Nappy or diaper rash is very common in infants and it occurs no matter you’ve been very careful while putting on or changing a diaper. Almost every baby who wears diapers gets a nappy rash at some point.
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Major causes of diaper rash
- There are many things can be the reason to cause a nappy rash in your child.
- One of the main reasons is wearing a wet or dirty diaper for too long. Prolonged dampness, ammonia released from wee, and friction can irritate the soft skin of your child, causing a nappy rash.
- Plastic pants can stop air circulation and keep the baby’s bottom damp. This results in a nappy rash and can even worsen if kept on for a longer duration.
- If you’re using cloth nappies, sometimes the particles of soaps and detergents remain on the cloth after washing, and these particles contribute to a diaper rash.
- Babies suffering from skin conditions like, eczema, thrush, psoriasis, etc. are likely to face worse nappy rashes.
Symptoms of nappy rash
The first symptom of a nappy rash is that it will make the skin appear red and sore. The redness along with a slight inflammation may occur. In some cases, a rash may even spread to tummy or back area. Due to constant friction, the swollen areas may break the skin, and these skin breaks are called ulcers.
Usually, skin folds remain unaffected as wee doesn’t get into those areas. A rash is very painful and discomforting and is likely to make your baby irritable.
Time to see a doctor:
You need to take your child to a doctor, when:
- you see no improvement in the condition even after three days of treating the skin.
- Blisters or pimples appear on the affected area
- your child is not able to sleep due to discomfort
- your child gets an unexplained fever
- the rash is spreading
Nappy rash treatment
A diaper rash will get better in a few days provided you take the following steps.
- You need to change your baby’s nappies frequently.
If you change diapers frequently, the area remains clean and dry, giving skin a chance to heal. Keep checking your child’s diaper every hour to avoid any dampness, and change the wet or soiled nappies right away.
- Proper air circulation
You need to provide air circulation to your baby’s bottom for as long as possible every day. For this, you can leave your child lying on an open towel or diaper for some time. While sleeping, you can even fasten the nappy loose to let air circulate freely.
- Proper cleaning
You need to clean the baby’s skin using lukewarm water and a mild soap. Rinse the skin gently and pat the baby dry with a clean towel. If you use disposable wipes for cleaning, make sure the wipes are free from alcohol or other irritants.
- Apply a protective cream after nappy change
You can apply a barrier cream - like vaseline, zinc or castor oil - after changing a diaper every time. These creams will form a barrier on the skin to prevent water from remaining in touch with the skin for longer. Avoid talcum-based powders to treat nappy rash, because talcum powder may not form a barrier on the skin, and may also cause breathing difficulties in babies.
Severe diaper rash won’t go that easily, you need to see a doctor. The child specialist may prescribe some cortisone creams or ointments (hydrocortisone 1%). Doctors even test your baby for scabies infection. If your baby is diagnosed with scabies, Dr. Scabies cream is quite efficient to treat the skin.