WHILE THE TERM “nappy rash” is a blanket expression for any skin complaint that happens in a baby’s nappy area, there isn’t only one kind of nappy rash. It most commonly falls under one of three skin conditions – contact dermatitis, eczema, and thrush.
According to Cape Town-based pediatrician Dr. Paul Sinclair, a major cause of nappy rash is skin irritation caused by urine.
“While a baby girl would get inflammation on her external labia if left in a wet nappy for too long, a baby boy would get it on his contact area. This kind of a rash is related to ammonia burn,” he says. Babies have ammonia in their urine that’s acidic and can burn the skin. “This is why nappies need to be changed regularly. Yes, the nappies these days are super absorbent, but this doesn’t mean they should be left unchanged for hours on end. Even after one wee, uric acid is present in your baby’s nappy, which could cause irritation on his skin.”
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