Nappy Rash

Nappy rash affects about a third of all babies and appears as patches on the bottom, which can become sore. The skin folds are not affected. It is caused by babies’ sensitive skin under the nappy being irritated by wee or poo, soaps and bubble bath, or even the nappy simply rubbing on your baby‘s skin. If the baby’s nappies aren’t changed often enough, then this can also cause nappy rash. Nappy rash usually clears up after a few days of gentle cleaning with water and cotton wool or alcohol/fragrance-free wipes (from front to back), twice daily bathing, exposing their bottoms to the air as much as possible, use of barrier cream and avoiding soaps, bubble bath and talcum powder. If the rash doesn’t settle or if there are red spots and your baby‘s skin folds are red, they may have nappy rash or ‘thrush’. Speak to your Health Visitor or Pharmacist who may have cream that can help.


  • Consider using a nappy with high absorbency (e.g. disposable gel matrix nappies compared with non-disposable nappies).
  • Ensure the nappy fits properly (too tight increases skin occlusion; too loose minimizes absorption of fluids)
  • Leave nappies off for as long as possible to help skin drying of the nappy area.
  • Clean the skin and change the nappy every 3–4 hours, or as soon as possible after wetting or soiling, to reduce skin exposure to urine and faeces.
  • Use water and emollient eg hydromol to clean. Avoid wipes.
  • Dry gently after cleaning & avoid vigorous rubbing.
  • Bath the child daily: avoid excessive bathing (such as more than twice a day) which may dry the skin excessively.
  • Do not use soap, bubble bath, lotions, talcum powder which can have an irritant effect.
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