Yeast infections that affect a baby's diaper area not the same thing as diaper rash. Unfortunately, many well meaning parents use regular diaper cream and baby powder on the yeast infection and this will do nothing to cure it.
A yeast infection is different from a diaper rash in that it appears as a flat, red rash with scalloped edges that have several tiny rashes around it. A yeast infection rash may extend along the pubic area and onto the lower part of the baby's abdomen.
The yeast infections that affect babies are called Candidas albicans, which is the most common cause of all types of yeast infections. A pediatrician can determine whether a rash on the groin or a thrush in the mouth of babies is a yeast infection. To get a definite diagnosis the doctor may examine the scrapings of a yeast infection under a microscope.
Babies who are on antibiotics or who are being breastfed by mothers who are taking antibiotics are at higher risk for yeast infections. That's because antibiotics kill the good bacteria in the body that keep yeast in check. Without these bacteria around, yeast and grow more abundantly.
While applying diaper cream may bring your baby temporary relief from the itching and soreness it will not heal the infection. Without proper treatment, a yeast infection in the baby's diaper area will get progressively worse.
Anti-fungal medications are the only types of medicine that can get rid of yeast infections. Some pediatricians may write a prescription for Nystatin while others may recommend and over the counter medicine like Lotrim AF to treat the diaper yeast infection.
Using antifungal cream, soaking the baby in warm water two times a day and frequent diaper changes will usually clear up a yeast infection within a few days. While you are treating the yeast infection make sure that your baby's diapers are loose enough to let air in. When changing your child's diapers, make sure the skin on his buttocks and groin area is clean and dry.
Some holistic medical practitioners advocate the use of a diaper cream containing tea tree oil to help clear yeast infections in the diaper area. Others recommend using aloe or pressing damp chamomile teabags directly on the baby's rash. If the yeast persists for more than a week or if your baby has fever or chills you should consult with your pediatrician.
Yeast infections in baby's can occur despite our best efforts. However, frequent diaper changes can decrease the chances of an infection occurring. Children with yeast infections in the diaper area should not be excluded from daycare because these types of infections are not contagious.
If your baby recently had thrush (a yeast infection in the mouth), her or she may end up with a yeast infection in the diaper area, too. That's because yeast passes through your baby's digestive system when he eats and winds up in his stool, which naturally lands in his diaper right next to his warm, damp skin. Yeast thrives in warm, damp environments.