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Understanding The Triggers For Nappy Rash

Updated on January 4, 2012

Finding that your baby has developed nappy rash can be upsetting, if the skin looks sore and inflamed your child could be feeling very uncomfortable. This type of skin condition is quite common in young babies and it often looks worse than it actually is. This skin irritation is also referred to as diaper dermatitis, sometimes the outbreak will clear within days yet at other times it could take weeks to clear.

The skin on the top of the thighs, the buttocks and the genitals is highly sensitive, once irritated the area looks red, sore and inflamed. At this stage changing the child's diaper may become difficult, removing the wet or soiled cloth will cause discomfort. Putting a clean diaper on freshens but the baby's skin will still be sore to the touch.

Babies have to wear diapers and this skin condition is most common in children that are in their first year of life. If you can grasp the cause of the outbreak and understand the trigger then you may be able to keep further outbreaks to a minimum. In many cases a process of trial and elimination will help you to get to grips with the root cause of any skin irritation.

It's a vicious circle, the baby wears a diaper, it becomes wet and soiled so the child's sensitive skin absorbs the contents of the cloth. Check the diaper frequently to see if it is wet or soiled, if it is then change it straight away. Urine can be strong and wearing a diaper that is soaked or soiled will inevitably make the baby's skin feel uncomfortable.

Many mums look forward to weaning their child but the change from milk to solids and juice can affect the digestive system and cause rashes. It is essential that the baby's diapers are laundered in the right way, the cloths should be washed using a non biological washing powder and they should be well rinsed. Avoid using powders that contain any harsh chemicals that could affect skin and if the weather allows air dry the cloths so that they remain soft. Find laundry products that suit your child's skin, if they don't cause nappy rash then stick with them.

Infections can cause nappy rash and that is why it is vital to ensure that you clean your babies bottom properly in between changing. Wipe the skin clean and then wash it over using warm water on cotton wool balls. After washing the sensitive skin dry it properly before creaming. If you have time let the child remain diaper free to let the fresh air get to the skin. Babies are more than happy to kick about on the changing mat and it helps to keep their skin healthy.

Nappy rash can be upsetting for baby and Mum, first time mothers may find the whole episode very distressing. They usually clear of their own accord and no harm will come from them but some mothers find it reassuring to visit the nurse for advice. Never be afraid to ask for help, the nursing staff may have some handy tips to pass on.

To find out more about natural skin care for nappy rash please visit


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