Most babies get nappy rash at some time no matter how careful you are about skin care. It doesn’t usually affect newborn babies, but any nappy wearing infant or toddler can get nappy rash. At any one time up to a third of babies have nappy rash, so it’s a very common condition, but can be a worrying time for parents. 
Nappy rash is usually a mild condition which can be easily treated. It can be caused by:
- Your baby’s skin being in contact with wee or poo (stools) for a long time
- The nappy rubbing against your baby’s skin
- Not cleaning the nappy area or changing the nappy often enough
- Soap, detergent or bubble bath
- Alcohol-based baby wipes
- Your baby recently taking antibiotics
There is usually a pink or red rash around the nappy area. The skin may look sore and feel hot to touch, and there may be spots, pimples or blisters.
Most babies with mild nappy rash don’t feel sore, but if the rash is severe your baby may feel uncomfortable and be distressed. 
7 ‘trigger’ times
There are a number of ‘trigger’ times when babies seem to be more likely to develop nappy rash. A survey  identified seven key times when parents believed their child was more prone to nappy rash. These ‘trigger’ times include:
- A cold
- First sleeping through the night
- Weaning onto solid foods
- Antibiotic use
- A change in diet like switching to a different type of milk
Looking out for these ‘trigger’ times means you can take steps to help prevent nappy rash from occurring.
Good skincare advice is key in both treating and preventing nappy rash. The following simple steps will help :
- Lie your baby on a towel and leave your baby’s nappy off when you can
- Change wet or soiled nappies as soon as possible
- Clean the nappy area using plain water or alcohol / fragrance free wipes
- Gently pat rather than rub your baby’s bottom dry
- Use a suitable barrier ointment at each nappy change
Most cases of nappy rash only cause mild symptoms and can be easily treated with a combination of good skin care and the use of an appropriate barrier ointment.
When to seek medical advice 
Ask your pharmacist or health visitor for advice, if the rash doesn’t go away after about three days or your baby develops a persistent bright red, moist rash with white or red pimples that spreads into the folds of their skin.
If the rash is severe, take your baby to your GP who may prescribe cream or medicine. Follow your GP’s instructions on whether and when to apply barrier cream as well as the prescribed cream.
- http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/nappies.aspx accessed 23.01.17
- Morris H, The bottom line on nappy rash, British Journal of Midwifery, September 2012, Vol 20, No 9, pages 540-543