Nappy rash and how to treat it.

Emmy Samtani

Emmy Samtani

Emmy is the founder of Kiindred and mother to 3 little ones. Over the last 4 years, she has worked with some of the most credible experts in the parenting space and is a keen contributor on all things parenthood.
Updated on Jun 14, 2024 · 4 mins read
Nappy rash and how to treat it.

Did you know that babies use anywhere between 2000 and 2500 nappies in just one year?! That is a whole lot of nappy changing and cute little tooshy-wiping!

Yep, our little one need to be changed anywhere up to 12 times a day, so it’s really important that the delicate skin under their nappies is properly cared for and protected. This is, in part, in order to protect them from the dreaded nappy rash.

Newborn nappy rash is usually caused by prolonged exposure to wetness, friction, and bacteria in the nappy area. It can be uncomfortable for the baby and may lead to further skin irritation and infections if left untreated.

Unfortunately, nappy rash in our little ones is very common (and pretty much unavoidable) no matter how well you look after them. Most babies and toddlers will suffer from it during their nappy-wearing years at some point, to varying degrees.

Other factors that can come to play, making nappy rash worse or prolonging it, include:

  • Ammonia in baby’s urine
  • Faeces (especially when the baby is teething)
  • Sensitive skin
  • Plastic pants or cloth nappies that aren’t absorbent
  • Certain brands of disposable nappies might irritate their skin
  • Baby wipes with harsh chemicals or fragrances
  • Soaps or bath wash
  • Detergents
  • Illness such as diarrhoea
  • Leaving soiled nappy on too long

Nappy rash symptoms

Symptoms of nappy rash typically include redness, swelling, and a rash in the nappy area. The affected skin may also feel warm to the touch, and there may be small bumps, blisters, or pustules. In severe nappy rash cases, the rash may spread beyond the nappy area and cause pain and discomfort for the baby.

Preventing nappy rash is essential for keeping your baby comfortable and healthy. Changing your baby’s nappy frequently and keeping the nappy area clean and dry can help prevent the development of nappy rash. You should also avoid using harsh soaps, perfumes, and lotions on your baby’s skin, as these can irritate the delicate skin in the area.

In addition to changing your baby’s nappy regularly, giving them plenty of opportunities for nappy-free time is important. As mentioned at the top of this article, newborns may need to be changed up to 12 times a day, but this will gradually decrease as they grow.

Babies may act differently when they have nappy rash, depending on the severity of the rash and their individual temperament. In general, babies with nappy rash may seem more irritable, fussy, or uncomfortable than usual. They may cry more frequently or have trouble sleeping, particularly if the rash is causing pain or discomfort.

Babies with nappy rash may also show physical signs of discomfort. They may squirm or wiggle more than usual when you change their nappy, as the affected skin may be sensitive to touch.

Nappy rash treatments

Clean the area thoroughly with a gentle, fragrance-free baby wipes such as Mustela Stelatopia Cleansing Wipes, to remove all traces of urine and faeces. Make sure to dry the area thoroughly once you have cleaned it.

Nappy rash cream

A barrier cream is one of your best tools for defence against nappy discomfort. Mustela Vitamin Barrier Cream 123 made with 98% natural ingredients, is gentle enough to use from birth and nourishes as well as protects – so it works as a preventative as well as soothing and healing. Avoid the use of talcum powder or antiseptic creams.

Type of nappies during nappy rash

Disposable nappies can be better during periods of nappy rash as they are specifically formulated to absorb moisture, however, if you do opt for cloth nappies make sure you use an absorbent liner.

Severe nappy rash

If your baby’s nappy rash is severe, doesn’t appear to get better after a few days or you are concerned in any way, always speak with your doctor or pharmacist as your baby may have thrush or bacterial infection that may require an anti-fungal cream or further treatment.

In some cases, nappy rash may require medical treatment. If the rash is severe or accompanied by other symptoms like fever or infection, you should contact your healthcare provider. They may prescribe a medicated cream or ointment to help alleviate the symptoms and promote healing.

In conclusion, nappy rash is a common skin condition that can be uncomfortable for babies and toddlers. Preventing nappy rash by keeping the nappy area clean and dry is essential, and applying a nappy rash cream or ointment can help soothe and protect the affected skin. If your baby develops nappy rash, contact your healthcare provider if the symptoms are severe or accompanied by other symptoms.

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