How to Deal with Nappy Rash

How to Deal with Nappy Rash

The vast majority of babies will, at some time or another, experience the uncomfortable condition of nappy rash. Whilst most instances of this skin ailment are mild, sores and bleeding can occur in some of the most serious cases. If you spot nappy rash on your own baby's skin, understanding its cause is usually key to treating it.
The Causes of Nappy Rash
Most cases of nappy rash are caused by a combination of either urine or faeces and contact with skin. A nappy can stop your baby's bottom from coming into contact with fresh air, which can further exacerbate the problem. Nappy rash usually involves small areas of discoloured skin - often found where the nappy is in constant contact. In more severe cases, the discoloured areas can become raised and red, which is sometimes a sign of nappy thrush. If you discover a significant rash on your baby's skin, it is probably worth seeking advice from a Children's Hospital before drawing your own conclusions. They may perform some blood and allergy testing in order to rule out any anaphylactic reactions, eczema, psoriasis and infection. 

What Can You Do if Your Baby Has Nappy Rash?
It is important to remember that most cases of nappy rash are mild, and they can be easily treated through a combination of over-the-counter remedies and changes to your daily routine.
Leave your baby's nappy off
Perhaps the most effective way to tackle nappy rash is to allow as much fresh air as possible to come into contact with your baby's skin. Lay a towel or mat on the floor between feeds and naps, and let your baby relax without a nappy for as long as you can.
Check your baby's nappy throughout the day
Instead of waiting until you suspect your baby's nappy needs changing, try to check it as often as you can. The longer a wet or soiled nappy is in contact with your baby's skin, the greater the chance of a rash forming.
Use baby wipes
Some baby wipes have moisturising properties that will keep your baby's bottom clean, dry and soft. Using cotton wool and water is usually OK, but it may exacerbate the dryness of your baby's skin over time. 
Avoid talcum powder
Talcum powder was once used widely on babies during the nappy changing process, but it may irritate particularly sensitive skin. There is also a possibility that the powder may interfere with a disposable nappy's absorption properties - locking moisture against your baby's skin.
Try a dedicated barrier cream
Speak with your local pharmacist about creams that can protect your baby's skin from excessive moisture. Just a little of these creams applied during every change of nappy can be enough to clear rashes, and continued use of them will stop them from returning in the future. 
Avoid elasticated pants
Whilst it is still possible to buy plastic, elasticated pants that slip over a nappy, they can rub against your baby's skin and lock in moisture. 

The chances are that one or a combination of several of these measures will be enough to get rid of a potentially painful rash. However, in some rare cases, a doctor will prescribe an anti-fungal lotion or steroid cream in order to treat more serious skin ailments. If your baby's rash isn't responding to your own efforts, it may be time to seek advice from a local Children's Hospital.

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