Wednesday 28 October 2015


A baby's neck showing what is often described as Nra, Nla, Ela or Jedi Jedi
I've never been able to get a specific name of symptoms for what we locally call that condition in babies where the areas where there are skin folds(like the neck, buttocks, and joints) look inflamed. What is called Jedi-jedi in an area is called Ela, Nla, or Nra in another area. Whatever the name, most mums from this our part of the world know about the condition and can really go about listing treatments for it. Treatments that include some tree herbs, roots or bark to be boiled and either given to the baby to drink or bath with, or even both. Another medical-seeming treatment will be the use of hydrocortisone -containing creams like Visita plus, FunBactA, Skineal etc.

Dear Informed mum, please do not use any medicine or plant part on your baby without first consulting a paediatrician, or at least a family practitioner and not just any medical personnel. Our babies are still too tender to have their skins exposed to substances that may be harsh.
Babies, especially those on the plummy side tend to have friction below their necks, on the ridges on the arms, legs etc. That of the buttocks seem to be common in all babies. The friction makes the area inflamed giving that reddish, fire-like color.

 Informed mums it has nothing to do with what you are eating as some will go ahead to reel out food a nursing mum shouldn't eat. Experts say it's simply friction and the treatment ; just keep the place greasy most especially with petroleum jelly. It reduces the friction. The area around the neck seems to get worse if you have a baby who drools a lot and it clears around 4 months when your baby may have started raising his/her head up and sitting. Do not panic, it's not eating into the intestines as usually speculated. For those around the buttocks, Kindly give your baby one or two diaper-free hours daily and apply a coat of petroleum jelly (vaseline as it's commonly called here) round the baby's buttocks when putting in a diaper or nappy on your baby. This ensures the urine doesn't cling to the baby's skin thereby causing or aggravating the skin irritation. And whenever your baby poos, change the diaper or nappy. Do not leave poo on your baby for long. Mum's using cloth nappies should change wet or soiled nappies more frequently than those using diapers. And if the condition seems to persist, or if your instincts demand so( I always tell mums to trust their instincts), see your baby's doctor. Treatment for babies should only be when absolutely needed.