Nappy rash is the the development of inflamed skin on the bottom or nappy area of a baby. It's usually caused by not changing the baby's nappy frequently enough. Urine and faeces gradually produce ammonia which severely irritates the skin. However, nappy rash can also be the result of an allergic reaction to the soap powder and detergent used when reusable nappies are washed.
What are the symptoms of nappy rash?
There are two main sign of the skin condition you should be looking out for:
- the development of red, tender looking skin in the nappy area
- a smell of ammonia (a sharp, irritating odor) from the baby's nappy
What can you do to help?
There are four main things you can do to help prevent your baby developing nappy rash:
- change your baby's nappy regularly
- thoroughly clean and dry the nappy area before you put a new one on
- apply nappy rash cream to your baby between nappy changes
- if you use reusable nappies, make sure you rinse them thoroughly. Detergent and washing powder can cause irritation. If possible avoid using biological powder or conditioner at all.
When to see a doctor?
You should see a doctor if your baby's nappy rash lasts for longer then two or three days. Also, in some cases the inflamed skin can become infected. If you suspect this has happened you should see you doctor as soon as possible. Usually he will prescribe an antibiotic cream to effectively treat the condition.
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