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Nappy rash: an update

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Figure 1. Candidiasis infection can develop if nap Figure 1. Candidiasis infection can develop if nappy rash is left untreated

Nappy rash is a form of irritant contact dermatitis that is confined to the nappy area.1 It is common for prolonged nappy rash to become infected with Candida albicans or other bacteria, for which a variety of treatments can be prescribed.

The causes of nappy rash are disputed in the literature but there is evidence to show that several factors are implicated in its development, including regular use of nappies, and prolonged contact between the skin and urine and faeces.2 Health visitors and practice nurses can advise parents on prevention and treatment of nappy rash when it occurs and this article will present tips for management and sources of further information.

Nappy rash is a common presentation in babies and young children, and is estimated to affect up to a third of nappy-wearing infants at any given time.3 There is some dispute in the literature about the causes of nappy rash but there is evidence to show that several factors come into play to cause the skin irritation or contact dermatitis that develops.2


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