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Baby having a nappy changed.

Baby having a nappy changed.
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Baby rash

2-minute read

There are several rashes and skin conditions which are very common in babies. Usually they are easily treated and won’t cause any long term problems for your baby.

Nappy rash

Nappy rash is a very common skin condition that happens to around one third of nappy wearing babies. It’s caused when the skin comes into contact with urine and faeces (poo) in the nappy. Mild cases are usually painless but severe nappy rash can cause discomfort and distress to babies.

If your baby gets nappy rash you can treat it with a nappy rash cream. Ask your child health nurse or pharmacist to recommend one.

If the rash doesn’t go away or your baby develops a persistent bright red, moist rash with white or red pimples, which spreads to the folds of the skin, they may have a thrush infection.You’ll need to use an anti-fungal cream, available either from the pharmacist or on prescription from your doctor.

Cradle cap

Cradle cap is a build-up of yellow, greasy and often scaly patches of skin, usually on your baby’s scalp.

The affected skin can also appear red in colour, flaky and a yellowish crust might also form. There can be some hair loss when the affected areas of skin loosen.

It’s a common and harmless condition causing no discomfort to the baby. It often lasts for a few months and usually clears up by the time the baby is two years old.

Cradle cap usually doesn’t need treatment. It should clear up on its own after a few months, but if it doesn’t see your doctor because there are treatments that may help.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your child's baby rash, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2017

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