Dr Sarah Brewer – GP, Health Journalist and Author
Avoiding nappy rash is now a lot easier thanks to modern skin care products and disposable nappies which lock moisture away from delicate areas. However, there are still some important steps to take to ensure your baby’s skin stays healthy:
Ensure you use the correct nappy for your baby’s age and weight – a nappy that is too tight or too loose can cause skin irritation, leakage, discomfort and even nappy rash.
Check your baby’s nappy frequently so they can be changed as soon as they are soiled.
Use products designed for a baby’s bottom to cleanse the skin, avoiding harsh soaps.
If using creams or lotions, ensure any old product is removed from skin creases to prevent a build-up of soiled cream before applying a fresh layer.
Always dry thoroughly and apply a protective barrier cream.
If the skin is red, however, applying more cream before putting the nappy back on may cause cream to spread onto the nappy, reducing its absorbency. Check the nappy more frequently so that urine is not left sitting against your baby’s skin.
If your child is taking antibiotics or has diarrhoea, keep a close watch on the nappy area and change nappies more frequently.
If nappy rash does develop, despite your best efforts, try leaving the affected area exposed to the air as much as possible – perhaps let your baby spend a little time each day without a nappy.
Always call your healthcare provider if a case of nappy rash doesn’t clear up after a few days.