Metanium's expert midwife Marley Hall gives her advice on nappy rash...
Nappy rash is very common, and most parents will come up against it at some point when bringing up a baby. As a busy parent with a lot on your plate, it can be hard to know where to start when caring for your little one’s delicate skin. Whether you’re dealing with a case of nappy rash, or you want to protect your little one from getting it in the future, here’s some helpful tips and advice from Metanium’s expert midwife, Marley Hall.
What is nappy rash?
It’s an irritation to the skin that is often caused by wet or dirty nappies being in contact with a baby’s bottom for a long period of time. It is recognised by a well-defined red rash with some areas of the skin appearing raised or swollen around the nappy area and your baby may become distressed or agitated due to itching or pain.
Marley Hall says: “Your baby’s skin is about 30% thinner than adult skin, so it can become irritated very easily and anything that a baby’s sensitive skin comes into contact with, can cause irritation.”
Luckily, there are some great products on the market such as Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment that can help protect against the nasties that cause nappy rash.
What does nappy rash look like?
It can appear on the inside of babies’ thighs, and on their bottoms. It often starts out in small patches, but it can appear or spread quite quickly.
“If your baby has nappy rash, the skin around their nappy area might be red, feel hot to touch and there may be spots, pimples, or blisters* and when left untreated, the skin can become broken and may even blister.”
What are the causes of nappy rash?
The main cause is usually your baby’s skin being in contact with wee or poo for a prolonged period of time.
Marley explains: “Your little one’s nappy rubbing against their skin can cause nappy rash, as well as certain soaps, bubble bath, washing detergent and alcohol-based baby wipes. Some types of medicines, such as antibiotics or laxatives, can also cause irritated skin*.”
When is my baby more prone to nappy rash?
Marley reveals there are actually seven key triggers as to when little ones may be more prone to developing nappy rash.
She says: “Introducing solid foods at the weaning stage, changes in milk, common colds, teething, upset stomachs and taking antibiotics can all cause babies to have runny poo and in some cases diarrhoea – so it can become trickier to keep on top of cleaning little one’s bottom properly, increasing the chance of nappy rash occurring.
“Once babies sleep longer at night, they can also become more prone to nappy rash, due to less frequent nappy changes.”
Other rashes in the nappy area
If the rash persists or if your baby develops a bright red, moist rash with white or red pimples that spreads into the folds of their skin, they may have an infection*.
“Speak to your health visitor or pharmacist if you’re concerned, or if the rash is severe contact your GP as sometimes a rash may indicate a bacterial or fungal infection. If the rash becomes worse, is spreading, not healing, or is moist with pimples, again, make sure you speak to your health visitor.”
How can you treat nappy rash?
Marley continues: “Nappy rash is extremely common and, in most cases, can be managed at home – clearing up within a few days.
“When treating nappy rash, clean the affected area, dry gently with a soft towel, or a muslin cloth and then apply a pea-sized amount of nappy rash treatment cream to the affected area.”
How can you protect your little one?
Most parents don’t think about nappy rash until it appears – we’ve all been there! However, it can be uncomfortable for little ones so it’s worth adding an extra step to your baby’s nappy change routine to help protect their delicate skin.
Marley reveals: “Here are my top tips for protecting your little one from nappy rash”:
- “Applying a thin layer of Metanium’s Everyday Barrier Ointment after each nappy change forms a protective layer on baby’s bottom, helping to shield the skin from the irritation-inducing nasties that can cause nappy rash. As well as protecting the skin, the gentle formula seals in the skin’s natural moisture keeping skin soft, smooth, and supple too.
- “For nappy changes on-the-go, Metanium’s Everyday Easy Spray Barrier Lotion is a handy spray bottle that’s quick and easy to use. There’s no need to rub in, simply spray twice and pat gently for even coverage.
- “Clean the whole nappy area gently but thoroughly, wiping from front to back. Use cotton wool soaked in water or fragrance-free or alcohol-free baby wipes.
- “You can also help to keep the area clean with daily baths. Make sure you’re not bathing your little one more than twice a day though, as water can dry out baby’s sensitive skin and make it sore.
- “Dry your little one gently after a bath and avoid rubbing them with the towel. Avoid using soap, bubble baths, talcum powder, or lotions, as these can contain harsh ingredients that might irritate baby’s skin.
- “Let the fresh air get to your little one’s skin by lying them on a towel for nappy-free time.
- “Change your little one’s nappy frequently and make sure it fits properly – as if it’s too tight it can chafe the skin and if it’s too loose, it might not soak up baby’s wee properly*”.
Life as a parent can be very busy but taking these simple steps to protect against nappy rash should help you stay on top of it and hopefully help keep it at bay.
*nhs.uk (accessed 04/07/2022)
**This survey was carried out in September 2019 and had 397 respondents.
This is a sponsored post created in collaboration with Metanium
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