However, it's reassuring to know that one can treat nappy rash easily at home. By taking the right actions towards caring for your baby's nappy rash, you can expect the skin to improve and for the angry red spots to vanish within three to four days. Skin specialist Dr Carla Stanton admits "Although nappy rash can look pretty awful, it's good to keep in mind it's a common ailment and can be easily improved by taking some simple steps".
Seven step guide to a nappy-rash-free bottom
1. Regular change
The key to preventing the causes of nappy rash is having a dry bottom. By changing your baby's nappy regularly, you increase the likelihood of the baby having a dry bottom throughout the day. Be aware and check regularly – as soon as the nappy has been soiled, replace it!
2. Kinder cleaning
Irritated skin is best cleaned with water and cotton or at least with alcohol-free and fragrance-free products. Steer clear of dehydrating wipes when possible.
3. Dry bums
After changing your baby's nappy, make sure the skin is dry and clean before popping on another nappy. Moisture, in this case, is the enemy! Remember to pat dry, rather than rub.
4. Fresh air
It might not always be possible, but leaving the baby nappy free, so the bottom is exposed to the air is a great way to heal the skin and to guarantee it's not soaking wet.
5. Use a barrier cream
Applying a barrier cream will really help protect your baby’s bottom. A thin layer of cream which will protect the irritated skin works wonders. La Roche Posay's answer to preventing the causes of nappy rash is Cicaplast Baume B5 with its 5% panthenol and zinc formula. Applying the soothing formula acts as an antibacterial layer on the skin, and restoring and nourishing it too. Appropriate for babies over 3 months, it’s the perfect protection. Warning! If the rash is due to thrush, don’t use a barrier cream. Preventing the nappy rash from occurring in the first place is better than a cure!
6. Ban talcum
Talcum powder is counter-productive for nappy rashes. It can cause irritations or friction that will only make the rash worse.
7. Hang loose
Don't strap on the nappy too tight so there is a little room for air to circulate. Also keep clothing on top of the nappy loose as can be- any compression will worsen the nappy rash.
What if the nappy rash doesn’t clear?
If the rash gets worse, keep an eye out for a fever that might indicate an infection. Consult a doctor or a dermatologist, a health visitor or talk to your pharmacist about the next steps. Sometimes a mild steroid cream can be recommended, such as hydrocortisone for a week-long treatment. If the issue is with thrush or candida, an anti-fungal cream might be the solution with several daily application over 7 to 10 days.