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Nappy rash: How to care for nappy rash

  • By Emily Amelia Inglis
  • Published 07/26/2012

Every mum wants their little one to be dry and comfortable, so the first signs of nappy rash can be quite distressing for mum and baby. But there are ways to prevent and to treat nappy rash once it occurs so don’t dismay.

What is nappy rash?

About a third of new babies suffer from some form of nappy rash and there are three main types. Normal nappy rash, when the skin is red, sore and almost shiny in appearance, occurs when the bottom has been in contact with a dirty nappy for a prolonged period or if the baby has a bout of diarrhoea. It is often the combination of wee and poo which causes the most irritation to the skin.

A fungal nappy rash shows as tiny red spots and the genitals can appear quite swollen. It can occur if your baby is on antibiotics. Fungal nappy rash is a form of thrush so it is often treated with a prescribed antifungal cream which should be applied thinly to the area. With this type of nappy rash it’s important that to avoid using normal barrier creams and ointments. Speak to you GP or health visitor for further advice.

A bacterial nappy rash shows as infected spots or pimples and is likely to be accompanied by a fever. It can develop from normal nappy rash where the skin has been broken and an infection has developed. As this type of nappy rash may need to be treated with antibiotics, you should see your GP if you suspect it.

What can I do?

Always check your baby’s nappy before and after a feed and make sure your baby is in a clean nappy before putting him or her down for a sleep. Avoid using tight fitting plastic pants over nappies as this can encourage fungal nappy rash. Give your baby nappy free time each day and avoid perfumed and alcohol based wipes as they can irritate the skin.

Applying a barrier cream before putting on a clean nappy will act as a protective layer between the wee and poo and your baby’s delicate skin. Remember to only apply a thin layer as too much can actually block the pores stopping the skin from breathing. Always wash your hands before and after changing your little one’s nappy so you don’t introduce any new infections to their bottom and also to ensure you won’t pass any infection on to others or yourself.

How long will it last?

Normal nappy rash should start to improve after 3-4 days once it has been treated with a barrier cream, nappy free time and regular nappy changes. Fungal nappy rash may take up to 5-7 days to improve after treatment with antifungal cream. Bacterial nappy rash can take a little longer to clear – around 7-10 days of antibiotic treatment, but this will be closely monitored by your GP or health visitor.

Please note that the contents of this article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute to your doctor’s advice. For medical care and advice, you should consult your doctor on a regular basis. If you have any problem which concerns you, consult your doctor immediately.

About the Author : Emily Amelia Inglis is writing about nappy rash.



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