Tags: nappy rash
Nobody knows why, but fresh strawberries are a common allergen, especially in babies under 6 months of age. Some suspect that the protein responsible for turning strawberries red is the culprit, but whatever it is, many babies develop a rash around the mouth and face after consuming fresh strawberries. Strawberries can also contribute to nappy rash although this is down to acidity rather than allergens.
Cooked strawberries very rarely cause allergic reactions so you will frequently find strawberry deserts and purees for the youngest children. These are usually perfectly safe as the cooking (and often pasteurising) process destroys whatever causes reactions in the first place.
If you wish to introduce strawberries into the diet of your young children then be aware of their allergic nature and observe your children after feeding strawberries to look for adverse signs. If your children react then leave it for a few months and then try again. The majority of children grow out of any allergic reactions by 6 months and very few display adverse signs after 12 months.
White strawberries and the 'pineberry', which some supermarkets have introduced over the last few years, do not appear to cause allergic reactions, perhaps strengthening the argument that it is the red pigment in strawberries that is to blame.
Nappy rash is common, affecting up to one third of babies, making the skin sore and irritated, sometimes covering the skin in tiny pink or red spots which may be raised raised and very painful. The reason nappy rash occurs, is that the baby's skin is in a constantly warm and airless nappy, and comes in contact with urine or faeces.
Nappy rash is most common in babies aged between nine and twelve months old. The important thing is to assess how serious the nappy rash is and to care for it and treat it accordingly.
If the skin is simply a little red and sore-looking...
- This can be treated with careful and gentle cleaning and the use of a barrier cream. Have a chat to your health visitor or pharmasist for advice. Zinc cream, zink oxide and petroleum jelly are suitable.
- Leave the nappy off as long a possible - let your baby have a kick around on an absorbent towel or mat.
- Avoid using soaps or shop-bought wipes. Simply use water and cotton wool.
- Dab dry after a bath or wash, don't rub.
- Change the nappy frequently.
- Don't use talc as it can irritate the skin.
- Try using a different brand or type of nappy - they are not all the same.
If the nappy rash is more painful and your baby is uncomfortable...
Firstly, make sure you follow the guidelines above to ensure you have a good routine when it comes to changing a nappy and cleaning the nappy area. If the nappy rash is more severe it will upset your baby and your doctor will prescribe something that will help.
- Corticosteroids reduce inflamation and help with itching and redness.
- Hydrocortisone creams may be applied once a day and can clear up he problem very quickly. It can be used for seven days only.
- Anticandidal medicines treat fungal infection and come in various forms. These have to be used for at least seven days after the rash has cleared to ensure effective treatment.
Keep an eye on progress and if in any doubt, go ot your GP or health visitor.