All you need to know about thrush
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Other fungal infections

Nappy Rash

What is nappy rash?

Nappy rash can be a sore, irritating rash. It is likely to affect most babies at some time (especially babies 6 to 12 months old). The skin may become red and sore in the nappy area - hence the name. Candidal (Thrush) nappy rash is a common fungal infection which causes an angry rash and inflammation of the skin. If left untreated the rash can spread all around the nappy area and onto the legs.

Who gets nappy rash?

Nappy rash is very common. Urine which comes into contact with babies' skin, irritates and can result in a painful, angry, inflamed area of damaged skin. Babies' skin is also much thinner (it doesn't reach adult thickness until 3 years of age) and more delicate than adult skin, making it more susceptible to infection.  

When the skin is damaged by irritants it is more likely that candida (a yeast which lives naturally on the skin) will overgrow, causing candidal nappy rash. Candidal nappy rash is a common problem which is identified in up to 75% of cases of nappy rash that last three days or more.

How does the yeast infection occur?

Fungal nappy rash has many causes including: 

  • The nappy rubbing against the skin - this becomes a greater problem as your baby becomes more mobile
  • Chemical irritants such as washing detergents from terry nappies
  • Long periods spent in a soiled nappy
  • Wet nappies provide a moist, warm area which allows candida, a naturally occuring yeast to develop and spread
  • Bacteria from faeces reacting with urine to produce ammonia (an irritant)
  • Teething, because the baby is more likely to suffer with nappy rash due to reduced immunity, which increases the likelihood of candidal overgrowth
  • Changing your baby's diet (moving from breast feeding to bottle or solids)
  • Antibiotics which can upset the natural balance of the body resulting in a bout of candidal nappy rash

How do I know if my baby has got nappy rash?

The common signs and symptoms of nappy rash are:
Mild: a slight redness around the genitals and bottom
Severe: characterised by spotty, moist and broken skin
Candidal Nappy Rash: May look more severe and could be bright red particularly found in the skin folds around the groin and tops of the thighs. Therefore a larger baby may suffer more as they have more skin folds



Helpful Tips

• Avoid tight, synthetic clothing; loose, cotton knickers may help

• Avoid perfumed soaps, gels and bubble baths and vaginal deodorants