Most babies will get nappy rash at least once, even with super-absorbent nappy technology and frequent nappy changes. In most cases, the mild nappy rash clears up in a few days with simple at-home treatment. Find out more about what causes nappy rash, what nappy rash looks like, and how to prevent and treat it.
What Is Nappy Rash?
Nappy rash is a common condition that typically forms when the sensitive skin around your baby’s nappy area becomes irritated, for example, if it remains in contact with urine or poo for too long.
Nappy rash can make your baby’s skin red, sore, or hot in patches, and sometimes it can cause blisters or spots.
With suitable treatment, the nappy rash usually clears up within three or four days, but if the rash doesn’t noticeably improve within a couple of days, or if it gets worse, see your midwife or doctor for advice.
An important way of protecting your little one against nappy rash is changing your baby’s nappy frequently.
To conclude, nappy rash is relatively common and can happen to any baby. It may make your little one’s skin red, hot, or sore. You can help prevent nappy rash by changing your baby’s nappy regularly and immediately after it’s soiled. Contact your baby’s GP if their nappy rash continues.
What Does Nappy Rash Look Like?
Common signs of nappy rash can include:
1. Red blotches or patches on your baby’s bottom or the whole nappy area
2. Pimples, spots, or blisters
3. Hot, sore-looking skin
4. An irritable or fussy baby.
What Causes Nappy Rash?
Even with frequent nappy changes, nappy rash can still happen. In the next sections, we’ll explore some causes of nappy rash and situations in which it might occur.
Nappy Rash Caused by Irritants
Skin irritation is the most common cause of the nappy rash, and often it is a result of
1. Your baby’s skin being in contact with wee or poo for too long
2. Chafing from a nappy that’s too tight and rubbing against your baby’s skin
3. Not cleaning the nappy area or changing the nappy often enough
4. A reaction to detergents, soaps, bubble baths, or some alcohol-based baby wipes
5. Certain types of medicines, such as antibiotics or laxatives
You may notice red patches on your baby’s bottom, or the whole area may be red. Most of the time, babies don’t feel sore if they experience a mild nappy rash. However, if the rash is severe your little one may feel uncomfortable and distressed.
Make sure to change your baby’s nappy regularly, keep the nappy area clean and apply nappy cream. It’s also a good idea to use highly absorbent nappies and make sure they fit correctly without being too tight to avoid chafing.
Nappy Rash Treatment and Prevention
The steps for treating nappy rash and preventing it are very similar, so if you want to know how to get rid of nappy rash as well as help prevent it, try these remedies:
1. When your baby has a wet or dirty nappy, change it as quickly as possible. This is probably the very best way to treat or prevent nappy rash. Keep in mind that newborn babies may need around 8 to 12 nappy changes a day
2. Gently clean your baby’s bottom with each nappy change. Rinse the skin with warm water or use unscented, alcohol-free wipes
3. Gently pat your baby’s skin dry with a clean towel or – even better – leave the nappy off for a little while before putting on a new one to let the skin air-dry
4. Apply a very thin layer of barrier cream just before putting the nappy on
5. If your baby seems distressed or uncomfortable, ask your health visitor, pharmacist, or doctor to recommend a nappy rash cream or ointment
6. Give your little one a bath daily until the nappy rash clears up. Once a day is enough though – bathing your baby more often than that could dry out his or her skin
7. Make sure your baby’s nappy fits properly – for example, the tapes should fasten symmetrically, the nappy should cover the buttocks and the nappy should fit snuggly under the belly button
8. When you can, let your baby go without a nappy. For example, you could spread out a towel during playtime and keep your baby’s nappy off for a while
Finally, if your baby has a nappy rash don’t use soaps with fragrances, bubble baths, lotions, or talcum powder as these can further irritate the skin.