Most people when they think about yeast infections, they think about women, not about babies. But both boys and girls can get a yeast diaper rash. Because pretty much everybody has some yeast in their body, which is just a kind of fungus.
This fungus grows best in warm and wet environments. So that’s why it’s so popular for women in that special place. But if your baby has a diaper rash, and you don’t do anything about it, it can turn into a yeast infection (Candida albicans).
How To Tell If It’s a Yeast Infection (And Not Just A Diaper Rash)?
In the early stages it’s quite difficult to differentiate a yeast infection from a normal diaper rash, but if the “diaper rash” turns beefy red (see picture) and the borders are very sharp (and not just kind of fading out) and kind of slightly raised (you can feel it when you move your fingertips along them) then it’s probably a yeast infection, and not just a normal diaper rash. There will usually also be “satellite” spots sprinkled around the main red area, and sometimes the skin can be scaly.
What’s more, a yeast diaper rash usually persists for more than two days, and the things that usually help to make a normal diaper rash go away won’t work.
Yeast Diaper Rash Treatments
What works most of the time are topical anti-yeast or antifungal creams:
Follow the usage instructions that come with the cream, and of course ideally consult with a pediatrician first. Usually a yeast diaper rash will disappear after a couple of days if you do this.
Normal diaper creams don’t help.
If you don’t want to use the above creams, you can also try acidophilus. This is basically the natural gut bacteria, but in powdered form. You can take the powder and mix it with a bit of water or breast milk into a paste, and than gently rub the paste into your babies mouth. If you’re bottle-feeding your baby you can also add a teaspoon of it into the bottle.
We recommend either Primadophilus® Children or using pure acidophilus powder. (Please double-check manufacturers dosage instructions and/or consult with your pediatrician).
When to see a doctor?
If after three days the rash hasn’t at least gotten substantially better, definitely see your pediatrician.
Other symptoms that require seeing a doctor:
- open sores
- oozing yellow patches
How To Prevent Yeast Diaper Rash
There are no guarantees, but the best way to prevent an outbreak of yeast infection are to not expose your baby to the environment in which the fungus thrives.
When you chose diapers for your baby, make sure that they aren’t too tight. In very tight diapers there is little air circulation, and that’s good for yeast, alas bad for your baby.
Also make sure that you change diapers regularly and as soon as possible when he has urinated or pooed.
Make sure to clean your baby’s bottom thoroughly after he has pooed, and don’t immediately put on the next diaper – let the bottom dry a bit in the open air. In general it’s a good idea to sometimes play with your baby with no diapers on.
And if you (as a breastfeeding mother) or your baby is about to undergo an antibiotic treatment, then taking acidophilus (see above) can also help to prevent a yeast diaper rash.