If you are a new parent, nappy rash is most likely to become a common part of your everyday jargon, if it hasn’t already. Nappy rash is the tenderness and irritation in your baby’s bottom, triggered due to prolonged contact with a wet or soiled diaper. Almost all babies, particularly the ones between nine and 12 months age bracket, are prone to such rash, and there is little evidence to prove the using washable nappies over disposable ones, or vice-versa, can rule out or minimize the risk of your baby getting a nappy rash.
While nappy rashes put your little one is some amount of discomfort, they do not pose any risk to your baby’s overall health and well-being. However, the signs of discomfort can be heartbreaking enough for a parent. Learning all about the symptoms, possible causes, treatment and prevention can help you deal with nappy rashes better.
What’s a Nappy Rash Like?
ARedness and tenderness of skin around the genital, buttocks, and inner folds of the thigh are the most common and early signs of a nappy rash. The affected area can also appear extremely dry or moist, depending on the nature of rash and your baby’s skin type. In addition to general discomfort, the rash can make your baby’s skin prone to burning sensation, pain or itchiness upon being touched or coming in contact with urine.It is important to treat such a rash as soon as you spot these early symptoms, as it may spread to tummy or back and even lead to yeast or bacterial skin infections if left untreated.
Causes of Nappy Rash
Wetness is one of the leading causes of nappy rash, and therefore, prolonged contact with a wet or soiled nappy is the biggest culprit behind that red, swollen bottom your little one may have to deal with. All nappies, even the most absorbent ones, fail to soak the entire volume of wee and poo. The residual moisture on the surface is enough to irritate your baby’s sensitive skin and trigger a rash, and leaving a nappy on for too long will only make matters worse. Leak-proof plastic pants can also not only cause, but also worsen an existing rash, because of increased dampness due to less air being circulated in the area.
In some cases, a rash can be triggered due to the baby’s skin being highly sensitive or may be a result of an allergic reaction caused due to switching over to new products such as talc, nappy rash creams or a new brand of diapers.
How to Prevent Nappy Rash?
The answer to this question lies in the causes of nappy rash. Some simple precautions can go a long way in keeping your baby’s skin soft, supple and free from discomfort of a rash. These simples measure will stand you in good stead:
1. Frequent Nappy Change: They say prevention is the best cure. Dwelling on that premise, there couldn’t be a better way to keep nappy rash at bay than by changing nappies frequently. Make it a habit to check on your baby’s diaper every hour, and give them change immediately if the nappy is wet or soiled. This helps in keeping the nappy area dry and warding off dampness.
2. Let There be Air: Keeping a nappy fastened around your baby’s waist all day long can limit air circulation to the nappy area and trigger a rash. Try leaving your baby’s bottom exposed to direct air flow for at least a few hours every day. You can either leave the nappy area exposed for sometime between every nappy change, so that you baby’s skin gets a chance to recover and dry up, or keep them naked waist down while they’re asleep.
3. Keep the Area Clean: Cleanliness is essential to prevent incubation of germs or bacteria that may cause a rash on your baby’s bottom. Clean the area with the help of mild soap and lukewarm water, or alcohol-free disposable wipes, and pat it dry, between every nappy change.
4. Nappy Cream: Apply a medicated or organic nappy cream at least twice or thrice a day on a regular basis and with every nappy change if you spot signs of a rash breaking out, to keep the skin healthy and moisturized.
When to See Your Pediatrician?
Though most rashes can be prevented and treated with the help of the above-mentioned measures, you must see a doctor if:
1. Rash doesn’t heal in three to four days, despite all the precautions
2. It spreads to other parts of the body
3. It triggers unexplained fever
4. It results in blisters or crust formation
5. It is making your child too cranky or unsettled
A nappy rash is something you may have to deal with from time to time during your baby’s infant days. You need to be proactive in beating that nasty rash in order to keep your bundle of joy free from pain or discomfort. However, an inexplicable rash may break out despite all precautions. As a parent, it is important that you handle it sensibly instead of pressing the panic button at the slightest hint of redness on your baby’s bottom.