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Nappy rash... it's sore, it's red and it's uncomfortable for your little one.
But parents should never feel guilty if their baby does get nappy rash. It's just part of having a baby. And although it's more common in bigger babies and toddlers than it is in newborns, the majority of babies will experience nappy rash at least once in the first two years of their life.
We're here to talk you through what nappy rash is, what causes it and how to treat it. Let's get into it.
By definition, nappy rash is an acute inflammatory reaction of the skin in the nappy area.
If a little one has nappy rash, they may appear distressed, agitated, or uncomfortable, as the rash may be itchy and painful. The rash will be visible and show as patches of inflamed skin on your baby's bottom.
In severe cases, there might be small specks of blood in their nappy, from irritated skin. You might also notice that your little one is fussy or seems irritated, especially when they're having a wee or a poo, or when you're changing their nappy. In other cases, they might not seem bothered at all!
It's good to know exactly what you're looking for when it comes to nappy rash. The rash itself can range from a mild to a large rash that can spread across a baby's bottom and thighs.
The skin around their nappy area may be...
If you're looking to get scientific, there are a bunch of different types of nappy rash that your baby could get - some more common than others:
Irritant dermatitis: The most common type of nappy rash, irritant dermatitis is caused by a wet nappy being in contact with your baby's skin. To avoid this, you should change your baby's nappy regularly and use a solid nappy cream.
Candidiasis (yeast infection): Yeast overgrowth in the nappy region is often caused by diarrhoea or tight nappies. A good nappy cream should be able to tackle this, but if not, you can always visit your doctor.
Bacterial infections: This infection is often caused when a baby's skin is already irritated, and bacteria builds in irritated areas. Antibiotics are normally needed for a bacterial infection. So, if you notice puss-filled blisters or hard scabs around their nappy area, you should consult your doctor.
Nappy rash is commonly caused by an irritant contact dermatitis, but there are also some other common causes to look out for. These can include:
Sometimes you take all the precautions in the world and can still be stuck with a little nappy rash - it happens. But don't worry because you can almost always treat nappy rash at home.
The best thing to do is keep their nappy area clean and dry and invest in a top-notch barrier cream or ointment. Many parents swear by Sudocrem. It's a great all-round soother and healer for your little one's sensitive skin, as well as containing antiseptic and antibacterial properties to fight off further infections.
If you think your baby's rash might be an allergic reaction, try to figure out if you've introduced any new foods or used any new products recently. The culprit is often detergent or soap!
If your baby's nappy rash gets worse, even after several days of home treatments, is severe or occurs along with a fever, you should seek advice from your family doctor or a pharmacist to ensure that the rash isn't infected. They'll be able to prescribe you some medication to help soothe and treat the rash.
Yes, according to the brand's website, Vaseline® Jelly can be applied to form a protective barrier after wiping your child's bottom clean. It can also help prevent irritants from making sore skin from nappy rash feel worse, while also locking in moisture to calm and soothe your baby's skin.
If you follow the points and guidance above, nappy rash should usually clear up after about three days. If it persists for longer, you should always speak to your health visitor, a pharmacist, or your family doctor and ask for their advice.
Nappy rash and teething are not usually linked, although they may happen at the same time. Fever and other symptoms like diarrhoea, rashes (other than those on the face), and vomiting are very unlikely to be caused by teething. A baby experiencing these should be taken to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Once your baby's bottom is clean and dry, you can apply a thin layer of nappy rash cream to both their bottom and the folds in their skin after each nappy change, especially before bedtime and after any nighttime changes. Before you apply the cream, always read the instructions for the specific cream you're using. Then, place a clean nappy beneath your baby, ready to put on, and apply a button-sized amount to their bottom using a gentle touch. A little goes a long way!
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