If you change your baby's nappy and you notice that their nappy area is red and splotchy, they probably have nappy rash – an infection that thrives in warm, moist areas of your baby’s body and can occur at any time in children from newborns up to two year olds.
But before you start panicking, this infection is not dangerous and is, very often, easy to treat and prevent.
Several things could cause nappy rash but the most common causes are:
The symptoms of a nappy rash are very easy to spot. You will notice red, splotchy, tender skin in or around your little one’s buttocks, thighs, and genital area. Your baby will likely also become very fussy and uncomfortable, especially during a nappy change or when they have just made a wee or poo.
Treatment and prevention
The main thing to do to treat and prevent a nappy rash is to keep your baby’s nappy area as clean and dry as possible. This means changing their nappy as soon as they have made a wee or poo. When you clean the area gently wipe with a clean, wet cloth or wipe (non-fragranced and alcohol-free preferably).
When bathing your baby, use a soap-free cleanser or a very mild cleanser to avoid irritating the affected areas further. Strong, fragrant soaps are very harsh on your baby’s sensitive skin.
Let your little one go nappy-free for some time during the day. This helps their nappy area to breathe and stay dry – just put a clean towel underneath them in case of any accidents and try to do this after they have just made a wee or poo.
When to see a doctor
If you notice any of the above symptoms, call your doctor, midwife or paediatrician as soon as possible.