Nappy rash-also known as diaper rash-is red irritating rash confined to the area covered by the nappy. It
commonly affected the genitals, buttocks, groins and thighs. Nappy rash can start as early as the neonatal period when the baby begins to wear nappies. It peaks when the baby is between 7-12 months, then decreases with age. Nappy rash stops being a problem when the child is toilet trained.
Nappy rash occurs when the skin comes into contact with urine and faeces.
When your baby wets herself, the nappy cannot always absorb the waste products. Ammonia in the urine and faeces can irritate your baby’s skin, causing it become sore and red, if the soiled nappy is left on for a long time.
Nappy rash can also be caused by a fungal infection. The fungus, knows as candida, is present in faeces. Sometimes, the nappy rash starts as reaction to ammonia and is further complicated by a fungal infection.
Sign & Symptoms
Mild Nappy Rash
- Small part of the nappy area is covered in a pink or red rash.
- The rashes are usually made up of small spots or blotches.
- The child should feel well except for stinging sensation when passing urine or faeces.
Severe Nappy Rash
- More advance and painful symptoms, eg: bright red spots, dry ,cracked and broken skin, swellings, ulcers and blisters.
- The baby is distressed and uncomfortable. She may cry more often than usual and be irritable.
- The rash may cover a larger part of the nappy area and may spread down the legs or up to the tummy.
- Contact your doctor immediately if your child develops severely inflamed (swollen and irritated) skinor a fever.
Mild Nappy Rash
There is usually no need any medication if your baby has a mild nappy rash. Change diaper regularly to prevent the rash become worst.
- Leave your baby’s nappy off as long as possible. You can lay her on an absorbent towel while she sleeps.
- Avoid using soaps when cleaning your baby’s sensitive skin. Only use water to clean the nappy area. Dab- dry the affected area with soft materials. Eg: cotton wools or soft towel.
- Apply a barrier cream each time you change her nappy. Barrier creams like zinc cream, zinc oxide ointment, dimethicone and petroleum jelly help protect the skin from abrasion and irritation.
- Change your baby;s nappy frequently. Ideally, a nappy should be changed as soon as you baby wets or soils it.
- Consider changing the type of nappies that are highly absorbent.
- Tigh-fitting water-proof pants should be avoided.