Nappy Rash is an inflammation of the skin around the nappy area, if it is not treated it can become infected and thrush will set in, the rash will then become shiny and bright red with patches and in boys the penis will be inflamed. Most babies develop a nappy rash at some time and it is rarely serious, most cases do not last very long and can be treated quite easily. A nappy rash is merely a burn like red rash over the nappy area and it can happen whether you use cloth or disposable diapers, as it is the moisture which causes the problem and not the nappy itself. The best way to avoid this problem is to keep your child clean and try to change the nappy just after he has soiled it.
The causes for this problem include:
Leaving the nappy on for too long
If cloth nappies are not washed properly and the bacteria is left in there.
There is an allergic reaction to soaps or lotions
The baby’s skin is not adequately dried after his bath
Chemicals in the laundry detergents
Thrush, which is a type of yeast infection
At the first sign of redness, you should wash your baby's bottom with warm water, and dry it thoroughly. An antiseptic cream such as sorbolene cream mixed with water or zinc oxide and a barrier cream should be applied to protect the skin. Oil made from oatmeal or raw oats can be used in your baby’s bath, as oatmeal is extremely good to use on the rashes. As soon as your baby soils his nappy try and change it. Avoid nappy covers and plastic pants, until the rash clear up as they trap in moisture.
Try to keep your baby clean and dry and change the baby’s nappy as soon as he soils it. Keeping his nappy off as often as you can will allow air into the area, however try not to keep him in the hot sun too often. Cloth nappies should be washed in hot water and sterilized well, and do not use any strong detergents and creams that might irritate your baby’s skin. Hang your nappies out in the sun when drying them and then put them in the drier for several minutes to soften them. If the entire nappy area is red and irritated, you should try to use another brand as your child might be allergic to your detergent. If it still does not clear, see your doctor. Letting your baby go without nappies as much as possible, is the best preventative measure.
When to seek further professional advice
If there is no improvement after four days of home treatment, if the rash is scaly and has a yellowish colour or it is blistered. If your son’s penis is red and swollen.
An aromatherapeutic remedy can be made up by mixing 2 drops each of essential oils of peppermint, lavender and sandalwood in 4 tablespoons of a carrier oil or lotion such as sweet almond oil; the lotion can then be gently applied to the reddened are of skin, this treatment should not be used on babies younger than 2 weeks. Calendula cream is a popular herbal remedy for relieving nappy rash.
Most nappy rashes respond well to home treatments and there is no need for medical care. If the rash does not improve after three to four days, your doctor should be consulted. Your doctor will then recommend you use an over the counter ointment that contains zinc oxide, this will help to protect the skin. If there is a bacterial infection present, other medication will have to be prescribed.
The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.