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newborn baby with skin condition

how to cope with contact dermatitis and nappy rash.

2 minutes


Contact dermatitis is a common rash that causes babies’ skin to be red, itchy and irritated. And if your baby has it, we know it can be really hard on you too.

After all, there’s nothing more upsetting than watching your baby in discomfort, and it can really overtake all aspects of your life.

Why does my baby have a rash?

My baby was the only one in my NCT group that suffered with a rash,” says Maria, mum to 18-month-old Lucia. “So, the other mums had started to talk about getting sleep routines in place but that just wasn’t an option for me as Lucia was up so much in the night scratching. So, I felt a bit sorry for myself, as well as worrying that I was doing some wrong to cause the rash in the first place! Wasn’t a great time.

But skin conditions such as this are really not unusual: 16% of babies are affected in UK, and that figure raises to 75% in US. So it’s important to know you have nothing to feel guilty about. And there are steps that can be taken to combat it, and help your baby feel more comfortable again."

Causes of contact dermatitis

He was shaking as we were changing him which was obviously really upsetting, but it did clear up pretty quickly.

According to the NHS, contact dermatitis can arise if something is irritating your baby’s skin, such as chemicals found in soap and bathing products. Nappy rash is actually one form of contact dermatitis. Caused by urine and faeces combining with the heat generated inside the nappy, it can occur anywhere covered by the nappy.

When Tristan got nappy rash, I couldn’t believe how much it was hurting him,’ says mum, Juliet. ‘He was shaking as we were changing him which was obviously really upsetting, but it did clear up pretty quickly.

Help avoiding contact dermatitis/nappy rash

One way to avoid contact dermatitis nappy rash is to make sure your baby’s nappies are changed regularly, plus use only the purest baby products on their skin. WaterWipes were created by a father who was concerned about his daughter’s nappy rash, and are recommended by midwives for newborns.

Skin conditions really are no fun but please remember they do clear up and you and your baby will feel more comfortable, more rested and happier in no time.

However, if you are ever worried about your baby’s skin, always consult a healthcare professional like your doctor, pharmacist or health visitor.

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