What Is Nappy Rash?

Nappy rash is a skin irritation that occurs on the skin of a baby in the nappy area. Various things can cause the irritation including: ammonia, which is found in urine and feces, alcohol, which is sometimes used in baby wipes, a change in diet i.e. from breast milk to formula, strong detergents/soap additives, which have been used to clean terry nappies.

However, not all nappy conditions are nappy rash. Other conditions that can cause similar symptoms include heat rash, dermatitis (eczema) or thrush.

Symptoms of nappy rash vary from mild sore red spots to cracked or broken skin and even blisters. You may also be able to smell ammonia strongly on the nappy. Treatment of nappy rash is usually not too difficult, and the problem should clear up after a few days: change the nappy as soon as it is wet/dirty; let your baby play without a nappy as much as possible; so their bottom is exposed to the air; if you’re using a barrier cream, stop using it as it could be causing the rash or preventing the rash from healing; avoid using plastic pants; keep your baby’s bottom dry, but don’t use talcum powder. If the rash lasts longer than three days, gets worse or shows signs of being infected, (inflammation, discharge or your baby develops a fever) ask your health visitor or doctor for advice.

Coping with a Crying Baby

A new baby that is frequently crying can be very stressful for the parents and caregivers. It is helpful to try not to become tense, as your baby will sense this and it may make things worse. If possible find someone who can take turns with you soothing the baby. Make sure that you rest when you get the chance. Put on some soothing music that you enjoy.

Try to keep things in perspective and not to worry about things that are not getting done such as the laundry or the washing up. Remember that most colic disappears before your baby is three months old and nappy rash is usually easily treated, so relief is in sight.

If you are finding it difficult to cope, talk to your doctor or health nurse about getting local support and advice.