Treating nappy rash can be time- consuming
four-month-old has had a terrible nappy rash for about three weeks now. I’ve put three different creams and powder on it but it doesn’t seem to be improving. How can I get rid of it? HG
most common cause of nappy rash in babies is irritation. Constant moisture and rubbing can cause damage to the skin. This is further irritated by bacteria, yeasts ( eg candida or thrush), detergents, urine ( wee) and faeces ( poo).
Nappy rash is made worse by: runny, loose faeces ( diarrhoea), not changing the nappy often enough and plastic pants. Most children grow out of nappy rash Care at home: A good quality disposable nappy is best. These allow the moisture to be absorbed quickly, keeping the skin dry. While cloth nappies are good for the environment, they do not take up moisture as well as disposable nappies.
Nappies should be changed often ( about 5-7 times a day in babies under 12 months), reducing the contact of urine and faeces with the skin.
At each nappy change your baby’s bottom should be gently wiped with cotton wool or ‘‘ Chux’’ type cloths, dampened with luke-warm water. Baby wipes can be quite irritating and should not be used.
A barrier cream should be thickly applied at each nappy change. This will prevent the moisture and irritants from reaching the skin. Zinc cream is the best or white soft paraffin. If the cream wipes off too easily, try another brand because the idea is to create a barrier. These creams are available from your pharmacy, or may be prescribed by your doctor.
Try to let your child have as much time without the nappy on as possible.
Talcum powder should not be used on nappy rash.
Many rashes can occur in the nappy area and may not be due to nappies. Some conditions ( such as eczema or a skin infection) which can be found on any area of the body, do not respond to the treatment for nappy rash. If the rash is not improving, see your local doctor. Email your questions to aboutababy@ townsvillebulletin. com. au. Donna Gandini is a general and neonatal paediatrician and breastfeeding adviser. Contact her at 4778 4581, at Health and Wellbeing North Ward or at the Fairfield Waters Medical Centre. Treatment / preparations: A mixture you can make yourself putting 10 per cent of olive oil in zinc paste
In persistent nappy rash that does not respond to nappy creams, a medicated cream such as an antifungal ( eg Canesten, Daktarin, Nystatin) or hydrocortisone ( eg Sigmacort 1%) may be necessary. Do not use any stronger cortisone creams in this area unless your doctor tells you to
Antiseptics should not be used on nappy rash