Skip to main content

How to treat nappy rash

The term nappy rash simply refers to a rash in the nappy area. Many conditions can cause a rash in the nappy area. The first step is to determine what the cause of the nappy rash is.

Conditions that can cause a rash in the nappy area:

  • Primary irritant dermatitis
  • Candida infection
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Allergic Contact Dermatitis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Acrodermatitis Enteropathica
  • Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis
  • Bullous Mastocytosis
  • Incontinentia pigmenti
  • Bullous Pemfigoid
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis
  • Linear IgA disease
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa
  • Herpes Simplex virus infection
  • Bullous Impetigo
  • Tinea cruris
  • Scabies
  • Papular urticaria

See why is it essential to determine the cause first?!

The most common cause of nappy dermatitis is Primary irritant dermatitis. Primary irritant dermatitis is a result of urine and faeces irritating the skin. The irritation of the skin is due to wetness, the alkalinity of urine and faeces, irritating enzymes in urine and faeces and secondary infection with Candida and bacteria.

The initiating irritating factor is wetness. The most important part of the treatment of Primary irritant dermatitis is to keep the baby’s bottom DRY. Regular nappy changes, frequently enough to prevent too much wetness, is the most important part of the treatment. Nappy changes can be reduced by using more absorbent nappies. After every nappy change apply a nourishing moisturiser to help repair the skin.

Inflammation (redness) can be treated with mild corticosteroid ointments.

Small sores and ulcers can be covered with Vaseline / White soft paraffin or Zinc oxide ointment.

Infections can be treated with antifungal creams and antibacterial creams.