Tips to help prevent and treat nappy rash
Nappy rash is the irritation of baby's skin in the nappy area, especially in older babies who sleep through the night without a nappy change. Babies' skin is thinner, more fragile, and sensitive than adults' making their skin more vulnerable to the environment and susceptible to dryness. The main causes of nappy rash according to The Sydney Children's Hospital Network* are:
Prolonged dampness against the skin is the main cause of nappy rash. The risk of developing a rash increases the longer the wet or soiled nappy is in contact with the skin as the moisture breaks down the skin’s protective barrier.
Urine and faeces contain irritants like ammonia that can pass through damaged skin and cause inflammation.
Cleansers that contain soap or synthetic cleaning agents can dry out the skin causing cracks – which can then also become an entry point for infection.
The skin on your child’s bottom will look red and sore and may be hot to the touch. Sometimes nappy rash might go up onto your child’s tummy or spread up towards your baby’s back. Some areas of the skin might be raised or swollen, and there might be breaks in the skin.
Your baby might be upset and cranky - and it's easy to imagine why. But with the right care, nappy rash will go away in a few days.
So how can we help protect and soothe it? Like anything, prevention is better than cure.
1. Impeccable hygiene
In order to avoid any risk of infection, it is therefore essential to wash your hands well before changing and applying the cream. If you are the type who is always on the move and changing your baby on the corner of a bench or the back seat of your car, use hand-sanitiser beforehand!
2. Gently does it
Your baby's rash may be causing them some discomfort so you don't want to exacerbate this. Apply the cream to clean skin as gently as possible in circular movements to help it penetrate.