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Nappy rash is an absolute horror by all accounts - ammonia from urine effects the skin much like a burn would, making it red, sore, and in extreme cases blistered. You can reduce the risks of your baby getting it in the first place by changing nappies regularly, using talcum powder to help them keep dry and by applying cream at the first hint of redness. I've been trying sudo cream, and as my mother bought me a pot of Drapolene, I've given that a go as well.
Drapolene comes in 200gram tubs and isn't terribly expensive - prices will of course vary depending on where you shop, but it seems to be priced about the same as any other skin creams. The cream is a pink colour and has a 'medical' sort of smell - probably because the cream has antiseptic qualities. Apply to the bottom and genitalia of your baby - especially if you have noticed any signs of redness. It won't all soak in - leave a layer on the surface and then put the nappy on. It provides a barrier against ammonia, and helps to soothe the skin. The cream has lanolin in it, and soft parafin, as well as other waxy things. These help to keep the skin moist and supple. The cream is cool and will take the heat out of more advanced stages of rash, and the antiseptic bit is very good for dealing with more extreme cases.
If your baby has full blown nappy rash, then by all accounts this is a good thing to use. For preventative purposes I still think Sudo cream is the better choice - it forms a better protective layer over the skin, it is easier to apply because Drapolene is a touch too thin I think - harder to make a good layer of it.
My conclusion is if you are just starting out and want to avoid your child getting nappy rash, use Sudo cream. If that doesn't work, or nappy rash has already developped, get in some Drapolene.
Drapolene can, according to the pot, be used for urinary dermititus in adults, and is actually very good for minor burns - which are much the same as nappy rash in terms of how they affect you. If you get a burn, get it under cold water for at least ten minutes, pat it dry with something that won't shed fluff into it, and then smear a layer of drapolene over it - this will keep out bugs and keep in the fluids your skin produces to help it heal.
You can also use it for spreeze.(Don't know if that's the proper name for it.) If you get skin damp and then chaffed (very easy to do if you are a child playing outside in the snow, I remember) you end up with very sore red skin. My parents always kept drapolene against such eventualities, and it always worked very nicely.
So, even if you don't have a baby to look after, its well worth having a pot of this stuff in the house. it lasts for ages and if you keep the lid on it doesn't seem to go off or anything of that ilk.