Nappy rash is a bit of a bummer. A pain in the butt. It often comes on without any warning, and contrary to some people’s beliefs, it isn’t necessarily down to poor hygiene; if you’re following a good routine changing nappies, don’t beat yourself up when you see it. Just be thankful it’s on my bum and not yours! It does vary in severity, from a little patch of red skin to really sore, burning, spotty skin. And that might make us a bit grumpy for a while.
The most common cause of nappy rash is urine coming to contact with the skin, and given that we babies tend to wear nappies a lot of the day, it does happen to most of us at some point. Thankfully, there are things you can do to help:
- Change nappies regularly – it’s wet or dirty nappies that are the main culprit when left against the skin, even the ‘best’ disposable nappies that claim to last for hours
- Keep up a good skin care routine – we have delicate little botties, so it’s important to be thorough. Some wipes can be a bit harsh, so warm water and a pat dry is often the best way of cleaning up.
- Use a barrier cream, like Sudocrem or Bepanthen (and there are lots of other brands out there) because as the name suggests, they keep the nasties from touching the skin. Just remember, it will rub off so you will need to reapply regularly.
- Give us as much nappy-free time as you dare! Getting air about it definitely helps, just remember that we don’t really have much control about when we ‘go’ at the moment.
- Use water (without soap) to wash the area – sometimes even the most sensitive wipes can sting a bit
Of course, if you’re doing everything I’ve suggested and it’s still not getting better, make us an appointment with the doctor.
There are things that might trigger a bout, so keep an eye out.
- Teething. I’ve heard everything blamed on teething so far! But there might be some truth in this. It might be that we’re swallowing more saliva, making things a bit looser down there, and so more squishy and likely to stick. Or, it might be that babies that drool a lot with teething, so urine is stronger and more potent when it touches the skin. Who knows?
- Diarrhoea. As above – squishy nappies = more skin covered. Yuck!
- Antibiotics. The very thing that might make one illness better could trigger nappy rash. They can sometimes upset the delicate balance in our tummies, so watch out.
Some babies will hardly be affected at all, others get it so badly it bleeds. It’s one of those occupational hazards of being a baby. No-one said it would be easy. At least I’m more likely to get away with scratching than you!