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Nappy Rash

Nappy Rash


Nappy rash is a skin irritation that is caused by frequent exposure to rubbing from a warm, wet and/or dirty nappy. Most babies will experience it a few times whilst in nappies, no matter how frequently their nappy is changed, or how well they are cared for. Things that can trigger and aggravate nappy rash include diarrhoea, the ammonia from urine irritating the skin, thrush, an allergy to chemicals in some baby wipes, scented soaps or baby lotions, and plastic pants that prevent airflow.



Signs of nappy rash include:

  • An irritated or unsettled baby, especially when urinating,
  • Red, inflamed skin around the genital area and anus that looks moist,
  • Blistered and peeling skin that leaves raw patches,
  • A rash that spreads onto the tummy or buttocks,
  • Itchy or sore skin when the area is wiped.



Nappy rash can be painful and irritating. Changing the nappy frequently can help manage and clear it up.


Other ways of treating nappy rash include:

  • Use water and a soft cloth or cotton ball to gently clean the area with every nappy change,
  • Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the delicate genital area,
  • Avoid baby wipes as they can further irritate the skin,
  • Pat the area dry or allow to air-dry,
  • Have as much nappy free time as possible,
  • Put nappies on loosely as nappies that are too tight do not allow enough air flow and can rub and irritate the baby's waist or thighs,
  • Using absorbent nappies as this helps keep the skin dry and reduces the chance of getting an infection,
  • Always wash your hands before and after changing a nappy,
  • Use a barrier cream such as zinc or white, soft paraffin products to help keep moisture away from your baby's skin.


The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.



Better Health Channel


Medline Plus Medical Encyclopaedia


The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne



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