A diaper rash yeast infection can bring a lot of questions and worry to moms and itchiness and pain to the baby. Understanding why diaper rash blisters occur is essential — so is knowing how to prevent it.
Diaper Rash Yeast Infections | What They Are and How to Prevent Them
In This Article:
- What Causes Diaper Rash Yeast Infection?
- How Does It Happen?
- Compare the Different Types of Rashes
- How to Get Rid of Diaper Rash
- Natural Diaper Rash Yeast Infection Remedies
What Causes Diaper Rash Yeast Infection?
The cause of a diaper rash yeast infection is Candida albicans. There are more than 15 different types of it, and they can lead to a fungal infection. It’s called candidiasis. The actual name depends on where this infection happens. For example, in the mouth, it’s an oral thrush.
These yeasts are more common than you think. They tend to multiply in the gastrointestinal tract and the mouth. They can also be on the skin and the mucous membranes.
The body can have a lot of them, but they’re actually harmless. A diaper rash in newborn develops when they multiply at a fast rate. By then, the person has developed an overgrowth of the organism.
How Does It Happen?
Many factors can lead to a diaper rash yeast infection. One of these is the environment it’s in.
Like other organisms, yeast needs the right “habitat” to grow and multiply. To develop a baby diaper rash, its surroundings must be warm and moist. It can achieve that when the skin is inside a soiled or wet diaper. Thick cotton diapers tend to keep the moisture close to the baby’s skin as well. Disposable diapers that aren’t super-absorbent can have the same effect.
If your child has been taking antibiotics, it’s possible the rash is due to the medication. This can disturb the ideal flora (or the environment of the organisms in the gut). One of the possible consequences is the increased growth of candida.
Some believe eating food high in sugar can increase the risk of the yeast infection. Science tends to have mixed opinions about it. Yeast infection, though, is common among those with diabetes.
Compare the Different Types of Rashes
Only a pediatrician can officially diagnose a diaper rash yeast infection. He or she is also the only one responsible for recommending the right treatment. As a mom, you can try to look for clues.
An allergic response to diapers, ointments, or detergent can cause an “angry red bottom.” Sometimes, there are areas of worn-away skin.
An infection can happen when bacteria enters the wounds that developed from an earlier rash. Overly vigorous cleaning can also cause cuts and wounds.
Bacterial diaper rashes often leave tiny blisters and scabs. You may also see a “ring” around the anal area.
Contact dermatitis usually occurs in places where the diapers dig into a baby’s skin. These are around the waist and leg openings. There will be a bit of swelling and pinkish skin in those areas.
A diaper rash yeast infection in babies also have unique characteristics. It mostly occurs in the folds of flesh in the baby’s diaper area. It also grows around the testicles or vulva. One telltale sign is a large reddish spot surrounded by clusters of smaller spots. You may also see pus-filled blisters and scabs within the folds of the skin.
How to Get Rid of Diaper Rash
The best diaper rash treatment depends on many factors. These include the actual site, severity, and symptoms.
Here are some of the common treatments for a diaper rash yeast infection:
1. Apply Anti-Fungal Rash Ointments
One of the prescribed treatments for a diaper rash yeast infection is an anti-fungal ointment. It can be oral or topical (applied to the skin). It’s possible for the doctor to recommend both. The topical creams such as ketoconazole can relieve the itchiness and redness. The oral medications can target the possible overgrowth inside the body. Either way, antifungals can prevent the yeast from multiplying.
These medications can be over the counter (OTC) or prescription. A pediatrician may recommend an OTC drug if it’s only a mild diaper rash. A severe diaper rash treatment may involve different types of antifungals. The program may also last for several days.
2. Choose the Right Diaper
Pediatricians tend to disagree which between cloth or disposable diapers can cause rashes frequently. Some babies develop allergies to the dyes or scents in the cheaper disposables. They, though, seem to do a better job at absorbing moisture. In other words, they prevent creating the ideal environment for a diaper rash yeast infection.
The solution? Use the one you feel most comfortable. (The environmental implications of both types are about the same in case you are wondering. Disposables take up space in landfills, but cloth diapers require more energy and water to clean.) Make sure to keep diaper rash prevention in mind when selecting products.
If you use cloth diapers, change them more frequently. Use breathable diaper covers rather than the old-fashioned plastic pants that trap moisture.
If you prefer disposables, select the types marked as extra-absorbent. It helps lower the odds of a diaper rash. In addition, look for packaging that’s marked as free of harsh chemicals and dyes.
3. Change the Nappy
We get it: you want to get through a messy diaper change as quickly as possible. Doing it right will help prevent diaper rashes in the future. It can also keep current diaper rashes from getting worse.
The first task is sometimes the hardest: don’t put off the change. Let’s not pretend that you and your co-parent don’t sometimes hope the other will notice that heavy-looking or foul-smelling diaper first. That’s only natural.
Changing the diaper as soon as it’s wet or soiled will whisk away yeast-causing irritants quickly, too.
Before you carry the baby to the changing area, make a quick trip to the sink for yourself. Washing your hands with mild soap removes any bacteria or irritants you would otherwise pass on during the change. Even if you have to redress your baby right after a change, make sure the area is completely dry before putting a new diaper on.
4. Skip the Baby Wipes
Your baby’s doctor may recommend you use water and clean cloth each time you do the diaper change. In fact, giving up baby wipes altogether can reduce irritation. Wash reusable cloths with hot water and gentle detergent.
If you do use baby wipes, make sure they’re as natural as possible. Many commercial baby wipe products contain chemical scents and alcohol. These tend to create or worsen diaper rash in some babies.
5. Use a Barrier Ointment
Besides the anti-fungal ointments, you can reduce the chances of a diaper rash yeast infection with a barrier ointment. It creates a shield between a baby’s skin and the warm, moist air of the diaper.
If your baby already has a diaper rash, put the barrier ointment over the anti-fungal diaper rash ointment.
6. Go Bare Whenever Possible
Exposure to the air is one of the best medicines for diaper rash yeast infection in babies. After you’ve cleaned or bathed the kid, give them time without any bottoms on. If the baby is not fussy, you can let them lie down or sit on a washable towel.
For older babies who run around the house, you may have to be prepared for a few clean-ups, but it’s worth it for healthier skin. The practice may even lead the way toward earlier potty training. Experts say taking away the safety net of a diaper makes toddlers more aware of body functions.
7. Say No to Talcum
Finally, say no to anything powdery. Talcum powder has been found to have long-term health implications. It can get into your baby’s lungs or enter the bloodstream. Cornstarch, while a natural alternative, can often make a diaper rash worse. This powdery substance acts as a conduit for spreading fungi and bacteria.
Natural Diaper Rash Yeast Infection Remedies
You may prefer to use natural ingredients to alternate or replace diaper rash ointment for a mild rash. Coconut oil and shea butter are emollients that can have antibacterial and antifungal properties. These are both semisolid in thickness – a bit like petroleum jelly. If you like to make a homemade formula, combine equal parts shea butter (or a shea and coconut oil combination) with calendula oil. Calendula contains linoleic acid, which helps ease swelling and redness. Many moms tend to love a diaper cream with calendula.
Lavender essential oil may be safe and soothing for babies. Add a drop or two to your blend. For easy blending, heat the mixture for about 10 seconds in the microwave and then stir. Before it re-hardens, add a few pieces of beeswax for extra solidity. So far, it’s safe to use on the baby’s bottom, upper legs, and other creases. Don’t rub it directly on the genital area.
If you’re planning to use alternative treatments, talk with your pediatrician first.
Get more ideas on how to deal with diaper rash yeast infections straight from a pediatrician. Watch this video by Paul Thomas, MD:
On its own, a diaper rash yeast infection is no cause for panic. If left untreated, though, it can lead to more serious infections. If you just can’t seem to get the rash under control, contact your pediatrician. It’s easy for a parent to mistake one type of diaper rash for another and not use the best treatment options. Lastly, it’s also possible your baby will need prescription diaper rash yeast treatment.
How do you treat your baby’s diaper rash yeast infection? Share your tips below!