Nappy Rash: Treatment and Remedies

Nappy Rash: Treatment and Remedies

If you’ve noticed that your baby’s nappy area looks a little red or irritated, it is probably nappy rash. Pampers is here to support you when it comes to protecting your baby’s skin, preventing and treating nappy rash to help them heal as quickly as possible.

What is nappy rash?

Nappy rash is a common form of inflamed skin that may appear as red or bumpy surrounding the area of your baby’s nappy.

Nappy Rash Symptoms

If your baby’s nappy area looks irritated and red, it's probably nappy rash. The skin may also be a little puffy and warm when you touch it. Nappy rash can be mild – a few prickly red spots in a small area – or extensive, with tender red bumps that spread to your baby’s tummy and thighs.

If the rash also has reddish pink bumps surrounding a red patch in the nappy area or around your baby's mouth, it may have already advanced to a yeast nappy rash, which needs to be treated with topical anti-fungal medication.

Since your baby cannot tell you in words exactly what's wrong, he may express his discomfort through crying and irritability, especially at nappy-changing times, and possibly by a loss of appetite.

Nappy rash: treatment and remedies

To treat nappy rash, it’s important to change your baby's nappies frequently to reduce moisture on the skin.  Here are some other tips to help treat your baby’s bottom:

  • Air out the skin by letting your baby spend a little time each day without a nappy.
  • After a bowel movement, clean your baby's bottom thoroughly and pat it dry before putting a nappy on.
  • Spread a thick layer of ointment containing zinc oxide or petroleum jelly, or one recommended by your baby's doctor, to prevent urine from reaching the irritated skin.
  • Consider whether you’ve recently changed the baby’s diet or anything else in the baby’s environment that could be causing a rash.
  • Call your healthcare provider if the rash doesn't clear up after a few days, or if blisters or pus-filled bumps appear.

Preventing Nappy Rash

While nappy rash is pretty common, here are some tips to keep your baby’s bottom rash-free:

  • Clean your baby's bottom thoroughly after each bowel movement and allow the area to dry, being careful not to rub the skin too much or too harshly.
  • Coat your baby's bottom with a thin layer of protective ointment or petroleum jelly.
  • When putting on a fresh nappy, secure it comfortably, not too tight and not too loose, allowing some air to circulate.
  • Consider using a nappy, such as Pampers Premium Protection New Baby, which has thin layer of lotion on the top sheet to help keep your baby’s delicate skin dry.
  • If your child is taking antibiotics or has diarrhoea, keep a close watch on the nappy area and change nappies more frequently.

What else can cause a rash in the nappy area other than nappy rash?

What you think is nappy rash on your child's bottom may very well be another mild childhood skin condition. For this reason, it's important to recognise the difference between nappy rashes and other common ailments so you can treat each one effectively. Impetigo, seborrhoeic dermatitis and prickly heat are the conditions most commonly mistaken for nappy rash.


A contagious bacterial skin infection that appears in the nappy area and on the face and hands, with pimples and scabby, honey-coloured sores that blister and itch. Because this condition is contagious, all family members should wash their hands often with anti-bacterial soap to keep it from spreading. If you see this type of sore, call your paediatrician or GP, who will probably prescribe an antibiotic cream or oral antibiotic.

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

A common skin condition that can affect infants in their first year. You'll find raised, rough red patches covered with thick white or yellow scales on your baby's groin, genitals and lower abdomen; when similar patches appear on the scalp, the condition is known as cradle cap. Try applying an over-the-counter cortisone or hydro-cortisone ointment to the affected areas, and keep your baby clean and dry. If the condition doesn't clear up soon, see your paediatrician, who may prescribe a stronger cortisone cream.

Prickly Heat

Heat and humidity can lead to prickly heat, caused when perspiration builds up on the skin and is unable to evaporate. Less common after three months, this condition looks like an acne breakout, with very small pink bumps, and can show up in the skin folds in the nappy area, especially where the plastic lining of a nappy or nappy cover touches the skin. Moisture and humidity are the main causes of prickly heat, so make sure that your child is not overdressed and that his skin remains dry. If prickly heat seems severe, it's time to contact your healthcare provider.

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