Nappy rash is simply described as inflammation of the skin due to a reaction to urine and feces among infants. It is important to note that candida generally thrives on inflamed skin. This can trigger a more inflamed rash which is bright or dark red in color. Oftentimes, this rash can become infected by other types of bacterium that can make the rash even more red and sore.
Nappy rash can manifest or worsen if the infant is teething. It is vague why teething leads to the rash but it is believed to be due to the increased production of saliva. This changes the nature of feces which makes it likely to trigger a reaction upon contact with the skin.
In most cases of nappy rash, they are mild or moderate and not serious. Occasionally, certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and other skin issues can trigger unusual rashes.
- Leave the diaper off as much as possible to allow fresh air to reach the skin. Try to allow the child to lie down without a diaper on a bath towel or one-use absorbent sheet for a set period every day.
- Change diapers often. Ideally, the diaper is changed once it is soiled. The objective is to prevent the skin from being in contact with urine and feces for extended periods of time.
- Wipes are effective as water. Based on studies, using wipes has the same effect on the skin of the infant as using water and cotton wool. Just make sure that wipes that are free from alcohol or fragrance are used.
- After cleansing, the child’s bottom should be dried properly before putting on a new diaper. Dry the area by patting, not rubbing with a towel.
- Avoid using powder such as talcum powder that can irritate the skin. In addition, avoid using bubble baths, soaps and lotions.
- Barrier ointments or creams can be used to protect the skin from moisture. Simply apply a thin layer before a diaper is placed.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting plastic pants over the diaper since they trap moisture and worsen nappy rash if present.
Management of nappy rash
In case nappy rash worsens, the doctor might recommend the following measures:
- A mild steroid ointment or cream such as hydrocortisone can be used to reduce the inflammation. Apply sparingly as prescribed for a few days until the rash settles. Remember that it should not be used for more than 7 days.
- An antifungal cream that eliminates thrush (candida) might be prescribed. This should be applied 2-3 times throughout the day. Continue to use the cream for 7-10 days after the rash has cleared to ensure that candida has cleared.
- A combination cream that includes a mild steroid and antifungal component can be given.