Your baby’s precious bottom is red and angry, and no matter how much cream you slather on and it’s not getting any better. Pee pees bring painful screeches, and you are officially out of ideas to make it stop. Chances are you are dealing with a yeast diaper rash, the pesky, persistent cousin of the run-of-the-mill baby butt rash. We’ve been there, Mama. Anyone who wears a diaper can get a yeast diaper rash, including babies and toddlers. And in most cases, a yeast rash is no biggie if you know how to identify a fungal diaper rash and use the proper treatment.
If you’re beating yourself up because your baby has a yeast diaper rash, know that between a quarter and a half of all babies get some type of diaper rash. Of those, between 15 and 50 percent are due to yeast. It’s really common.
If your little one is howling in pain and you need some tips and answers now, here’s what you need to know.
How do I know if my baby has a yeast diaper rash?
Yeast diaper rash is caused by the same candida yeast that gives babies thrush. Candida is all over our skin, our digestive system, and nether regions, but candida can overgrow when things get out of whack and cause trouble. So first, if the baby is already dealing with thrush, that’s a good clue the diaper rash is yeast-fueled. And nursing mothers on antibiotics are not just at risk of yeast infections themselves, babies drinking the breastmilk might feel some of the same effects. So if antibiotics are in the baby’s system, they may be more susceptible to a fungal diaper rash.
Heads up, if you think your baby has thrush, they can pass it back to you; nipple thrush is a thing. Sorry!
What does a yeast diaper rash look like?
Regular diaper rash is smooth, has the appearance of chapped skin, is isolated in the general diaper area, and goes away after a few passes with diaper rash cream. A yeast infection rash will typically have raised sores that look like little pimples and will be located in the folds of the skin rather than on the smooth flat areas like butt cheeks.
— Baby girl yeast diaper rash: A baby girl’s yeast rash will tend to concentrate on the vulva and, like any other itchy, burning vaginal yeast infection, might produce some yellowish discharge.
— Baby boy yeast diaper rash: A baby boy’s yeast infection might cause scaling, redness, or a rash on the penis.
Candidiasis yeast overgrowth could also cause patches that ooze clear fluid, cracks or fissures around the corners of the mouth or swelling, pain, or even pus coming out of the nail beds, per the University of Rochester Medical Center.
How do you treat a yeast diaper rash?
Number one: you know your baby better than anyone else. If they start running a fever or if the rash keeps getting bigger, take them to see the pediatrician and get a prescription.
If you’re looking for a topical, at-home fix, even the best diaper rash cream won’t help. It would be best if you had an antifungal like Clotrimazole antifungal cream, the active ingredient in Lotrimin, Monistat Derm (which contains miconazole micatin), and Mycostatin with nystatin, which you can find at the pharmacy. Some of these options can be found in the “athlete’s foot” section. Athlete’s foot is a fungus, too, along with ringworm. It goes without saying you should always consult with your pediatrician before using any over-the-counter creams. You should also make sure the baby’s tender skin can tolerate the cream before applying. You should start to see improvement after a couple of days. If not, head to the pediatrician.
While treating fungus with creams, remember those itchy little buggers love warm, dark, moist places — like diapers. Give baby a thorough bath to clean the rash, and then make sure you dry their little undercarriage completely before putting a diaper back on them.
Better yet, lose the diaper altogether and let their little bum breathe for the ultimate free spirit treatment. Open air and sunlight are fungus Kryptonite. When going commando isn’t an option, make sure to keep diaper changing on the reg to keep things dry and clean while that precious tooshie heals.
How to prevent yeast diaper rash?
The best way to keep your baby safe from yeast diaper rash is to keep their bottoms dry and well taken care of. Here are a few tips to protect your baby and their booties.
- Bathe your child in warm water.
- After changing the baby, allow their bottoms to air dry before putting another diaper on them.
- Give your baby some diaper-free time!
- Try to stay on top of their changing schedule. Don’t leave your baby in a dirty diaper for too long.
- Use diaper cream on your baby’s bottom to protect them from their excretions, which can cause rashes.
- In addition to wiping your baby, clean them with water during diaper changes.
- Avoid putting their diapers on too tight. Make sure they have breathing room down there.
- Invest in super absorbent diapers to keep your baby’s skin as dry as possible.
- If your child uses cloth diapers, when you wash and dry them avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets.
- When wiping your little one during diaper changes, don’t use baby wipes that are heavily scented with perfumes.
- Make sure you wash your hands before and after each diaper change.
- Avoid putting your baby in rubber bottoms because it traps moisture in the skin.