What Are the Symptoms of a Yeast Diaper Rash?

How to tell if that diaper rash is caused by infection with yeast

Mother changing baby's diaper, cropped
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Question: I've been treating my baby's diaper rash with traditional creams and allowing plenty of diaper-free time to air out her bottom, but the diaper rash won't go away. Could this be a yeast diaper rash? 

Answer: A stubborn diaper rash that refuses to go away despite typical treatment with diaper rash cream might possibly be a yeast diaper rash. If the yeast infection goes untreated, there will be telltale signs to help you tell the difference.

Yeast Diaper Rash Causes

Diaper rashes caused by infection with a yeast (fungus) called Candida are most common in babies between four and 15 months old. While this can happen to any child—after all, Candida grows best in warm, moist places like under a diaper—there are several factors that may increase your infants risk of developing this type of diaper rash. These include: 

  • Not being kept clean and dry
  • Taking antibiotics or having a breastfeeding mother who is taking antibiotics 
  • Having frequent stools or diarrhea
  • Wearing too-tight diapers that rub the skin
  • Having reactions to cleaning products used for cloth diapers

Symptoms of a Yeast Diaper Rash

Take a peak under your baby’s diaper. If it's a yeast diaper rash, you'll see some or all of the following symptoms: 

  • The bold red rash will be contained with a slightly raised border.
  • "Satellite lesions" may appear. These are smaller spots of inflamed areas separated from the main rash.
  • The skin may become scaly.
  • The rash is still hanging around after two days of diaper rash treatments.
  • The infection is in the skin folds of the groin area.

If your baby has a yeast infection, she may not necessarily need to see a doctor right away. The yeast infection may be nipped in the bud with over-the-counter yeast infection treatments.

 

However, if she develops a fever or the rash begins oozing or has open sores, be sure to reach out to your health provider. This could be a sign of a bacterial infection that requires medical attention.

Signs to Contact Your Pediatrician

Call your doctor if. . . 

  • Your baby is less than six weeks old
  • The rash gets worse or doesn't subside 
  • The rash spreads to the abdomen, back, arms or face
  • The rash is accompanied by a fever 
  • You notice pimples, blisters or large sores filled with pus

Where to Go From Here

Babies can experience a host of skin conditions—from cradle cap to eczema to baby acne and more. These four articles will help you identify any potential problems and offer tips for caring for your infant's soft, sensitive skin:

Source: National Institutes of Health

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