What is nappy rash?
Nappy rash is a very common problem, and most babies will get it at some point often before they are 12 months old. A baby’s bottom is soft, smooth and very sensitive. The skin is thinner than adults and has a higher pH level. 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.
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.
Thankfully, most cases of nappy rash are mild. A pink rash usually made up of small spots or blotches, and covering less than 10% of the nappy area. It will sting, especially when the little ones fill their nappy.
More severe nappy rash covers over 10% of the nappy area, and there can also be bright red spots, broken or cracked skin, ulcers and blisters. In some cases this can spread down the legs or up as far as the abdomen. When the skin is damaged by irritants it is more likely that candida (a yeast which lives naturally on the skin) will overgrow, causing candidal nappy rash. Candidal nappy rash is a common problem which is identified in up to 75% of cases of nappy rash that last three days or more. It can be very painful, and you should contact your healthcare provider if your baby has a fever, any signs of infection or severe inflammation.