Health & Fitness

I’m an NHS doctor – here’s the 3 surprising reasons your baby has nappy rash and when to see your GP

IF you’ve had kids, chances are you’ve come across nappy rash in your time as a parent.

It’s a common complaint that most babies will suffer at some point.


You might think that nappy rash is just caused by a wet nappy, but one expert has revealed that it isn’t the only culprit[/caption]

But, before you blame yourself and feel bad, NHS paediatrician Dr Shruti Nathwani told The Sun there is a lot of confusion around what causes nappy rash.

It’s not always down to your little one sitting in a wet nappy for too long.

The first surprising reason your little one might be suffering is if you’ve recently weaned them onto solids, Dr Shruti explained.

“As you start to wean your baby onto solid foods, you will find that their stool will become thicker and usually darker in colour,” she said.

“You may also notice that a change in diet can sometimes increase stool frequency and pH which increases the chances of nappy rash,” the expert explained.

The second reason your baby might have a rash is if you’ve been cleaning them too much.

Dr Shruti, who is working with Bepanthen said while cleaning is a key part of your daily routine, babies with sensitive skin might be more prone to a rash.

“Wiping plays a key role in removing urine and faeces however some babies can have sensitive skin and wiping in excess or vigorously can irritate their skin which can ultimately increase the risk of nappy rash,” Dr Shruti explained.

“To try and prevent this, I would recommend using cotton wool and lukewarm water to gently clean and keep their bottom free of irritants.

“If you use wipes, try and use alcohol- and fragrance-free wipes as these can also be irritating to skin.

“Then let the area dry or pat gently instead of rubbing dry and once ready, apply a new nappy,” the expert said.

Last but not least, Dr Shruti said that if your little one gets a bout of diarrhoea, then this could also cause a nasty rash.

Nappy rash can occur when your baby’s skin is in prolonged contact with urine and faeces, she said.

Naturally, you will find that you need to change their nappy more often when they have diarrhoea.

“Due to the increased stool pH and increased volume of stool, the risk of nappy rash increases,” she said.

How to check if your baby has a nappy rash

According to the NHS, symptoms of nappy rash include:

  • red or raw patches on your baby’s bottom or the whole nappy area
  • skin that looks sore and feels hot to touch
  • scaly and dry skin
  • an itchy or painful bottom
  • your baby seeming uncomfortable or distressed
  • spots, pimples, or blisters on bottom (spots can appear red or brown, but may be less noticeable on brown and black skin)

In order to prevent nappy rash from happening, Dr Shruti said you should continue to change their nappy and incorporate a barrier cream to help protect their skin.

It is important to note, diarrhoea can be a sign of a change to your baby’s health.

“In which case I would recommend you seek guidance from your GP,” she advised.

“Diarrhoea can also be caused as a side effect of medications like antibiotics, so it’s useful to be aware of this.”

When to get help

In most cases if the rash is causing your little one discomfort then a pharmacist can help recommend a cream or medicine to treat it at home, the NHS states.

They will usually suggest a thin layer of barrier cream to protect the skin, or will advise giving your baby paracetamol for pain relief, which will only be suitable for babies over two months old.

Guidance states you should see your GP or health visitor if your baby’s nappy rash does not go away, gets worse or spreads to other areas.

You should also seek help if they have a high temperature or they seem very uncomfortable.

If in doubt, see your GP and in the event of an emergency, always call 999 or go to your closest A&E department.

Source of data and images: thesun

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