How to heal and prevent nappy rash in new-borns.
While common, the red and sore skin condition known as nappy rash can cause discomfort and distress for children under two.
If your child wears nappies, chances are they’ll develop nappy rash at some stage, so it’s critical you know how to deal with it.
How can it be caused?
Nappy rash can be caused by many things, but it mainly develops as a result of wearing a wet or dirty nappy for too long. When urine or faeces come in contact with a baby’s skin it causes a build-up of moisture which, along with friction and long wear, can cause irritation to the skin.
Wearing plastic pants or underwear can also cause and worsen nappy rash as it stops air from circulating around the skin.
Nappy rash can also occur consequently from a child having another skin condition such as eczema.
Tips for treating nappy rash
The underlying, good thing about nappy rash is it generally goes away within a few days, provided you do some of the following.
Give your baby nappy-free time.
Airing your child’s bottom every day is a great way to avoid nappy rash because it helps the skin to dry out and heal.
You could try leaving a dry nappy or towel under your child for a couple of hours or even fasten the nappy looser to allow air to flow.
Change nappies frequently.
Check your baby’s nappy every hour or so, where possible, to ensure they’re not sitting in a mess and change it straight away if they are. Frequently changing their nappy means the area will stay dry and will start healing.
Keeping their skin clean.
After every nappy change, use lukewarm water and a delicate cloth to gently clean your baby’s skin.
Where possible, avoid using disposable wipes which can irritate children’s’ skin, especially if the preservatives are causing an allergic reaction.
Using a soap-free baby wash that’s gentle on the skin when bathing your baby is also beneficial.
Reusable cloth nappies are problematic when it comes to nappy rash because they’re less absorbent than disposable ones. Plus if remains of soap or detergents are left on them it can cause the nappy rash to worsen.
However, if you prefer the cloth nappy, you can avoid these issues by thoroughly cleaning the nappy after every use and rinsing them in freshwater after they’ve been washed to remove any leftover residue.
Tip from a mother of four: If you want to use a cloth nappy but the moisture is an issue, try placing a woman’s pad inside the nappy for extra absorption.
Creams and treatments.
Applying a gentle barrier cream such as Sudo, after every nappy change can be beneficial in eliminating the rash as they stop moisture from hitting it.
You can either purchase these at your local supermarket or drugstore without a prescription or contact your baby’s GP for a recommendation.
Avoid using talcum powder. It’s important not to put powders on your baby’s skin during this time as it can actually trap the moisture inside, preventing the rash from healing plus, it can be a breathing hazard for children.
A home remedy from a mother of four: “I used cornflour after a cream. Cornflour helps absorb moisture and stays on the surface, so lightly sprinkling some over your baby’s skin can help reduce the rash.”
However, if the rash continues after a few days, talk to your GP to find the right course of action.