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How To Treat Nappy Rash

Did you know?

According to the NHS, up to a third of babies and toddlers in nappies have nappy rash at any one time. It doesn't usually develop in newborns, but all babies can get nappy rash.

Common nappy rash causes:

  • Dirty nappies being left on too long, causing prolonged skin contact with poo or wee.
  • Nappies being too tight and rubbing on skin.
  • Allergies to or irritation from soap, detergent or bubble bath.
  • Using alcohol-based baby wipes.
  • Medication, such as antibiotics.
  • Fungal or bacterial infections.
Photo by William Fortunato from Pexels

How do you know if a child has nappy rash?

Nappy rash symptoms range from some red patches on a child’s bottom, to the whole area being red. Their skin may look sore and feel hot, or even have spots, pimples or blisters. Mild nappy rash shouldn’t feel sore, but babies can feel uncomfortable and distressed if the rash is painful.

How do you treat nappy rash?

Nappy rash is usually easily treated. If it isn’t upsetting the child, apply a thin layer of a barrier cream at every nappy change to protect their skin. To ensure you are cleaning the nappy area thoroughly, follow That Nursery Life’s guide on How To: Change a Nappy. https://thatnurserylife.com/content/how-to-change-a-nappyMake sure you don’t use soap, bubble bath or lotions while the child’s skin is sensitive, and try to encourage children’s families to give them some nappy-free time at home.

What if it’s a fungal infection?

If a child has nappy rash for longer than a few days, it may be a fungal infection. This can cause more severe symptoms such as pus-filled blisters in the folds of skin or other areas or bright red, moist patches on the skin and can be a lot more distressing for a child. If this is the case, the doctor will prescribe an antifungal cream or mild steroid cream, to be applied a few times a day.

What if it’s not nappy rash?

There are a few skin conditions that may appear similar to nappy rash, but are different:

  • Cradle cap – crusty or flaky skin, most common on the scalp but can also appear in the nappy area.
  • Oral thrush – if a child has a fungal infection in their nappy area, the bacteria may have travelled from their mouth to their nappy in their poo, so check the child’s mouth as well for a white coating on their tongue, or while spots in or around their mouth.
  • Eczema – itchy, sore or cracked skin that can become inflamed, causing redness. It is most common on the face, scalp, hands, inside of the elbows and backs of the knees, but could also appear in the nappy area.

Whatever the child’s symptoms, make sure you discuss the issue thoroughly with the child’s family so everyone is aware of the symptoms and the course of treatment being followed.

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