Margaret Merrigan-Feenan is an experienced midwife with a treasure trove of knowledge when it comes to babies. Here are her top tips for dealing with nappy rash:
 
Nappy rash is a common inflammation of the bottom, genitals and groin areas of a baby. It can range from mild irritation to a painful infection and affects most babies at some point between the ages of 6-12 months.
Your little one’s skin is delicate and sensitive and since it spends most of the time in nappies that are regularly dirty, it’s not surprising that a rash develops.
 
Nappy rash usually starts with a slight reddening in the nappy area and tends not to affect the skin folds. It can be caused by :
 
•    Prolonged contact with urine or faeces
•    Sensitive skin
•    Rubbing of chafing
•    Soap,detergent or bubble bath
•    Harsh baby wipes
•    Diarrohea or other illness
 
Babies are more susceptible to nappy rash if they are premature, during times teething, after vaccinations, during a transition from breast to bottle feeding, when starting on solids, while on antibiotics or when drinking cow’s milk for the first time.
 
Prevention is the best method when it comes to nappy rash and it can generally be controlled if treated early. The aim of prevention is to reinforce and support the skin barrier, so good skincare at nappy changing is essential.
 
Tips:
  • Change wet or soiled nappies as soon as possible. Young babies need changing 10-12 times a day and older babies need to be changed 6-8 times
  • Clean the whole nappy area, thoroughly wiping from front to back for girls and ensuring you clean well around the scrotum for boys.
  • Leave the nappy off for short peroids in order to let air get to the skin
  • Avoid tight nappies, clothes and plastic pants
  • Use a barrier ointment that will aid the skin to recover and doesn’t contain antiseptics, colourants, perfume or perservatives
 
Tips for treatment of nappy rash :
  • Leave the nappy off for short peroids
  • Clean the nappy area gently with warm water and cotton wool and pat dry
  • Always wash your hands before and after nappy changing
  • Aply a thin layer of ointment such as Bepanthen at every nappy change to treat the irritated skin, aiding recovery while keeping it moisturised.
You should seek medical advice if the rash does not improve after a few days.

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