If your child wears a diaper, it's highly likely they'll get diaper rash at some stage.
Some babies have more sensitive skin than others, which makes them more susceptible.
But diaper rash is extremely common among babies and usually appears quite suddenly.
- The most common cause of diaper rash is the baby being left too long in a wet or dirty nappy.
- Friction – if the nappy is too tight or it’s rough and rubs against the skin.
- Sensitivity – if the baby is sensitive to detergents or bath products.
- Reaction to antibiotics – babies who have been on antibiotics sometimes develop a yeast infection which can cause diaper rash.
With diaper rash, your baby's skin may look sore and feel hot.
There might be red patches on your baby's bum or around the whole nappy area. There may also be spots or blisters.
Diaper rash can make your child feel uncomfortable or distressed.
- Change dirty diapers as soon as possible: The most important tip for treating and preventing diaper rash is to change all dirty diapers – even if they are just wet – as soon as possible.
- Be gentle when cleaning the diaper area: Use water and a soft washcloth or baby wipes that are alcohol and fragrance-free. If the rash is severe, use a squirt bottle of water to clean the area.
- Allow the area to air dry: Let your child go diaper-free as long as possible to let the skin dry and heal.
- Apply a zinc oxide diaper cream: This is especially important if the skin stays red between diaper changes. If your baby has severe diaper rash, layer it on.
- Seek medical advice if your baby develops signs of a skin infection: Signs of a skin infection may include a fever, blisters, pus that drains from the rash, and a rash that does not go away after treatment or worsens.