What is Nappy Rash?
Most babies will have nappy rash at some stage. It is seen as a red rash on the buttock area and can cause your baby a great deal of distress particularly at changing times. Nappy rash is caused by the contact of urine and faeces with the skin. The ammonia in these can be very irritating, especially where the skin is damaged from being constantly wet. It may occur at any time but is more likely to occur if the baby’s nappies are not changed frequently. Nappy rash is also very common after a bout of diarrhoea.
Usually the skin is not broken, but if the rash is left untreated it is possible for a bacterial infection to set in and this is seen as weeping sores. More commonly, the nappy rash could have a secondary fungal infection. This is seen as small red lesions usually around the edge of the affected area.
Treatment and Prevention of Nappy Rash
Treatment of nappy rash involves the use of a good water resistant barrier cream. This helps to protect the skin and keep it dry. The nappy area should be cleaned well (with cotton wool swabs and water or with non scented baby wipes) and thoroughly dried at each nappy change. If the nappy can be left off for a short period of time this will also help as the air in contact with the skin dries and cools it and this helps it to heal. A good barrier cream should then be applied. There are many barrier creams available - we would recommend Caldease® Medicated Ointment and Caldesene® Medicated Powder or Sudocrem. Caldease powder is medicated and attacks harmful bacteria. It soothes irritated skin and helps prevent rashes. It is specially formulated to form a barrier against wetness on your baby’s skin. Caldease ointment should be applied before the powder; it works under the powder acting as a moisturiser to put fluids back into the skin. Sudocrem is clinically proven to soothe and heal delicate skin by working in three ways: an emollient soothes sore skin, its ingredients are recognised for their healing properties and a mild local anaesthetic helps to ease pain and irritation.
Nappy rash can be prevented by using products such as Bepanthen® Nappy Care Ointment which provides everyday care and protection for your baby. Its gentle formula means it can be used at every nappy change to provide a breathable transparent layer to protect skin from irritants and rubbing. Johnson's® Baby 3-in-1 Nappy Care Cream soothes baby’s skin, protects against nappy rash and helps to repair and strengthen the skin’s protective layer.This cream has also been specially developed to be suitable for use at every nappy change. Vaseline can also be used as a protective barrier for delicate skin.
If your baby has developed a bacterial infection secondary to the nappy rash it is necessary to visit your doctor. A nappy rash should heal up within a week. If it persists longer or if the skin is broken and weeping it is necessary to take your baby to the doctor.