well. The rashes can be very sore and your baby will probably be very unsettled, especially when urine comes in contact with their inflamed skin.
- The skin covered by the nappy becoming red and inflamed, including the genitals and folds of the thighs. The affected skin can either be dry or moist.
- Bumps may develop, including little pimples or blisters. These may peel and leave raw patches (ulcers).
Nappy rash is fairly harmless to start with, but if left untreated secondary infections such as thrush (yeast or bacterial) may develop.
Simple steps to avoid nappy rash
A dry bottom is key to keeping nappy rash away. Follow these 5 steps to avoid nappy rash:
- Change baby’s nappy as soon as possible after it becomes wet or soiled.
- Clean baby’s nappy area thoroughly and gently with fragrance and alcohol-free wipes. Allow to dry completely before putting on a new nappy.
- Apply a thin layer of barrier cream or protective ointment such as zinc and cod liver oil, or zinc and castor oil to baby’s bottom at each change.
- Try not to fasten nappies too tightly as this can sometimes restrict airflow to affected areas.
- When you start bub on solid food, introduce only one new item at a time. Wait a few days to observe any potential reactions.
Talcum powder is not generally recommended, as it can make its way into a baby’s lungs. It has also been known to aggravate nappy rash. Baby wipes are generally a better option.
How to treat nappy rash
Just follow these simple steps and a normal nappy rash should clear up in three to four days:
- Change your baby’s nappy frequently. This keeps bub clean and dry and gives your child’s skin a chance to heal.
- Keep the nappy area clean. Huggies Baby Wipes are pH balanced and hypoallergenic – they do not contain fragrances, soaps, alcohol (means Ethanol and Isopropanol) and other irritating chemicals. Avoid any baby wipes containing alcohol.
- Bottoms up. Let bub go bare-bottomed occasionally to allow the affected skin to breathe.
- Give baby pain relief if necessary as the rash can be very painful, especially when urine gets into the rash
If nappy rash does not clear in a couple of days, or worsens, seek advice and treatment from your doctor. They may prescribe particular creams or ointments such as hydrocortisone to help clear the rash.