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The Truth about Nappy Rash…

The Truth about Nappy Rash…

At some stage, no matter what you do… you are going to change your itti’s nappy, and gasp… and…eeeeek!!! Nappy Rash!! Nappy rash is a common skin inflammation, and can happen no matter how frequently you change, or how careful you are. There are plenty of myths out there that cloth nappies can cause nappy rash. They don’t!! In fact, independent research has found that as long as a nappy is changed frequently, the type of nappy worn is not a significant factor in causing nappy rash.* MCN are designed to draw wetness away like disposables, but without the chemicals…so if your itti bitti has sensitive skin, choosing cloth is a great way to actually prevent nappy rash because you can control what you wash your nappy with…but you cannot control what chemicals disposables contain… So cloth wins out over disposable when it comes to skin sensitivity!! Disposable nappies are full of chemicals such as Sodium Polyacrylate, Tribuytl Tin (a highly toxic chemical), chlorine, alcohol, synthetic perfumes, sodium lauryl sulfates and sodium flouride.  Many of these chemicals have been banned in womens hygiene products and have been proven to be extremely toxic when absorbed through the skin, many with long term risks.** The plastic that lines a disposable doesn’t allow air to circulate which can cause heat rash and skin irritations in some babies. More and more reports are emerging of babies and children who have received burns from the chemicals used in disposable nappies when they have ‘burst’ whilst being worn. Disposable nappies keep boy’s genitalia at a higher than normal temperature (up to 1 degree), possibly affecting their fertility.***

Below are a few things I have found that have worked on my children but remember every baby is different and they might not work for every one:)

First thing I try to do is to keep the skin intact. My best solution has been plain old corn flour, every change. Curash and J&Js make a good one corn starch based powder but re-use the container and refill it with corn flour from the cooking section in the supermarket. Talcum powder is generally not recommended for babies as it is very fine and the risk of inhalation is too great. If you want to use a cream make sure you rub it in to the skin as best as you can and put corn flour over top to keep the cream on the skin and not on the nappy. You can use a disposable/flushable liner but my kids have such sensitive skin they actually caused more rashes rather than helping. There are lots of disposable liners on the market just make sure you buy one that is compatible with your sewage system. As for creams, we have used Savalon, pawpaw cream, lots of zinc based creams and they all worked about the same. The Savalon was probably the best as it rubbed into the skin, dried fast and zinc cream could go over top followed by some corn flour. It is also an antiseptic cream so great for all kinds of skin irritations. Recently I have also found a cream called Destinin works better than anything I have tried but it is a white tar and not good if you get it on your ittis!

If you are struggling to pinpoint the cause of nappy rash…here are 13 common causes.

1. Moisture

Leaving it too long between nappy changes for both ones and two’s.

2. Bacterial infections

Bacterial infections can cause rashes when nappies are not well washed. The most economical, time saving and environmentally friendly way to sterilise nappies is to dry them in the sunshine!

3. Fungal infections

Candida albicans is present in faeces and infects and thrives on damaged moist skin – this is the germ that causes thrush. Any nappy rash can be complicated by a thrush (candida) infection (especially if your baby has had to have any antibiotics). If this occurs ask the chemist or your doctor about appropriate creams to treat the yeast bugs that are the cause.

4. Friction between nappy and skin

itti nappies always fit well!

5. Chemical sensitivities from disposables

Disposable nappies are full of chemicals such as Sodium Polyacrylate, Tribuytl Tin (a highly toxic chemical), chlorine, alcohol, synthetic perfumes, sodium lauryl sulfates and sodium flouride.  Many of these chemicals have been banned in womens hygiene products and have been proven to be extremely toxic when absorbed through the skin, many with long term risks.** The plastic that lines a disposable doesn’t allow air to circulate which can cause heat rash and skin irritations in some babies. More and more reports are emerging of babies and children who have received burns from the chemicals used in disposable nappies when they have ‘burst’ whilst being worn. Disposable nappies keep boy’s genitalia at a higher than normal temperature (up to 1 degree), possibly affecting their fertility.***

6. Chemical sensitivities from washing powders

This is an easy fix. Do an extra rinse cycle after washing, or use a different detergent. Some babies tolerate a liquid detergent better than a powder.

7. Reaction to nappy wipes

Try itti’s cloth wipes instead.

8. Reaction to powders and creams

Try natural products like Coconut Oil or Rose Hip Oil instead.

9. Dehydration

Dehydration produces ammonia in the urine. When urine has ammonia in it the odour is very strong and can lead to nappy rash, so keep your itti bitti hydrated with lots of water!

10. Teething

Teething can cause diarrhoea and a mild nappy rash because your child’s excessive saliva ends up in his tummy and loosens his stools, so keep bub extra hydrated!

11. Illness

Illness can produce ammonia in the urine. When urine has ammonia in it, it can lead to nappy rash, so keep the fluids up to your itti bitti!

12. Introduction of solids

Any new food changes the composition of the stool. The acids in certain foods, such as strawberries and fruit juices, can be especially troublesome for some kids, along with protein, and in some cases food allergies. Speak to your Dr about safely introducing solids.

13. Food allergies

Very rarely, food sensitivities can be the cause, and it may be the child or the mother’s diet (of breast fed babies) that needs to change to completely eliminate rashes. Sometimes, it’s very clear what is causing the nappy rash. Other times, almost impossible to pinpoint. So if all else fails… Nudie Time!!!!! *Golding, J et al.  (1997) Getting to the Bottom of Nappy Rash, University of Bristol. http://bjgp.org/content/bjgp/47/421/493.full.pdf **Costello A et al 1989 The Sanitary Protection Scandal. The Women’s Environment Network *** Partsch, C. et al. (2000) Scrotal temperature is increased in disposable plastic-lined nappies. Archives of Disease in Childhood, vol.83, 364-8. http://adc.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/83/4/364