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Baby rash treatments

2-minute read

Nappy rash

If your baby has nappy rash there are a number of things you can do to help manage the condition. Here’s some self-help information:

  • try to leave your baby’s nappy off whenever possible. This will keep your baby’s skin dry and away from any contact with urine or faeces (poo). Try laying your baby on a towel for a few hours. You should always watch that they have not wet or soiled the towel so that they are not left on a damp towel
  • only use warm water to clean the rash area
  • avoid soaps, talcum powder and perfumed baby wipes as these can irritate the skin
  • use soft towels or cotton wool when drying the skin, and dab the area gently
  • apply a barrier cream after changing every nappy. This will help to minimise the contact between the skin and the urine and faeces (poo). Products containing zinc cream, zinc oxide ointment and petroleum jelly are all suitable. You can also ask your pharmacist about nappy rash creams
  • make sure you’re changing your baby’s nappy regularly, especially if they already have nappy rash
  • try to use a more absorbent nappy if possible. This will reduce the amount of wetness that comes into contact with the skin.

Cradle cap

Cradle cap usually doesn't need to be treated. It clears by itself within a few months of birth.

But if you want to get rid of the scale, there are a number of things that you can do to help manage the condition. Here's some self-help information:

  • regularly massage baby oil or soft paraffin
  • if these common treatments don't work, a doctor or baby health nurse may recommend anti-dandruff shampoos. These usually work, but they contain ingredients which may irritate the scalp, and they can hurt if they get into eyes.

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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