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Dr Sarah Brewer


Sarah Brewer advises on nappy rash

There are four main types of nappy rash:

  • Prolonged contact with soiled nappies will cause friction and skin irritation due to contact with urine and faeces
  • Infection with the yeast Candida albicans (thrush)
  • Rash due to allergic reactions to ingredients used in baby products and toiletries
  • Less commonly rash may be due to a bacterial infection
Nappy rash is now less common due to the availability of disposable nappies that lock moisture away from your baby's skin. To help prevent nappy rash:
  • Check your baby's nappies frequently so they can be changed as soon as they are soiled
  • Use water, special cleansing creams or baby wipes to cleanse the skin rather than using soap
  • Ensure all old cream is removed from skin creases to prevent a build up of soiled cream
  • Dry thoroughly and apply a protective barrier cream
  • If a nappy rash develops, leave the affected area exposed to the air as much as possible - e.g. let her lie on her nappy, rather than fastening it round her
  • When washing re-usables, use enzyme-free washing powders
  • If the rash doesn't clear up quickly, ask your doctor or health visitor for advice in case medical treatment is needed