Advice for maternal and child health nurses:
What to do if a baby has severe nappy rash: Is it caused by methylisothiazolinone in the baby wipe?

1/ Check the ingredients in the baby wipes and other skin care products used – do they contain methylisothiazolinone (MI)?

2/ Stop using any products that contain MI (look at moisturising lotions, skin cleansers and other products used).

  • For more information about products that contain MI refer to other information sheets on our website.

3/ Use a good nappy cream such as a thick zinc based cream or another good barrier cream

4/ Keep nappy area dry – change nappy more regularly than normal

5/ Bath using gentle products such as soap-free washes

6/ Use a mild (1%) cortisone ointment from the pharmacy (short term use i.e. 5 to 7 days only).

  • Apply the cortisone ointment before any other barrier creams/nappy cream
  • Allow to soak in before applying the nappy cream (wait a few minutes)

7/ How to tell if the nappy rash has become infected

  • The rash may worsen or have minimal improvement despite treatment
  • May be bright red and shiny, or crusted and the rash may spread to other parts of body
  • Thrush (Candida) often starts as little red spots that spread or form larger areas of rash
  • A high temperature or fever or oozing/pus can indicate infection

7/ If no improvement after a few days or if signs of infection are present, see your local GP or health nurse.  Stronger treatment may be required or referral to a dermatologist may be needed.