Nappy Rash

Ok, so what is nappy rash… Well, it’s soreness within the nappy area of your baby. Their bum, genitals and thighs. Confusingly, it’s not always caused by nappies which can sometimes make it really hard to treat because first you need to find the cause. It can be a little red rash, soreness, hot to touch, pimples, blisters, red patches or the whole area inflamed and pink.

Things that can cause nappy rash, first of all, the simple ones… The nappy. It’s maybe been left on a bit too long and baby has had poop and pee sat next to their skin too long. This causes soreness because it makes the skin damp and starts to break down the skin’s natural barrier. This then starts to get irritated by the nappy rubbing on the skin. An easy fix for this is to clean baby thoroughly, pat dry, apply a thin layer of nappy barrier cream such as sudocrem and put on a clean nappy. You need to make sure that you’re changing nappies more often. Top tip: set a reminder on your phone. Trust me, I know when you’re at home all day doing different chores and keeping baby happy, the day can get away from you and before you know it, it’s babies bed time. Key changing times: When they wake up, Before naps, after a meal and before bed. Obviously use a clean nappy each time.

Other causes of nappy rash include:
Diarrhoea – The enzymes in diarrhoea are more active than they are in normal poop and these cause more irritation to the skin.

Teething – Can cause diarrhoea, due to the amount a baby drools when teething, baby swallows more liquid, which then causes diarrhoea.

Diet – Acidic foods can also cause nappy rash. Things like fruit, fruit juices… Also one major one to look out for… Tomato. There are a lot of baby foods made with tomato, so if you’re struggling to get rid of the rash it may be down to food. Check the ingredients labels and give baby a break from the tomato based foods for a little while or mix up their diet with other foods instead of always heading for the tomato based ones. Try cheesy cauliflower instead.

Soaps and bubble bath – If you’ve just changed a product maybe this has caused the nappy rash. Try switching back to see if this helps. Maybe the new one was too strong or too perfumed for baby’s delicate skin.

Detergent – This one is mainly for cloth/reusable nappies. The recommended detergent is a non-bio product. I use Fairy Non-Bio, simply because it’s easy to get hold of, it’s a popular product for new mums and my own mum used it with me and still uses it now. Again if you have changed detergent recently, swap back and see if it helps.

Baby wipes – If baby wipes have alcohol in them or are too perfumed, these can cause irritation. Try a sensitive, organic or just a plain old perfume-free alocohol-free wipe.

Oral thrush – If your baby has been diagnosed with oral thrush, it is possible for this to be passed through the digestive system in to the nappy. Seek medical help if you think this could be the cause.

Antibiotics – If your baby is on antibiotics, they may kill the normal harmless bacteria in the vagina which help to defend against Candida spp. As Candida spp. are yeasts and not bacteria, they will not be killed by antibiotics. Thrush is a common condition caused by a yeast infection in the vagina and surrounding area.
You should always finish the course of antibiotics but also seek mecical help if you think this could be the cause.

Allergies – right so this is when it gets a bit more difficult. Allergies cover everything. Brand or nappy, wipes, creams, detergents, foods, lactose intolerance… and so on. It may be worth a trip to the GP to see if there are any allergy tests they can give your baby to help whittle it down…. otherwise, it’s a bit of trial and error… Swapping out 1 product at a time and see if you notice a difference. WHich can take a very long time.

Simple treatments:
– Could be as simple as checking if the nappy is too tight
– Change nappy often
– If cloth nappying, use a more absobant nappy and again change more often
– Use warm water and cotton wool instead of wipes. Pat dry, dont rub.
– Use unscented, alcohol-free wipes
– Apply a barrier cream with every nappy change whether they have a nappy rash or not, this will protect delicate skin. I do personally recommend their nappy cream. I think it’s amazing and it acts really fast to heal your little ones sore bum.
– Nappy free time. Best on an easy clean floor. Or like me, I put a plastic table cloth down on the floor for Ebony to play on. Easy to clean any ‘spills’ but lets their little bums get some air to them
– Bathe once a day but no more. If you wash more often this can cause their skin to dry out. I bath Ebony in the kitchen sink. No soaps, just water, make sure they’re clean and pat dry.

Contact your doctor if:
– Baby cries with pain when touched
– The rash spreads to legs/arms/face
– The rash doesn’t improve after a week
– Or if it goes away and returns
– The rash blisters or bleeds
– Baby has a fever
** If the rash develops a persistent bright red, moist rash. Or if white or red pimples appear and spread into the fold of their skin. Seek immediate medical advice as this could be an infection and will need a topical cream to be treated.

I’ve written a quick post about cloth nappies for those who are interested, the link to that is here.

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Ebony’s Mum


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