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Nappy rash & cradle cap

A common problem that’s easy to treat

Nappy rash is very common and can affect lots of babies. It is usually caused when your baby's skin comes into contact with wetness that collects in their nappy.

A nappy rash causes your baby's skin to become sore. The skin in this area may be covered in red spots or blotches. You might need to change their nappy more often.

Most nappy rashes can be treated with a simple skincare routine and by using a cream you can get from the pharmacist. With a mild nappy rash, your baby won't normally feel too much discomfort.

Talk to your pharmacist about creams you can get over the counter. There are two types of nappy cream available. One is a barrier cream to keep wetness away from your baby's skin. The other is a medicated cream, that is good for clearing up any soreness but should only be used when advised by a health professional or pharmacist.

Health Visitor’s nappy rash tips

  • Leave your baby in a warm, safe place with no clothes or a nappy on, to let the air get to their skin.
  • Use a barrier cream.
  • Remember to change and check their nappy often.

Health Visitor’s cradle cap tips

This is the name given to the greasy yellow-brown scales and crusting affecting the scalp in newborn babies.

Do not pick the scales as this may increase the risk of infection. It is not a serious condition and is not contagious. It is not usually itchy and will usually clear up within weeks to a few months.

Soften the scales with baby or vegetable oil (not olive oil) overnight. After softening the scales use a soft brush or cloth and gently remove any loose scales and wash the hair with a baby shampoo. If any hair comes out with the scales, it will grow back.

Talk to your health visitor if the rash spreads or there is any infection or oozing. (Source: NICE CKS 2013)


There is a red, sore rash around the nappy area. Baby is uncomfortable and cries a lot.


Has baby been in a dirty nappy for a long time? Have you followed advice from your Health Visitor, or spoken to your Pharmacist?


Change nappy often. Speak to your Health Visitor and if you are worried see your GP.

Advice leaflet

The CCG has developed a leaflet with guidance to help you care for your baby to help clear or prevent nappy rash

Nappy Rash - Care Leaflet

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