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Nappy rash: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About nappy rash

Nappy rash is a common skin affliction seen in small babies and characterised by the appearance of red spots or blisters in the skin at bottom area. It is not a skin disease but a minor skin irritation which is quite distressing for the affected baby.

Nappy rash: Incidence, age and sex

Nappy rash is a common occurrence in small babies, especially new-borns and infants. It is more common in areas of hot and humid climates.

Signs and symptoms of nappy rash: Diagnosis

Nappy rash as the name suggests is characterized by painful reddening of the skin of the bottom. Sometimes blisters may be present or the affected skin may give a pimply appearance. The babies generally cry consistently due to pain and intense discomfort. Some babies are prone to such skin affliction and may manifest increased frequency of nappy rash. On the other hand, some babies may exhibit occasional rashes. A quick physical examination is usually sufficient to diagnose the condition.

Causes and prevention of nappy rash

The most common cause of nappy rash is wearing of wet or soiled napkins by babies and infants - for long periods of time. It may also occur when the baby passes frequent stools. Use of plastic pants increases the risk of development of such rashes. Babies who have concurrent infantile eczema or irritant dermatitis stand at higher risk for developing nappy rash.

Nappy rash can be prevented by frequent changing of nappies, keeping the bottom area clean and dry and by avoiding excessive use of plastic pants especially in humid weather.

Nappy rash: Complications

In occasional cases, nappy rash may progress to secondary bacterial infections which may be manifested by fever and warm, swollen skin of the bottom.

Nappy rash: Treatment

Nappy rash is a self-limiting condition which resolves on its own in most of the babies. However keeping the area clean and dry and letting it get some air may fasten the recovery process. It is also advisable to wash and dry (by patting with towel) the bottom every time the nappy is changed. Use of baby wipes should be limited since it contains chemicals which can worsen the skin rash. In resistant cases, zinc based cream or castor oil cream are advisable to be applied after each wash. The nappy rash resolves completely within a few days by following the above mentioned measures. But in certain cases, the rash may be severe and may warrant treatment with a potent steroid-based cream.