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What causes nappy rash?

A common occurrence, nappy rash is, simply put, a nasty looking irritation of a baby's bottom.
What causes nappy rash?

Where sensitive new baby skin has been in contact with a dirty nappy, one often finds red, bumpy, irritated skin. Although it looks angry, sore and red, in most cases nappy rash isn’t painful. However, left untreated, it can get worse and turn into an infection, so it’s best to be well informed and prepared!

So why does my baby have a nappy rash?

Dirty nappies
Whether you use disposable or more eco-friendly reusable nappies, it’s all about the skin’s contact with what’s in the nappy.

Remember to change your baby’s nappy regularly, especially if they are suffering from diarrhoea or, if in summer, they are drinking more than usual so those nappies are getting wet faster. Nappy rash is also more common when babies are teething – yet another reason to cry! Why? Simply because of the excess saliva going through the body which alters baby’s faeces and makes a reaction more likely.

Skin conditions & allergies
"A rash can also be a type of contact dermatitis, from something that has come into contact with the baby. In most cases it’s simply the ratio of time spent in a dirty nappy.” Skin expert, Dr Carla Stanton adds: “In rarer cases, babies can be prone to nappy rashes due to eczema and other skin conditions.”

Can I cure nappy rash?

The good news is that because it’s so common, and treatment is simple, one can treat nappy rash at home and it should vanish within three or four days.

By changing your baby regularly and cleaning the irritated skin with water or alcohol- and fragrance-free products, and applying a barrier cream, the nappy rash should disappear. Try La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast Baume B5 with its 5% panthenol and zinc formula to soothe the skin, which works as an anti-bacterial as well as a restorative and nourishing cream. It’s safe to use on babies over 3 months and acts as a barrier to further irritation.

Without treatment, nappy rash can lead to infections such as a yeast infection, like thrush or candida, that thrives on irritated skin. This is most likely if the baby is on antibiotics (bacteria imbalance) so watch out for redder, angrier bumps on the skin, and a possible fever.