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Nappy Rash Information

To view our range of nappy rash treatments please visit our main nappy rash page.

About Nappy Rash

Nappy Rash Advice
Nappy rash is an irritation of the skin that usually affects babies from birth up to 20 months. The condition is very common and most babies will develop nappy rash at some point in their lives. The term nappy rash is generally used to describe any type of rash or skin condition found in the nappy area. The most common causes of nappy rash are the chafing and wetness caused by dirty nappies. Urine and faeces inside a dirty nappy can break down into ammonia, prolonged contact with your baby's skin will lead to soreness and irritation. A baby's skin is about half the thickness of an adult's, making it much more delicate and vulnerable to damage.

Nappy Rash at a Glance

  • Nappy rash affects most children; usually from birth to 20 months of age.

  • It is characterised by irritated and sore skin around the nappy area, particularly the genitals and buttocks.

  • The irritated skin skin will come out in a pink or red rash made up of small spots or blotches.

  • The baby may appear grizzly and experience discomfort when relieving itself.

  • Severe cases of nappy rash may also lead to a fungal infection.

Symptoms of Nappy Rash

In cases of nappy rash, a baby's skin will become sore and irritated around the nappy area, especially around the genitals and buttocks. The condition can also spread down the legs or up to the abdomen. In common cases of nappy rash, the irritated skin will come out in a pink or red rash made up of small spots or blotches. In more advanced cases of the condition, the symptoms will be more severe: bright red spots, swollen skin, ulcers, blisters and dry, cracked skin. A baby may become grizzly during a bout of nappy rash but will generally feel well and only experience discomfort when they soil their nappy.

If your baby develops inflamed skin or a fever, they may have an infection. In this is the case, you should contact your GP immediately.

Causes of Nappy Rash

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the most common cause of nappy rash is irritant dermatitis. This is the inflammation of a baby's soft skin caused by prolonged contact with chemicals found in urine and faeces. Other causes of nappy rash can be an upset stomach, diarrhoea or the nappy itself rubbing against the child's skin.

Preventing Nappy Rash

The best way to prevent nappy rash is to ensure that a baby's skin is kept as clean and dry as possible.

Regular nappy changes will make sure that extended contact with urine and faeces is minimised and that the baby's skin is frequently cleaned. When changing the nappy, it is important that the whole area is cleaned thoroughly and patted dry before the new nappy is put on.

Letting the bottom breathe will help prevent nappy rash and speed up the healing process in children that have it. So, whenever possible, let your baby play without their nappy for a few hours a day, especially during warm weather.

Use a barrier cream or ointment to protect and moisturise your baby's delicate skin. These are especially useful for children with sensitive skin. A barrier cream will form a protective barrier to help keep irritants away from the surface of the skin while keeping moisture locked in.

Treating Nappy Rash

Taking the steps to prevent nappy rash is perhaps the most effective treatment for the condition. Keeping the nappy area clean and dry and applying a barrier cream after every wash is perhaps the best way to treat and prevent it.

There are many effective barrier creams and ointments available, some with healing, soothing and cooling properties. Zinc creams and ointments are particularly effective in treating nappy rash; zinc oxide is a mild astringent and helps to keep a baby's skin healthy.

Express Chemist has a range of products that can help prevent, treat and soothe the soreness and irritation of nappy rash:

Metanium has a range of creams, ointments and jellies to help you keep your baby's delicate skin soft, smooth, and free from irritation.

Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment is one of our best selling nappy rash treatments.

Metanium Zinc & Castor Oil Cream and Metanium Soft Petroleum Jelly are other products by Metanium that can help treat nappy rash.

Bepanthen is an extremely gentle treatment that can be used at every nappy change to seal in natural moisture and form a long-lasting, protective and breathable barrier against irritants.

Drapolene is a protective, antiseptic cream that provides soothing, effective relief from nappy rash. It cools and soothes soreness and irritation of your baby's skin, while preventing infection.

Morhulin is for the treatment of nappy rash and minor skin conditions. It contains cod-liver oil and zinc oxide, which help to remove dead skin cells from wounds and promote healing. Morhulin Ointment is oil based and contains no water, allowing the skin to retain moisture more effectively.

Sudocrem is a popular soothing antiseptic cream with both antibacterial and antifungal properties. It forms a protective barrier on the skin to soothe, heal and protect.

Vasogen is a water repellant barrier cream containing zinc oxide that forms a protective layer over your baby's skin to help moisturise and promote healing, while allowing the skin to breathe normally.

Fullers Earth is an old remedy that is noted for its ability to absorb impurities and is commonly used to treat severe cases of nappy rash.

Conotrane is a soothing antiseptic cream used to protect the skin from moisture, irritants, chafing and contamination with bacteria or yeasts. It prevents and treats nappy rash as well as other skin conditions caused by rubbing and moisture.

We also have a range of baby skin care products such as: moisturisers, emollient creams and talcum powders, to help you care for your baby's skin and keep it clean, dry, healthy and hydrated. The baby skin care category is part of our wider mother and baby section.

Fungal Nappy Rash

When a baby's skin is damaged by nappy rash, it is more likely that candida albicans will overgrow, causing candidal or candida nappy rash (also know as nappy candidiasis). A nappy rash caused by a fungal infection can be particularly unpleasant for a baby as it can sting the skin when the nappy is soiled.

In cases of fungal nappy rash, the area of skin will be inflamed, with spots (satellite lesions) around the edges. The infection will be bright red and also present in the folds of the skin. The advice given above will help, but won't be enough; candidal nappy rash is a fungal infection so it is important to treat it with an antifungal product. We have a selection of antifungal products such as: Canesten Cream, Daktarin Cream and Daktarin Powder, that will help you treat, heal and soothe your baby's candida nappy rash. Always consult your health visitor, family doctor or pharmacist for a suitable anti-fungal treatment.

Diagnosing Fungal Nappy Rash

If you aren't sure if your child is suffering from common nappy rash or the fungal variety, our guide to diagnosing fungal nappy rash will help you to determine their condition. We give advice and answer important questions such as:

  • What is fungal nappy rash?
  • What are the symptoms of fungal nappy rash?
  • How is fungal nappy rash different from regular nappy rash?
  • How do I treat fungal nappy rash?
Please remember: If your babies skin feels red, warm and swollen then they have be suffering from a bacterial infection. Other symptoms may include a fever and bad mood. If this is the case, you should contact your GP immediately.

To view our full range of products please visit our main nappy rash page.
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  • Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment 30g

    Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment 30g

    Our Recommendation - Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment is our best-selling treatment for nappy rash and infant irritant dermatitis.
    It has been specially formulated to soothe and treat the condition, forming a breathable, waterproof barrier to keep irritants away from a baby's delicate skin. The active ingredients in the ointment have antiseptic and protectant properties that help to relive itching and chafing, guard the skin from water-soluble irritants and stop water loss from the outer skin.

    In short, Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment will get the job done quickly and effectively, whilst protecting your child's skin from irritants and preventing moisture loss.

    (incl VAT)