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Yeast diaper rashes are one of the most frustrating diaper rashes. One day, it seems to get better, then it’s back full force the next. Not all diaper rashes are created equal, and a yeast diaper rash can be a huge difference. Yeast rashes look different and require other treatments than a typical diaper rash.
Dozens of problems can cause a diaper rash, but Candida is the culprit for yeast rashes. Candida can be hard to kill, and it lives in cloth diapers if they’re not properly treated. I learned that the hard way!
What is a Yeast Diaper Rash?
Yeast diaper rashes are caused by a strain of fungus called Candida. Candida loves warm, moist places, and a diaper fits the requirements. Taking antibiotics, whether the baby does or the breastfeeding mother increases the likelihood of yeast diaper rash.
Around 25 to 50 percent of babies will experience a yeast rash at some point in their infancy. As a child gets older, the risk tends to decrease, and it ends once the baby stops using diapers. Underwear has better air circulation and less moisture, making the environment less ideal for Candida.
Your baby is more likely to deal with Candida if:
- His diaper isn’t kept clean and dry.
- Antibiotics are in his system.
- Your baby is suffering from diarrhea
- The diapers are too tight.
- A concentration of ammonia can cause a yeast diaper rash.
Some doctors believe that thrush in the infant’s mouth is also a risk factor for developing a yeast diaper rash. Thrush is a common problem for infants, presenting as a white substance over the infant’s tongue that can’t be wiped away.
The Signs of a Yeast Diaper Rash
A yeast rash is easy to pinpoint, and they’re common in babies between 4 and 18 months old, but they can occur in any baby or toddler in a diaper. Yeast is identifiable by red dots that cover the rash.
The signs of a yeast diaper rash include:
- A red rash with a slightly raised border.
- The rash continues to hold on after two or more diaper rash treatments.
- Found in the creases of the skin, such as where the legs join with the pelvis.
- Red or scaly areas either on the scrotum and penis for boys or labia and vagina for girls.
- Pimples, ulcers, sores, or blisters with pus.
- Smaller red patches that blend with other patches
8 Ways to Treat a Yeast Diaper Rash
Diaper rashes can be uncomfortable for your baby. They rarely spread beyond the diaper region, but you do want to treat it to help your baby feel better. Yeast can be particularly difficult to treat, so you may need to try several of these methods to fully kick it out of your baby’s system. If you aren’t ready to turn to prescription medicine, here are a few ways to treat a yeast diaper rash.
Change Diapers Often
Having a yeast rash might be a sign that the baby’s diaper isn’t being changed often enough. So, your first step should be to make sure to change your baby’s diaper very frequently.
When my babies have a yeast rash, I set an alarm on my phone to change their diapers every hour. Cleanliness is important, and you want to keep the diaper region clean and dry to get rid of this rash. It can be a pain in the butt, but it’s one of the quickest ways to clear it up.
Candida loves moist locations, and a diaper is a perfect host. So, as soon as you realize your baby has a yeast diaper rash, you need to give your baby’s butt some air time. Most babies and toddlers don’t mind some nakedness time. I let my toddlers run around naked and lay my infants on the ground on top of a towel. As an extra tool to keep your room in a perfect condition is a baby humidifier to moist the air.
Baking Soda Bath
When it’s bath time, sprinkle some baking soda in the bathwater and let your baby soak in the water for a bit. The baking soda helps to soothe the irritation on his butt, and it’ll feel make them feel so much better.
I start giving my babies a probiotic quickly after birth; the Gerber Soothe Probiotics are one of my favorite choices and you can get them at your local grocery store.
Yeast is often a sign that something is going on with the digestive system, which is why it’s linked with antibiotics. Antibiotics destroy the good and bad bacteria in your gut, and you need to put those good probiotics back into your baby’s system.
If your baby is too young to start probiotics or your pediatrician doesn’t recommend taking one, a breastfeeding mother can take a probiotic and her baby can benefit. You can also try putting plain yogurt on your child’s butt, which contains healthy probiotics.
Avoid Cornstarch and Fragrance
Cornstarch is a typical home remedy for diaper rashes, and it works for many rashes but not yeast. It won’t do anything to help a yeast rash. Also, fragrances can make the irritation even worse. For now, avoid using any fragrance wipes on your baby. Instead, use plain water to wipe your baby’s bottom; warm water feels the best.
Coconut oil is all the rage right now, and it makes a great diaper rash cream. It has natural antifungal properties to help it fight the yeast rash. If your baby is over six months old, you can add a drop or two of tea tree oil for an extra antifungal kick to the rash.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar is a cure for many different ailments. Make sure you don’t put it on your baby’s butt directly. Instead, mix the apple cider vinegar with water with a 50/50 ratio. Use a cotton ball and gently dab the mixture on your child’s bottom. Pat dry or give your baby air time afterward, letting his bottom dry naturally.
Try a Prescription
The last thing you will want to try is a prescription from the doctor. The primary treatment requires an antifungal topical treatment. Nystatin is the most common treatment prescribed by doctors, but Clotrimazole and Miconazole are two other choices. These prescriptions are just creams that you spread over the rash at each diaper change for a few days.
When to Call the Doctor
Sometimes, a yeast rash is hard to kick and your pediatrician may have to step in and help. Give your doctor a call if the rash won’t relent or show any signs of improvements after 48 hours. Also, if the rash starts to get worse or involves open sores, don’t waste time and contact your doctor immediately. An open sore is very painful for infants.
Most yeast diaper rashes ease up quickly with the introduction of a cleaner diaper region and an increase in air time. Yeast rashes rarely progress to anything further. Don’t worry; every parent faces at least one of these rashes in their parenthood journey!