Nappy rash

Nappy rash affects about a third of all babies. It appears as patches on the bottom, which can become sore. The skin folds are not affected.

Causes of nappy rash:

  • babies have sensitive skin
  • wee and poo in contact with their skin
  • soaps and bubble baths
  • nappy rubbing the skin



How to treat nappy rash?

Normally nappy rash does not require medication. 

Nappy rash usually clears up after a few days of gentle cleaning with water. Give your baby nappy free time to let the skin breathe. Apply a nappy rash cream at every nappy change. Nappy rash creams should be bought over the counter. Speak to your local community pharmacist or health visitor for advice. 

Speak to your local community pharmacist or health visitor if the rash doesn’t settle as they may suggest a different cream.

How to prevent nappy rash?

  • Use a nappy with high absorbency
  • Make sure the nappy fits properly 
  • Leave nappies off for as long as possible to get fresh air to the area
  • Clean the skin and change the nappy every 3 to 4 hours
  • Change nappies as soon as possible after weeing or pooing
  • Use water and a fragrance free moisturiser such as hydromol to clean
  • Avoid baby wipes. If you do use baby wipes make sure they are  alcohol and fragrance free
  • Clean from front to back 
  • Dry gently by patting, avoid rubbing
  • Bath your child daily but avoid bathing too often (such as more than twice a day) which may dry the skin out too much
  • Do not use soap, bubble bath, lotions and talcum powders

When to seek help

Speak to your health visitor for general advice about nappy rash. 

Speak to your GP if the nappy rash is:

  • bleeding
  • there are red spots and your baby's skin folds are red as they may have thrush (candida)
  • not getting better with the advice above 

How to change a nappy