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18 August 2003

Preventing and treating nappy rash

Nappy rash is common when using cloth nappies because the bottom is exposed to constant moisture, little air, chemical irritants and infectious organisms in urine and faeces. What can you do to prevent and treat it?

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Nappy rash is common when using cloth nappies because the bottom is exposed to constant moisture, little air, chemical irritants and infectious organisms in urine and faeces. Frequent cleaning with soaps and detergents and friction from cloth nappies or clothing increase your baby’s susceptibility to nappy rash.

What can you do to prevent and treat it?

  • Change nappies frequently if using cloth or cheap disposable nappies
  • Leave your baby without a nappy as much as possible
  • Use soap only once a day as they can dry and irritate the skin
  • Clean her bottom with cotton wool and water instead of wipes
  • Pat baby dry thoroughly after washing – especially the skin creases and bottom
  • Consider changing the brand of disposable nappies or from disposable to cloth nappies and vice versa
  • Sterilise, wash and rinse fabric nappies thoroughly
  • Line cloth nappies with nappy liners
  • Use a thick protective layer of barrier cream on the bottom and genital area if you are using cloth nappies. Only use a thin film of cream if you use disposables.

If the rash does not disappear after a day or two or if blisters appear, call your doctor or pharmacist.

 
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