Sore Baby Bottoms – Prevention
If you find that your little one's bottom is irritated or red in the nappy area, there is no reason to panic. It is important to act, however, as your child could be in pain. Nappy rash is one of the most common skin problems suffered by babies and toddlers.
Various symptoms may point to nappy rash, such as redness, scaly skin, weeping areas or spots in the nappy area. Although nappy rash occurs quite frequently and is not dangerous in itself, a sore bottom is very painful for babies and may involve a risk of infection.
How does nappy rash occur?
Irritation in the nappy area occurs for many reasons. The damp, warm conditions under nappies provide the ideal conditions for it. Body heat, urine and stool place a strain on the skin in the area of your baby's bottom and genitals. This is the ideal breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. Friction also occurs due to constant skin contact with the nappy and its contents,
but allergies and intolerances can also cause nappy rash in babies, and this is further reinforced by the above conditions. For example, your child may have an intolerance for certain ingredients in the baby wipes or cream you are using, such as perfume or alcohol.
Preventing nappy rash
You can prevent nappy rash in everyday life:
- Go without nappies as often as possible. Let your child sleep, run around and play without a nappy at home. The fresh air will keep sensitive skin dry, but make sure that the room temperature is high enough so that your child does not catch a chill!
- Change your baby's nappy more frequently and clean his or her bottom carefully, for instance using a cloth and warm water. Baby wipes which are free from perfume and fragrance are a suitable alternative.
- Dry the nappy region thoroughly and make sure there is no moisture remaining in the skin folds. Protect the sensitive nappy area with a gentle nappy cream before putting on a new nappy.
- The stool produced by breastfed babies does not usually irritate baby skin, so breastfeeding is a type of preventive measure.
The correct treatment for nappy rash
If you have already noticed that your little one has nappy rash, his or her sore bottom will need special care in order to recover. The above preventive measures also work well when treating light nappy rash. An additional nappy rash balm will soothe the skin and combat inflammation. The irritation will usually disappear after a few days. You will not need to visit a paediatrician in this case.
It is a different matter when a bacterial inflammation is the cause of the nappy rash. Pustules, blisters and even bleeding would indicate this. If this is the case, medication may be required. Persistent dermatitis which does not improve despite all of the measures should be examined by a paediatrician or dermatologist in order to rule out infections or allergies.