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.
If your baby has cradle cap there are a number of things that you can do to help manage the condition. Here’s some self-help information:
- special shampoos that loosen cradle cap can be bought at pharmacies. Follow the instructions carefully and speak to your pharmacist for further advice
- try washing the scalp regularly with a baby shampoo and use a soft brush to gently loosen any crusted skin
- if there's no improvement after using a baby shampoo you could try using a mild shampoo but avoid getting it into your baby’s eyes because it can sting. If your child is under five years old, you should avoid using shampoo that contains ground nut oil or peanut oil
- covering the affected skin overnight with petroleum jelly or slightly warm olive oil or vegetable oil may help. Brush off any loose skin in the morning with a soft brush or cloth and then wash with a baby shampoo.
Cradle cap should clear up on its own after a few months with the care instructions above, but if it doesn’t see your doctor because there are medicines 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).
Last reviewed: July 2015