Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby. Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash
When your baby gets nappy rash, it may make you feel like a bad mum, but sometimes it's inevitable. It tends to affect babies from the age of three to 15 months. You'll be lucky to survive this whole stretch without at least one or two bouts of this itchy and uncomfortable rash on your baby's beautiful smooth bottom.
Dry and clean baby
For starters, a wet or dirty nappy combined with heat and friction can cause nappy rash, so you need to keep baby as dry and clean as possible. You tend to get redness and rawness where the nappy has been in contact with urine. On the areas of the skin where there may have been friction, you might get chafing and scaling.
Germs and yeasts can come and join the party, resulting in yet more irritation for the little one. Allowing them nappy-free time at this point is very important – to let the area breathe.
• Make sure they are wearing the right size of nappy, and that nappies are quickly changed when needed.
• Thoroughly clean and dry the skin, and apply a barrier cream at the next change.
• Talk to your pharmacist about specific nappy creams.
• Try to avoid bubble baths and soaps, and gently pat the area dry after a bath.
• Use hypoallergenic non-scented wet wipes, which don't provoke allergy.
• Ideally wash the area with cool boiled water on cotton wool, as it will be less painful for your child.
• Don't use talc, and invest in high-quality absorbent nappies to ease symptoms.
Nappy rash may be a sign of a skin problem, an infection, an allergy or even teething, but all of the above steps form the basis of managing a breakout. Once it has settled, keep a stash of nappy rash cream handy and slap it on at the first sign.
See your GP if it isn't settling or is worsening. Sometimes nappy rash needs to be tackled with a prescription treatment.
By Dr Pixie