As soft as... a baby's bottom
Your baby’s bottom is soft, smooth and very sensitive. The skin is thinner than adults and has a higher pH level, making it vulnerable to irritation and infection. It also has to put up with difficult conditions, spending most of the day and night wrapped tightly in a hot, damp nappy and in regular contact with urine and faeces. It’s not surprising that it has a tendency to become red and sore. Nappy rash is likely to affect most babies especially babies from 6 to 12 months.
What causes nappy rash?
Nappy rash is caused by a baby’s delicate skin being in contact with the irritating chemicals in urine and faeces. This is made worse by a tight nappy which both rubs and stops the air circulating.
When is a baby likely to suffer?
There are times when your baby is more vulnerable to nappy rash, usually when:
- They're premature
- They're teething
- They're unwell or recovering from a vaccination
- They're taking antibiotics; these can upset the delicate balance in the body and make thrush infections more likely
- Their skin is sensitive, or there's eczema in the family
- They have a tummy upset
- Their diet has changed, particularly during weaning or changing from the breast to the bottle
What does Nappy Rash Look Like?
- Nappy rash starts off with a slight redness/inflammation around the nappy area
- The area may also become sore, spotty and hot to touch
- If the skin becomes damaged it is more likely that a fungus that lives naturally on the skin will overgrow, causing fungal nappy rash.