There is nothing worse than hearing the sweet and innocent noise of a baby crying. As every parent, caregiver and doctor knows, every infant cry means something different, even if they sound the same. Some babies cry because they are hungry, tired, cranky, teething or in pain. One of the painful things an infant or toddler can go through is a yeast diaper rash. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the diaper itself that causes the rash but the components inside the diaper such as feces, that can cause a yeast diaper rash to occur. This type of diaper rash is more common among 4-15-month-old infants. There are several ways on how to treat a yeast diaper rash and each baby reacts to every treatment differently.
Normal diaper rashes and yeast diaper rashes can appear similar, but the following symptoms are mainly applicable to yeast diaper rashes.
- Small bumps or pimple-like bumps outside the border of the butt
- Scaly and/or flaky bumps
- Infection in the folds of the skin
- Red rash
- Slightly raised skin
- Raw skin
- Tenderness to the touch
- Does not go away after a couple days of normal diaper rash treatment
There are a few things that can cause a yeast diaper rash. Sometimes a toddler is on the go and refuses (throws a temper tantrum) to change their diapers. Not having an extra diaper handy or a chance to change a dirty diaper immediately can be contributing factors to the development of a yeast diaper rash. Other causes of this type of rash include:
- Allergic reaction
- Yeast infection
- Diaper is too tight
- Have diarrhea
- Sleep in dirty diapers
- Bacterial infection
- Leaving a wet or dirty diaper on for extended period
There is no shame in brining your baby to the doctor or ER if you suspect there is something wrong. Just because your child has a yeast diaper rash it does not make you a bad parent. Upon a physical examination, doctors will determine the type of rash your child has and how to treat a yeast diaper rash. If your child’s rash doesn’t go away with treatment or the rash spreads, seeking medical attention is always the best option. Doctors can also test the affected area by doing a KOH test. This test uses a sample of skin to determine if the yeast Candida is present.
Once a yeast diaper rash is confirmed, it is time to treat it properly. Here are some tips on how to treat a yeast diaper rash. One of the best things to do is to free your baby from their diaper. Let them sit on a clean towel or cloth (without a diaper or creams) so their skin can get fresh air. Clean the affected area with warm water and let the bum completely dry, whether it be with a towel or air dry. Apply creams such as Lotrimin, Mycostatin or Monistat to the affected area up to three times a day. It is best to apply these creams the morning, afternoon and evening. Avoid applying the cream during the night to diminish the risk of prolonged diaper use with the cream. Do not use regular diaper creams to treat this form of infection because they will not help. Do not use powder or cornstarch on the yeast diaper rash because it can make the infection worse. Besides creams that contain clotrimazole, one can apply a mild corticosteroid cream to get rid of the rash. Most yeast diaper rashes will clear up within two to three days following the use of an anti-fungal treatment.
It is important to always protect babies and toddlers from “harmful” infections and unwanted rashes. Below is a list of prevention tips to avoid a yeast diaper rash.
- Frequently change diapers
- Wash the genital area with warm water after changing the diaper
- Do not use extra moist baby wipes
- Limit the use of baby wipes when changing a diaper
- Bathe your baby everyday
- Always wash your hands before changing their diaper to avoid contamination of bacteria or infections.
- Wipe from front to back and never back to front because excess feces can get trapped in the genital area, especially for baby girls.
- Let the skin dry before applying creams or powder
Remember that a yeast diaper rash is very common among babies and toddlers. More than half of babies have developed some form of rash during their diaper days and half of those types of rashes are yeast infected.