Nappy rash can appear at any time during nappy wearing or even during toilet training.
It is a common childhood rash and most babies get it at some stage, however some seem to be more susceptible than others.
What does nappy rash look like?
If your baby has red, raw looking skin in the nappy area it’s likely to be nappy rash. There may be spots or pustules, usually at the edge of the rash. Your baby may be a bit unsettled and get upset when you wipe it.
What causes nappy rash?
Essentially the rash is caused by the contact of faeces and urine with your baby’s skin which of course, for short periods, is unavoidable. Sometimes the bottom’s skin seems to cope with this contact fine, however at other times it causes nappy rash. Some parents link a flare of nappy rash to teething, a change of nappy type, introduction of some solid food, or use of detergents or irritating products.
How to prevent nappy rash
First up, the best thing to do is try and keep your baby’s skin as dry and clean as possible with frequent nappy changes. Let your baby go nappy free for as long as possible so the skin can really dry out and breathe.
When changing your baby’s nappy, wipe the area to remove all traces of faeces or urine. Fragrance free is best to reduce further irritation, so ideally use a fragrance free wipe or damp paper towel to clean up messes quickly and effectively.
If you are using cloth nappies, ensure they are well rinsed to ensure there is no soap or soaking solution residue.
Apply a cream, ideally fragrance free that will provide a protective barrier against moisture to help prevent nappy rash.
How to treat nappy rash
Frequent nappy changes are essential to reduce the amount of time the upset skin is exposed to urine. Ensure baby’s bottom is really clean and leave baby to enjoy a play with no nappy whenever possible.
Nappy rash and fungal infections, such as thrush, love a warm, moist environment so creating an effective barrier that keeps the skin dry is vital to enable it to heal.
When to seek further advice
If, after a few days of home treatment, the rash is getting worse, or is not improving it may be because of an infection, fungus (such as thrush), or both. Seek advice from a health professional.
Written by Robyn
Robyn creates content on Kidspot NZ. Her hobbies include buying cleaning products and wondering why things don’t then clean themselves, eating cheese scones with her friends, and taking her kids to appointments.
Favourite motto to live by: “It’s just a phase.”