Nappy rash is very common and affects almost all children who wear nappies at some stage. Here is all the information you need to know about nappy rash and how to minimise the chances of it developing.
The main cause of nappy rash is the child wearing a dirty or damp nappy for too long. Wet nappies can create friction and hold ammonia substances that can irritate a child’s skin. Plastic pants can worsen the irritation by retaining the moisture and not allowing the nappy to dry.
Soaps and detergents left on cloth nappies after washing can also cause nappy rash. Children with eczema, psoriasis, thrush or impetigo can experience worse cases of nappy rash.
The child’s skin will look red and sore in the surrounding nappy area. This may spread to the tummy and back. Some skin areas may be swollen, raised or have ulcers. The rash often causes discomfort and pain.
- Change the nappy frequently
Moist nappies lead to nappy rash. It is therefore important to change soiled or wet nappies immediately.
- Let the child’s bottom dry
Ensure the child’s bottom is exposed to air for as long as possible each day. This could be in an open nappy or towel while they are asleep. Loose nappies also allow for more air circulation.
Creams like Vaseline, Dermeze or zinc and castor oil can help soothe skin. Apply a thick layer each nappy change as a barrier between the skin and nappy.
- Clean the skin
Use warm water and a mild sensitive soap to wash the skin. Rinse the skin and pay dry with a towel. Preferably clean the child with running water. Disposable wipes can sting and irritate the rash.
- Rinse cloth nappies after they are washed
Rinse cloth nappies to wash off soap residue or bleach-based detergents and make sure they are completely dry before using them.
For sever cases of nappy rash, a doctor may recommend cortisone creams or ointments.
When to see a doctor
- If the rash hasn’t improved after 3 days of treatment
- If there are pimples, crusts or blisters
- If the child isn’t sleeping
- If the child has a fever
- If the rash is spreading
Read more:Raising Children Network