Well-tested solutions for nappy rash
If your little one wears diapers they’ll inevitably get nappy rash at some point. Even though that problem seems have been around all along we believe there are still some questions to be answered.
Nappy rash is so common in babies that no matter how careful you are when it comes to caring for your baby's bum, it’s still bound to happen. The good news is that because it is so common, many well-tested solutions for treating and preventing it have been found. There are many natural and clinical methods for soothing nappy rash.
This article will answer tho most common questions and highlight everything you need to know about how to identify a nappy rash, its causes, methods of treatment, and prevention.
What are the causes of nappy rash?
A poopy diaper
Wearing a wet diaper exposes your little one's skin to dampness. This combined with the ammonia that is found in urine is a recipe for diaper rash.
When your child walks around with their nappy, there is some friction between their legs and the cloth. This can cause a nappy rash on the friction areas.
Change in diet
Most cases of nappy rash are reported when the child is around 9 to 12 months. This is because they have started to eat solid foods, which makes their poo more acidic. Some fruits and juices can also contribute to making the child's urine more acidic.
Your little one's skin could be sensitive to the chemicals in the diapers or to the detergent you use to clean his cloth diapers.
What are the categories of nappy rash?
There are different types of diaper rash, and while all forms of it will cause some discomfort you need to ensure you have identified it correctly so that you know what treatment to use.
Common diaper rash
This is the mildest form of nappy rash. It will only affect the baby's skin where the diaper was in contact. The skin looks a little red and it clears up pretty fast with proper care.
Bacterial nappy rash
This diaper rash happens when your child's diaper area is infected by bacteria. You will notice small red blisters that have some liquid. They then ooze some yellow fluid before forming crusts. This rash is contagious so you should see your GP as soon as you notice these. Bacterial diaper rash is cleared up using antibiotic nappy rash cream.
Yeast nappy rash
Diapers have some material to prevent them from leaking. Sometimes, this can also prevent aeration on your baby's bottom. This creates the perfect environment for fungi to grow. It is characterized by a bright tender rash that will start to spread. You should also call your doctor if this is the case. They might recommend an anti-fungal cream to help.
How to care for nappy rash?
Here are a couple of things you can do to ensure your baby's bum is back to normal in no time:
Let the area breathe
Ensuring that your child stays diaper-free for a part of the day will assist the diaper rash to dry out and get better. Also, dress them in loose bottoms made of breathable fabrics like cotton.
Change diapers more often
If a child has a nappy rash, you should be more alert about changing their diapers. Keeping your little one in a wet diaper can only make the situation escalate.
If the cause of your child's nappy rash is the diaper brand or detergent, consider moving to a more gentle one. Some brands may be using harsh chemicals that could be affecting your child.
As you switch brands, do so one brand at a time to know which one was the cause, so that you can avoid it in future
Look for diaper barrier creams to prevent your baby's bottom from getting into contact with the irritants. Creams that contain zinc or zinc oxide offer more protection and also soothe the affected areas. Sudocream is normally enough, but in more severe cases you may need to use a pharmaceutical cream with increased zinc levels.
Vaseline could be an alternative for children who are allergic to any of the ingredients in Sudocream.
The way to make barrier creams serve their purpose best is by applying a thick layer before putting the diaper on.
Oatmeal helps to ease the pain so you can get it into your baby care routine for a nappy rash. Put a tablespoon of dry oatmeal in your little one's bath water and have them sit in it for up to 10 minutes. After this, gently pat their skin dry with a soft towel. Do this twice daily until he gets better.
Epsom salt has anti-inflammatory features that will help. Mix some into your child's bath and let them sit in it for around 15 minutes. Bath them normally and dry them with a towel after this.
Potato starch solution
You can also use potato flour instead of scented baby powders that dry out your baby’s skin. Here’s how to do it:
- When bathing your baby, add 2 tablespoons of potato flour to some cold water. Mix it up to create a suspended solution. Add this to some hot water (about a litre), then pour the mixture into the baby’s bathtub until you get the right temperature for their bath.
- When your baby poops, carefully rinse them under running water. If they are irritated, consider using a weak potassium permanganate solution (which is slightly pink) for washing.
- Next, carefully dry their buttocks. Do not rub with the towel. Instead, apply gentle touches to the area to dry it.
- Before putting on the nappy, apply some cream or a bit of potato flour in your hands.
- Aerate the buttocks for a few minutes to help them heal faster
Should I use baby powder?
Our short answer is definitely not. There's a lot of controversy due to the harmful contents of the talc based baby powders and for very good reasons. Moreover paediatricians do not recommend using it as in addition to their potentially dangerous effects, they clog skin pores, cause excessive dryness, and its fragrance ingredients often cause allergies.
Our recommendation is to replace it with potato starch instead, which is extremely effective, anti allergic and absorbs excess moisture very well significantly reducing the risk of nappy rash.
So there you have it. With the tips and tricks outlined here, we hope we have shed some new light on the problem. As always, we recommend that if in any doubt you should consult your GP or public health nurse, as advice given in the article cannot replace a medical advice from a medical professional.