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July 29, 2016

Nappy rash is common and can happen no matter how carefully you look after your baby’s bottom. However, there are things you can do to try to prevent it occurring and simple remedies available to help treat it.

What is nappy rash?

Nappy rash is a rash in the nappy area.  The skin looks red and raw, and can be spotty in appearance.  It can be sore when the area is wiped and your baby may be unsettled or irritable because of it. It can flare up very quickly, last a couple of days and then subside.  

How common is nappy rash?

65% of Kiwi mums tell us their baby has experienced nappy rash sometime before they are two years old.   Fortunately only 3% found nappy rash to be an ongoing problem.    

It is very common and can happen no matter how carefully you look after your baby's bottom. Some parents report that their child's nappy rash is worse when they are teething. Other factors can include a change in diet, diarrhoea or sickness.

What causes nappy rash?

Wet skin is the most common cause of nappy rash.  Your baby’s skin is very sensitive and being in moist, warm conditions or in contact with urine and faecal matter easily weakens it.

A soiled nappy should always be changed immediately. A disposable nappy can take a number of wees before it needs changing; however, it should not become so full that the top of the nappy (the part that touches the baby’s bottom) is damp or wet. 

A yeast infection (candida or thrush) thrives in warm moist areas and so is often present when there is a severe nappy rash.  It can be treated effectively with the right cream.

How to help prevent nappy rash

  • A good quality disposable nappy will reduce the likelihood of getting nappy rash as it quickly draws moisture away from baby’s skin. Treasures Comfort Nappies are fast drying and soft on baby's skin
  • Keeping the skin clean and dry by changing baby’s wet or soiled nappy as soon as possible (5 to 7 times a day for babies under 12 months of age)
  • Applying a barrier cream (such as zinc cream at each nappy change will prevent moisture and irritants from reaching the skin)
  • Giving your baby as much 'nappy free' time as possible each day
  • Washing then rinsing cloth nappies twice to remove soap residue, and avoid strong washing powders
  • By choosing baby wipes with minimal or no fragrance and for sensitive skin. Treasures Baby Wipes are unscented to be gentle on your baby’s sensitive bottom
  • avoid using plastic pants
  • avoid talcum powder

What's the best way to treat nappy rash?

Simple measures are often the best.

1. Change your baby’s nappies frequently to keep the bottom area dry and give your baby’s skin a chance to heal

2. Give your baby’s bottom some air for as long as possible every day

3. Clean your baby’s skin, using a warm, wet cloth or mild baby wipe to wash your baby's bottom

4. Use a barrier cream after each nappy change

When to see a doctor about nappy rash

If the nappy rash doesn't get better in a few days or gets worse, talk to your nurse, doctor or health professional. It may mean there is a skin infection present such as a thrush infection. They may prescribe an antifungal or hydrocortisone cream to help clear the rash.

References

Kids Health Organisation NZ website

The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne website

The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society website

Health Navigator NZ website

 


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