Nappy Rash: Treatment, Remedies and Prevention
Babies' bottoms are one of the cutest things in the world. This seems to make it all the worse when they are red and raw with nappy rash. Your baby will be uncomfortable or could even be in quite a lot of pain.
Nappy Rash (Diaper or Napkin Rash) happens when urine or faeces irritate your baby's skin. Bacteria cause urine to break down, forming ammonia (an alkali) which burns the skin, causing the red rash.
How To Treat Nappy Rash
- Wash the red area gently and carefully at every nappy change. My elder son had very sensitive skin as he had excema from a young age. I always cleaned his bottom with cotton wool and plain water as even 'sensitive' baby wipes would aggravate his skin. I would recommend using cotton wool and water if your baby has nappy rash and always using it if your baby is prone to nappy rash.
- Dry gently and cover the area of the rash with a nappy rash cream. Zinc and castor oil is the traditional favourite. I have always found the old favourite Sudocrem to be brilliant on both my kids.
- You can try adding a layer of cream as a preventative measure if your baby is prone to nappy rash. I did this when he was going through a particularly bad patch with nappy rash.
- If the rash does not start to improve within 24 hours, has white or red pimples on it or if your baby has a temperature, you should go to your GP to check in case it has become infected.
- While bathing your baby, keep bathwater cool, don't use perfumed baby bath and try not to let your baby scratch if the rash is itchy (not easy I know!)
- NEVER, ever, use a steroid cream in the nappy area, even if your child has been prescribed it for eczema. The warm, moist atmosphere of a nappy will greatly increase the absorption of the steroid meaning high levels could get into your baby's blood stream.
- Another suggestion I have seen is to use cooled strong chamomile tea to clean your baby's bottom - apparently it is very soothing. I didn't try this myself, but I think it would be worth a try!
How To Prevent Nappy Rash
- The most important thing to prevent nappy rash is to change your baby's nappy whenever it is wet or dirty, and not allow a wet or dirty nappy to sit against your baby's skin fr any length of time at all.
- If you use disposable nappies, choose good quality, breathable ones. By the way, research by the University of Bristol found that there was no difference in the occurence of nappy rash whether a baby wore disposible nappies or washable nappies.
- When you change a nappy, clean your baby's bottom using just plain water and cotton wool or cotton reusable cloths. If you must use baby wipes or lotions make sure they are unperfumed or designed for sensitive skin. But baby wipes really are unnecessary, expensive and may be what is causing the nappy rash!
- Allow your baby a little time without a nappy on, letting air to the skin is a big help in preventing nappy rash.
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About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!