Moms, it’s frustrating, we know, but have you noticed how it doesn’t matter how often you change your baby’s nappy, whether you use cloth or disposable nappies, an expensive brand or a No Name brand, your baby will still get nappy rash at some point. And when it flares up, you’ll need some fast-acting nappy rash solutions to make your little one comfortable.
Nappy rash is a common baby skin condition. Dr Mona Amin, a board-certified paediatrician in the US, says that even if you are on top of nappy changes, the combination of moisture from your baby’s pee and poo in the nappy, and too little air, can cause them to develop nappy rash. This is because the pee contains ammonia, and the poo contains enzymes and bacteria that can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin.
She adds that nappy rash can also be caused by other irritations, including yeast and bacterial infections, and allergic reactions to wipes, laundry detergent, soaps, lotions, powders and oils you use for your baby.
According to medical experts at Mayo Clinic, nappy rash should improve with good home care in 2 to 3 days. If it appears to be getting worse (that is, it’s developed into sores, pus is coming out of the rash, or your baby develops a fever), you need to take your baby to a doctor who might prescribe a medicated cream or ointment for an infection.
If your little one has a mild nappy rash, you can treat it at home with these 5 paediatrician-approved tips:
Soothing warm water
Soak your baby’s bum between nappy changes in a small bath or basin filled with warm water. Gently scoop up some warm water and pour it over your baby’s bum with your hand, or from a squeeze of a bottle. Not only does this help offer extra cleansing, but it can help soothe the area too.
Lots of fresh air
Depending on how bad the nappy rash is, experts advise taking your baby’s nappy off and letting him air dry his bum for about 10 minutes three times a day until it clears. Not only will your baby love the freedom of being without a nappy, the increased air exposure will help the skin heal. They also advise you avoid airtight plastic pants or nappy covers, and if possible, to use a slightly larger nappy until the rash goes away.
Give your baby a blow dry
You won’t believe this trick, but put your hair dryer on the cool setting and try give your baby’s bum a quick blow dry before you put their nappy back on to keep overall moisture levels down and prevent further irritation.
A generous spread of protective zinc oxide cream
When it comes to calming a mild nappy rash, zinc oxide is the tried-and-tested remedy recommended by all paediatricians. Zinc oxide, found in many baby bum creams, helps to form a protective barrier on the top of the skin to protect the area from further irritation. This gives the inflamed skin underneath time to heal. You only need to apply a thin layer with every nappy change, and it can be applied over a medicated cream. Petroleum jelly is also a good barrier cream – and it’s inexpensive too!
Good old cornstarch
When it comes to clearing up nappy rash, a very light sprinkle of cornstarch (or Maizina as we know it) on the affected area is an old trick, but still useful. It doesn’t necessarily create a barrier to protect your baby’s bum, but it will take moisture away from the nappy area. It’s safer to use than other powders as it doesn’t contain talc, but be very careful that your baby doesn’t inhale any of the fine dust. Experts recommend you rather put some in your hand and then spread it on your baby’s bum.
Content editor and writer on Living & Loving, Sonya has over 25 years experience in the media industry. She edited Living & Loving magazine for six-and-a-half years and is the former editor of Longevity magazine. She’s won numerous media industry awards and is passionate about the health and wellbeing of moms and children.
Outside of work, she enjoys trying out recipes, reading crime mysteries and thrillers, practicing yoga, and exploring new destinations.
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