Happy baby wearing a nappy

Nappy rash - Causes, symptoms and treatments

Baby skin is sensitive and prone to nappy rashes due to excessive wetness. Follow this simple guide to understand the causes, symptoms, treatments and how to prevent your child's nappy rash.

Recognising a nappy rash

Baby nappy rash is a common rash that leaves a region of irritated skin in the nappy area. Common symptoms of nappy rash include:

  • Skin that appears red, rough and bumpy
  • Can be localised or spread over a large area
  • In severe cases - Itchiness, pain and discomfort

It is assumed that as many as one-third of babies and toddlers suffer from nappy rash at some point. (Source: NHS England)  It most commonly affects babies between the ages of 9 to 12 months.

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What causes nappy rash?

Nappy rashes can be caused by moisture trapped for an extended period of time in the nappy area, for instance when there is too much time between nappy changes. A baby’s skin is more sensitive than adults, making it more prone to developing a rash.

Furthermore, poorly fitting nappies can cause or worsen a rash since rubbing against your baby’s skin will irritate it. Some babies may be more susceptible to rashes than others. 

Just remember that the occasional nappy rash on your baby does not make you a bad parent!
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Nappy rash treatment

To help heal your baby’s irritated skin due to nappy rash, you might apply a suitable ointment that can help soothe the irritation. 

The Elastoplast Wound Healing Ointment helps to heal irritated skin and is suitable for the nappy area of babies. 

Elastoplast Wound Healing Ointment
Another way to support the healing process is to try giving your child a little bit of “nappy-free” time each day in order to reduce the contact time with nappies while ensuring a bit more comfort for your baby.

If the rash does not seem to be improving, you have further questions, or if it might be caused by other reasons please consult your child’s paediatrician. 

Be cautious when using lotions or creams that are not specifically recommended for babies and children as they can worsen the rash even further.
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What’s the difference between nappy rash and thrush?

Nappy rash can often be caused by thrush, a type of fungal infection. Thrush can be caused by a variety of factors including antibiotics, so your baby may be more prone to thrush and nappy rash if taking medication.

Candida yeast, a naturally occurring yeast on the skin can find it’s way into the irritated areas, causing a fungal nappy rash infection. If the rash continues for more than 3 to 4 days then it’s possible it’s a fungal infection, rather than just nappy rash.
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Does teething cause nappy rash?

Whilst not a direct cause of nappy rash, any increase in moisture makes it more likely. When a baby is teething, they may also suffer from diarrhoea, which leads to more opportunities for moisture to cause irritation in the nappy area, leading to nappy rash.

To reduce the chances of this happening, try to change nappies as soon as your baby has done a poo, and keep the nappy area clean and dry.
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Preventing rashes in children and babies

You can help minimise the risk of nappy rashes by ensuring that your baby is always wearing a clean, dry nappy. As infants grow quickly, make sure to update the size of your baby’s nappies as needed as a proper fit can help reduce any rubbing. You can further help prevent nappy rashes by applying the Elastoplast Wound Healing Ointment to the nappy area. The ointment creates a breathable protective film that prevents nappy rash and protects from soreness caused by sweat, faeces and urine. If you suspect that your baby’s rash is caused by an allergic reaction, or if you are uncertain, speak to your paediatrician immediately as it could be a symptom of a more serious allergy.
Baby having the nappy changed
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Always see a doctor if the wound is deep, bleeds heavily or shows signs of infection like reddening, swelling or warmth. Please note that, although they were compiled with great care, the tips and advice given on this website by no means substitute medical advice and treatment. 


If you have or suspect a health problem, consult a doctor and follow medical advice, regardless of what you have learned on this website. Always read carefully and follow the instructions for use or the leaflets of our products.


For further information, please contact us via email at consumer.relations.uk@beiersdorf.com