What is yeast diaper rash?
A yeast diaper rash is a common rash that develops on the bums of babies and young toddlers. “It’s very normal in infants and toddlers,” says Natasha Burgert, MD, FAAP, pediatrician at Pediatrics Associates in Kansas City, Missouri. “Yeast is a fungus that lives on your skin and in the intestines, and when you have a warm, moist environment in the diaper area, it can cause a bit of a rash.”
While all kinds of fungal infections are more common in people who have weakened immune systems, a yeast diaper rash is almost always nothing to worry about. (Yeast, by the way, is also known as Candida, its scientific name.)
What are the symptoms of yeast diaper rash in babies?
“Look for the red dots,” Burgert advises. “If you see a red diaper rash that has little red dots on the border, that’s a classic yeast diaper rash.”
Are there any tests for yeast diaper rash?
Nope. A yeast diaper rash is almost always diagnosed by its distinctive appearance.
How common is yeast diaper rash in babies?
Yeast diaper rash is super-common, Burgert says. Up to half of all babies develop diaper rash, and up to half of those are caused by yeast.
How did my baby get a yeast diaper rash?
Yeast, like all kinds of fungus, grows best in a warm, wet, dark environment. It also tends to thrive on irritated skin — which is why yeast diaper rash is extraordinarily common among the diaper-wearing set. The longer your child sits in a wet or dirty diaper, the more likely he or she is to develop a yeast diaper rash.
What’s the best way to treat yeast diaper rash in babies?
Over-the-counter antifungal creams, such as Lotrimin and Nystatin, are very effective in treating yeast diaper rash. Simply apply one to the affected area at each diaper change. “Try that first,” Burgert says. “If that doesn’t work in 48 hours, call your doctor.”
Prescription antifungal creams can be used as well, but the OTC meds are almost always enough to take care of the problem.
Of course, it’s also important to keep your child as clean and dry as possible. Change diapers frequently — and see if you can sneak in some “diaper-free” time so the area breaths.
What can I do to prevent my baby from getting yeast diaper rash?
Keep your baby clean and dry. Change diapers frequently and apply a barrier cream, such as zinc oxide, as needed.
What do other moms do when their babies have yeast diaper rash?
“[My son] got yeast right off the bat because I had antibiotics after delivery. It totally sucks! I feel your pain. At the time, I just used some Monistat (at the pediatrician's recommendation). He also had oral thrush, so he was on Nystatin. I've since learned that the magical cure is to mix Monistat, Maalox and a barrier cream (I used A+D). I just used that on it, and it cleared things mostly up within a day and completely within three.”
“[My daughter] had a yeast rash within a week as well. Our midwife just recommended we use Canesten. No issues and it cleared up quick.”
“For the last five months my daughter has had a yeast diaper rash off and on. We have tried everything — Nystatin, Lotrimin, Diflucan — to kill the yeast externally, Griseofulvin to kill the yeast internally, and now we’re on a mix of Questran/Aquaphor ointment. It takes about a week to get rid of it with ointments and meds, but then it always comes back! Sometimes it’s only a few days later; sometimes it’s a few weeks later. I’ve given her probiotics and yogurt every day for the past five months, and it hasn’t made one bit of difference. The pediatrician now wants to refer us to a dermatologist. I just...think it’s an internal problem — that her body is overproducing yeast.”
Are there any other resources for yeast diaper rash in babies?
The Bump expert: Natasha Burgert, MD, FAAP, pediatrician at Pediatric Associates in Kansas City, Missouri. She blogs at kckidsdoc.com.