Baby Care

Nappy Rash: What Causes it and Best Ways to Treat it

Have a baby, and you’re bound to have a run-in with all sorts of nappy-related scenarios. Poo explosions in the middle of a shop (UGH), an accidental finger-slip when changing an especially-smelly poop (YUCK), and, of course, a red, angry little bum that needs a bit of TLC (EEK)!

Most babies will have nappy rash at least once or twice. Some babies may get it often while others may only have a mild case here or there. As parents, it’s a good idea to arm ourselves with a few tricks and tips to combat nappy rash if it does strike.

[mc_block_title custom_title= “What is nappy rash?”]

Nappy rash is a rash around the nappy area, including on the bum, the genitals and even the inside of those chunky baby thighs. The rash may be raised, raw, red and contain little bumps. In more severe cases, the rash may turn into blisters or open sores. Not nice for your poor little bubba!

It’s called nappy rash because it relates to anywhere where the nappy content can leak to. In some instances, a leaking nappy can lead to nappy rash on other areas of bub too such as the creases of the skin, the top of the legs or the lower back.

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A few simple steps using the right products can prevent future nappy rash outbreaks. Source: Adobe Stock

[mc_block_title custom_title= “Causes of nappy rash”]

There are several causes but below are the most common ones:


The number one cause of nappy rash is poop. Baby’s poo contains digesting enzymes that start breaking the skin down if left on a dirty nappy. This happens very quickly, which is why it’s important to change those poop nappies straight away.


Leaving bub in a wet nappy can also be the cause of nappy rash, especially if it’s a mixture of both wee and poop. Nappy rash can also be aggravated by ammonia, which is made when bacteria break down your baby’s wee from their poo, and in turn, irritates their skin.


You’ve most likely had a run-in with chub rub before, aka chafing. Don’t be shy – we ALL have! Well, nappy rash can also be caused by the same thing that causes chub rub – tight-fitting clothing. Or, in this case, a tight-fitting nappy.

Detergents, soap

Certain chemicals that can irritate the skin may be present in soaps, detergents, even baby wipes.

Certain foods

Acidic foods such as citrus, tomato and tomato-based sauces, orange juice, strawberries and pineapple can be to blame for irritating baby’s skin.

Antibiotics and illness

Diarrhoea can be very harsh on the bum area! Antibiotics may also increase the risk of nappy rash.

Teething, contrary to popular belief, isn’t considered a cause of nappy rash.

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Follow a few simple steps to prevent future nappy rash outbreaks. Source: Adobe Stock

[mc_block_title custom_title= “Best nappy rash treatment”]

Every parent has a different go-to system when it comes to treating nappy rash, but we at Mum Central find this easy peasy five-step treatment works every time.

If, however, your little one’s nappy rash doesn’t improve after three days and/or you notice a change in mood, eating habits or temperature, see your GP.

1. Extra changes

Change wet or dirty nappies as soon as possible and check often.

2. Pat, don’t rub

Don’t rub the area when changing bub. Instead, gently pat it with a wipe (alcohol-free and fragrance-free preferred). And always front to back!

3. Nudey time

Give your little one some nappy-free time on a clean, dry, soft towel. The fresh air will be good for their skin. Not so great for your carpet if they have a big poop, but, that’s why we recommend you place a towel down first!

4. Avoid irritants 

If your little one does have nappy rash, avoid soap, bubble bath, or lotions. Save the bubbles for when the rash is gone. Another thing to avoid is talcum powder which can actually irritate bub’s skin more.

5. Nappy treatment cream  – so so important!! 

Our choice – Covitol. Not only is it Aussie-made, but it also comes with rave reviews from parents who have tried it and loved it.

covitol nappy cream
Covitol offers a thick, smooth barrier for long-lasting protection. Source: Supplied

Covitol is fragrance and colour-free and is specially formulated with high levels of Cod Liver Oil, which is naturally rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Omega 3, which speeds up healing. It’s actually the only cream for babies on the market to contain Cod Liver Oil.

It also contains 35% Zinc Oxide to provide a thick smooth barrier, alongside Paraffin and Lanolin. Together, these ingredients help to seal out moisture and germs and help skin irritations to disappear quickly. 

*When applying a nappy cream, always read the label, follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, contact a GP.*


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Covitol comes in two handy sizes, including 75g, perfect for the nappy bag. Source: Supplied

[mc_block_title custom_title= “Soothe and protect with Covitol “]

Covitol is used to treat and prevent nappy rash, plus plenty of other common skin irritations such as mild eczema, chafing, dermatitis, sunburn and scrapes.  It’s a versatile product and great to have in the first aid cabinet AND on the changing table!

You can purchase Covitol 75g or 150g at Chemist Warehouse online.mum central

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[mc_block_title custom_title= “Three important takeaways when it comes to nappy rash”]

  1. Nappy cream can prevent and treat. Many mums will use a nappy cream like Covitol as a preventative for nappy rash as well as a treatment. A small amount on baby’s tushie can act as a barrier to prevent skin irritation.
  2. Nappy rash happens … honestly, most, if not all, babies will get it. When my first son got it, I felt awful about it, like I was the worst mum in the world. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Nappy rash is simply something that happens and, with adequate care, something you can easily prevent and treat.
  3. If your little one is getting nappy rash a lot, speak to your GP. It could be something else, so it’s better to check to be sure.

We hope our guide to nappy rash treatments helps you the next time you’re face to face with a red little bum.

And remember, Covitol is not only great for nappy rash, but plenty of other skin irritations too including sunburn, mild eczema, even boo-boos, owies, and scrapes. Definitely a thing to have on hand, just in case! Especially when your little one learns how to walk, run, jump and take an inevitable tumble or two.

This is a sponsored post for Covitol
Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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