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Difference Between Nappy Rash And Thrush: A Genuine Fact Sheet

Difference Between Nappy Rash And Thrush: A Genuine Fact Sheet

When a baby arrives in a family there are so many things and problems that emerge to get solved. Parents must know about healthy diet, sleep, playtime, and cleanliness of the baby. They must know about the difference between nappy rash and thrush.

The nappy rash occurs from moisture or dirt if it remains long on the skin of the baby. And thrush is a sort of infection caused by a bacterial imbalance. Nappy rash can disappear within a couple of days if treated properly. But the thrush takes a long to get disappear with a strong chance to appear again.

This blog will elaborate on the difference between nappy rash and thrush. It will explain the causes of nappy rash and thrush. Lastly, suitable treatment and home remedies would be discussed to treat them.

Parenting or rearing a child opens the door to a new world. As a baby is born the parents also get born that day because before that they were a couple. So both parents and the baby have to explore a new world and new things. This blog will help a lot to those parents who really need to know about the difference between nappy rash and thrush.

Nappy Rash

  • Nappy rash is very common in infants. The nappy rash makes the baby’s skin in and around the nappy red, dry and scaly.
  • Sometimes the rashes appear on a larger area and become spotty.
  • Nappy rashes are sore and itchy for the baby.
  • It makes the baby irritated and unsettled.
  • It appears on the buttocks, around the genitals, and on the upper parts of the legs.
  • If looked after properly, the nappy rash can disappear in a couple of days.
  • The baby cries a lot during the process of cleaning and washing due to irritation in the rash.

Causes of Nappy Rash

Nappy rash is very irritating and problematic for a baby. It disturbs the baby’s sleep, comfort, playtime, and even food intake. Therefore it is very important for the parents to know the causes of nappy rash to avoid them. Also knowing the causes of the nappy rash will help the parents to take preventive measures. Knowing about the nappy rash in detail would guide clearly about the difference between nappy rash and thrush.

Contact with wee or poo

If the baby’s skin remains in contact with wee or poo for long then a nappy rash can take place. Because the wee and the poo are waste of the body it contains harmful germs. It is imperative for the baby to pass wee and poo in time to have a healthy digestive system.

Just like it is important to pass wee and poo from the body it is also important to clean the baby as well. Otherwise, the germs which are contained by wee and poo can harm the skin of the baby. And this can become a strong cause of the nappy rash.

Nappy rubbing

The skin of the baby is very soft and sensitive. If the nappy is not according to the baby’s skin it can cause a nappy rash. Because the baby keeps moving his legs while laying, crawling, or walking. And the hard or inelegant material of the nappy keeps rubbing the soft skin of the baby. This rubbing process can cause a nappy rash. Therefore, it is very important to select the diaper or nappy carefully.

Careless cleaning process

Sometimes the caregiver does not wash the baby properly. And some waste remains in contact with the baby’s skin. Sometimes it gets delayed to change the nappy of the baby in time both reasons can cause the nappy rash easily.

Baby wipes

It is very common to use baby wipes to clean the baby before changing the nappy. If the baby wipe is alcohol-based then it can cause a nappy rash. Sometimes the wipes do not suit the baby’s skin and cause a rash. I personally used the baby wipes for both my kids but they did not suit them and caused the rash. So, I stopped using them and wasted the remaining wipes.

Some other reasons

Sometimes the soap, detergent, or the bubble bath which parents use for cleaning the baby and his belongings are of low quality. Sometimes the chemicals used in the making process of this cleaning kit are harsh. If the baby is on medication such as antibiotics or laxatives these can cause a nappy rash.

Laxatives are a type of medicine that parents use to treat constipation. Hot weather and sweating can also cause nappy rash. If the baby’s nappy is not breathable this can also become a clear cause of the nappy rash.


Nappy rash can easily be treated at home with the help of some careful steps and home remedies. Some easy tips are as follows.

 difference between nappy rash and thrush
Timely nappy change is important to avoid nappy rash.
  • Try to keep your baby dry and clean.
  • Change the wet or dirty diaper in time.
  • Clean or wash the whole nappy area properly and dry it before applying the nappy.
  • Use alcohol and fragrance-free baby wipes.
  • Dry your baby softly with a soft cotton towel. Do not rub the baby vigorously.
  • Arrange some nappy free time for the baby. So that the baby’s skin gets fresh air.
  • Make sure the nappy size and the stuff is suitable for the skin of the baby.
  • Apply some ointment to the rash after the prescription of the doctor.
  • You can also apply cornstarch or fragrance-free powder to the baby’s skin to keep it dry.

Nappy Thrush

Any person who uses a diaper or nappy can get nappy thrush but it mostly appears in the infants. It is a kind of fungal infection that can be of red or purple color. Nappy thrush can cause shiny, cracked, or puss-filled pimples in the nappy area. Typically, nappy thrush takes two to seven weeks to disappear.

Nappy thrush mostly appears in the skin folds. Such as in the groin, legs, and genitals where the skin remains in the contact with the skin. A baby can develop nappy thrush easily because his immune system is still under development. And they are not strong enough to fight infections.

Nappy thrush mostly takes place when the baby is under medication. If the baby is taking antibiotics then they can affect the levels of good bacteria in the body. This disturbance can allow fungal infections to develop and cause nappy thrush.

Causes of nappy thrush

There are two types of thrush, oral thrush, and nappy thrush. Oral thrush appears in and around the mouth of the baby. Whereas nappy thrush emerges in and around the region of the nappy. Both thrushes occur due to the imbalance in the level of good bacteria in the body of the baby. Let’s explore in detail the causes of nappy thrush as it will also help us to determine the difference between nappy rash and thrush.


Antibiotics are quite helpful to fight any disease and these are totally safe. But sometimes the body of the baby gives an allergic reaction to the antibiotics. The baby can experience vomiting, indigestion, bloating, and abdominal pain. Ultimately, the good bacteria in the body get imbalanced and the body expresses it in the form of nappy thrush.

If the baby is under medication and taking a high dose of antibiotics it can cause nappy thrush. Sometimes mother takes antibiotics and the baby develops nappy thrush. This happens mostly in those babies who are breastfed. The effect of antibiotics gets transferred to the baby’s body by milk and the baby develops nappy thrush.

Fungal infection

There are so many species of fungi and they live in the human skin, plants, and dirt. It is also known as mycosis, which is a type of skin infection or disease. It occurs due to fungus. The baby’s skin is so sensitive and his immune system is not fully developed so he is at higher risk to get a fungal infection and develop nappy thrush.

Carelessness about hygiene

It is very important to deal with a baby with extra care. Whoever takes the baby in his hand, cleaning him or feeding him must wash his hands properly. Sometimes a person is a carrier of infection. When he deals with the baby without using sanitizer or washing hands, he transfers the infection to the baby.

 difference between nappy rash and thrush.
Parents have arranged careful hygienic measures for cleaning the baby.

Sometimes parents lay the baby on the floor and he gets infected. The toys are the favorite soothers and teether of a baby and they usually put them in their mouths. These toys can also transfer the infection to the baby. And the baby develops nappy thrush.


  • Use doctors’ prescribed antifungal medication, like miconazole or nystatin. These are sort of gel or ointments you can apply directly to the infected area.
  • Sterilize, the nipple of the milk bottles, and the feeding equipment.
  • Wash the clothes, towels, toys, and other belongings of the baby properly which continuously remain in contact with the baby.
  • Avoid kissing the baby with oral thrush.
  • Wash your hands carefully before and after cleaning and feeding the baby.
  • Try to keep the infected area dry.
  • Give baby some diaper or nappy free time so that the skin can breathe in the fresh air.


In a nutshell, the difference between nappy rash and thrush may not appear clearly in the beginning. But within a day you can easily determine whether it is nappy rash or the nappy thrush. I am sure, this blog helped you a lot to determine the difference between nappy rash and thrush. It has also educated you about taking preventive measures and treating both nappy rash and thrush.

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About The Author

Qurratulain Nabeel

This is QURRATULAIN - an M.Phil in Applied Psychology. Being a mother of two I tried to put my knowledge into practice, which proved very beneficial for me. By using the platform of I am so pleased to share my experience with people all around the world.

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