PARENTS

N: What Is Nappy Rash?

22/01/2010 17:53 | Updated 22 May 2015

Nappy rash is a skin condition that affects most babies at some point during their time in nappies.

It develops when a baby's skin comes into contact with the urine and faeces that fill the nappy. The skin begins to look red and sore, and it may also appear blotchy or spotty.

Nappy rash won't always develop and your baby may go days or even weeks without a nappy rash. However, when it does start to appear, the best course of action is to treat it quickly using one of the many creams available from chemist and supermarket shelves. There are also an increasing number of herbal-based nappy rash creams available.

Generally, nappy rash is nothing to worry about, and is more of a nuisance to a baby than a cause for concern. However, if the nappy rash is severe, it will need medical attention. It is possible for the rash to become infected, which can be very painful and distressing. If this happens, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic cream.

Finally, prevention is better than cure and there are many steps that can be taken to prevent the rash from developing. These include changing your baby's nappy regularly - and always at the first sign of faeces; using a barrier cream at night time (or throughout the day if your baby is prone to nappy rash); and leaving the nappy off for a period of time every day to let the air reach the baby's bottom.

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