Rashes & dry skin

Rashes & dry skin

A common problem that's easy to treat

It’s normal for babies to develop rashes early on as their skin adapts to a different environment. If your baby develops a rash and seems unwell, contact your GP. Most rashes are nothing to worry about, but do be aware of the signs of meningitis & sepsis (see meningitis & sepsis).

Nappy rash

Nappy rash is very common and can affect lots of babies. It is usually caused when your baby’s skin comes into contact with the wee and poo that collects in their nappy. A nappy rash causes your baby’s skin to become sore.

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.

Dry skin

A baby’s skin is thinner and needs extra care. Dry, flaky skin, some blemishes, blotches and slight rashes are normal in newborns and will naturally clear up. If your baby is otherwise well but has a rash and you are worried about it, contact your health visitor or GP.


Pharmacist says

Call in and talk to us about creams we can provide you with over the counter.

There are two types of nappy cream available. One is a barrier cream to keep wee 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.

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.

Gently massaging a small amount of baby or vegetable oil (not olive oil) into the scalp at night can help to soften and loosen the scales. In the morning use a soft baby brush or cloth to gently remove any loose skin scales. If any hair comes out with the scales it will grow back. Gently wash the baby’s hair and scalp with a baby shampoo.

Talk to your health visitor if the rash spreads or there is any infection or oozing.

Source: NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries 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 nappies often. If you are worried, see your GP.