Even if you’re the most conscientious parent, your little one will probably get nappy rash at some point. It’s a common skin problem among babies, characterised by the appearance of a patchwork of bright red skin on the baby’s bottom.

Causes of Nappy Rash

There are so many possible causes for nappy rash including:

  • Prolonged exposure to urine or stool
    Nappy rash is more likely to happen if the baby’s bottom has been exposed for too long to urine or stool. Although both can irritate the baby’s sensitive skin, frequent bowel movements are more likely to cause nappy rash because it’s more irritating than the urine.
  • Bacterial or fungal infection
    The areas covered by the nappy such as the buttocks, thighs, and genitals provide an ideal breeding ground for bacterial or fungal infection because of their moist and warm environment. Rashes that result from bacterial or fungal infection are usually found within the skin creases.
  • Use of antibiotics
    Antibiotics are great for treating bacterial infections but they have their downsides. On the process of killing the harmful bacteria, they can also kill the good ones.

    It’s the good bacteria that keep the yeast growth in check. Hence, when a baby is taking antibiotics, yeast infection may develop and as a result, may lead to nappy rash. Also, antibiotics increase the risk of diarrhea, another factor that can contribute to nappy rash.
  • Irritation from using a new product
    The baby’s skin is so sensitive that it can react to almost any product you apply on his/her skin. The baby’s skin may react to new nappies, baby wipes, and to some lotion, powder, and oils with irritating ingredients.
  • Changes in the diet
    Nappy rash may also happen as a result of changes in the baby’s diet. If he/she is breastfed, he/she may develop nappy rash as a result of the mother’s diet. Changes in diet may affect the frequency of stools, one of the things that can irritate the baby’s sensitive bottom.

Symptoms of Nappy Rash

There are basically two things to watch out for that can give you hints that your baby is having nappy rash. These are changes on the skin and in your baby’s disposition.

Nappy rash is characterised by the appearance of red and tender-looking skin on areas covered by the diaper – the buttocks, thighs, and the genital area.

When your baby suffers from nappy rash, you will notice that he/she seems more uncomfortable especially during nappy changes. He/she may fuss or cry whenever the affected area or site is touched or washed.

Natural Remedies for Nappy Rash

Nappy rash can be managed easily at home. Below are some ways on how you can treat your baby’s rash in a natural way:

1. Switch to cloth nappies
The baby’s skin is way more sensitive than the adult’s. Conventional disposable nappies have fragrances and chemicals that can irritate your baby’s bottom. The solution? Switch to cloth diapers. Not only will these diapers save you money, they are also more skin-friendly for your baby.

2. Change your laundry detergent
If you’re already using cloth nappies and your baby still develops nappy rash then maybe you need to take a look at your laundry detergent. A lot of laundry detergents have chemicals in them that can be irritating to those with sensitive skin. Switch to a different laundry detergent, one that’s free from fragrances, harsh chemicals, and dyes.

3. Use coconut or a nappy rash ointment
Applying either coconut or olive oil on your baby’s bum can help soothe the irritation. Coconut oil both has antimicrobial and anti fungal properties that can help provide a layer of protection against the dampness on the area. Natural nappy rash ointments and balms can also be great at soothing and healing the sensitive skin.

4. Try organic cornstarch
A lot of moms swear to the healing benefits of cornstarch when applied on the affected site. You can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch to two tablespoons of coconut oil for better healing effect.

5. Improve your baby’s diet
Diet can play a role in the development of diaper rash. If you suspect this is a major contributor to your child’s rash, consider sticking to foods that are well-tolerated rather than keep in introducing your child to new foods.

6. Mix oat bath soak in your child’s bath
Oatmeal is another natural remedy to nappy rash.  Mix it in your child’s bath and let him/her sit on it for 15 to 20 minutes.

It’s heartbreaking to see your baby cry because of the discomfort from nappy rash. But you don’t have to worry anymore as there are natural solutions like the ones mentioned above that you can try.

Image: Beth