What is yeast diaper rash?
A yeast diaper rash (aka. Candida Albicans) is a common rash that develops on the bums of babies and young toddlers. “It’s very normal in infants and toddlers,” says Natasha Burgert, MD, FAAP, pediatrician at Pediatrics Associates in Kansas City, Missouri. “Yeast is a fungus that lives on your skin and in the intestines, and when you have a warm, moist environment in the diaper area it can grow causing a bit of a rash." A bad yeast rash can take weeks or months to completely go away, and can easily keep going away and coming back over and over, until you finally treat it properly & effectively.
What are the symptoms of yeast diaper rash?
- a rash that sticks around for more than a couple days and doesn't change with use of regular diaper rash creams.
- beefy red, with slightly raised borders and "satellite" lesions on the outer edges of the rash.
- look for red dots, if you see a red diaper rash that has little red dots on the border, that’s a classic yeast diaper rash.
- on boys is tends to start on or generally be on the babies scrotum whereas regular diaper rash doesn't tend to get in the folds of the scrotum. (or cause redness in that area)
- babies who've recently taken antibiotics (or breastfeeding from a mother whom has) might be more likely to develop a yeast rash.
- it is also likely if a yeast rash going on in the diaper area, its possible there is thrush (yeast) in the babies mouth and/or on mothers nipples if breastfeeding. All of these areas must be treated as well, in order to completely combat the yeast overgrowth.
Here's what you need to do to treat it:
- Wash your hands before and after changing your babies diaper.
- Change baby after every pee (right away!!!) & change more frequently that you normally do until the rash is gone.
- Keep the diaper area clean and dry. Bathe at least once a day with mild soap and rinse well.
- NO Disposable Wipes, apparently, there are ingredients in the traditional disposable wipes that feed yeast! Instead, buy or make cloth wipes right away. You can even use paper towels with plain water until you get cloth wipes.
- Use Earth Mama Angel Baby Balm, or Motherlove thrush ointment at every change!
- Use lanolin, or nystatin (nystatin is a prescription, only goes on 3x/day) Remember to use liners for these, they are not cloth diaper safe! All rash creams should be applied using a clean applicator, q-tip, cotton pad etc. The reason for using an applicator is to reduce the chance of contamination.
- Do not use Petroleum Jelly or Cornstarch when dealing with a yeast infection. Both of these will feed the yeast.
- Give your baby diaper free time for 1 hour everyday (timely after your baby poops) air out those buns! (outdoors if possible)
Treating your diapers after a bout with YEAST the BEAST:
- Anything that comes in contact with baby's bottom needs to be treated for killing the yeast each and every time after use (diapers, wipes, liners, soakers).
- Wash your diapers on HOT the first cycle with 3/4 the recommended amount of detergent and then 2-3 more cycles no detergent.
- Take your shells & pods out of the wash and toss in the dryer on med- low till dry.
- If the cause of your rash is worsened because of detergent buildup (see below on how to detect detergent build up), stripping at home, or at a Diaper Service will help that too. Stripping your diapers and then only use baking soda in place of detergent for a few weeks. When washing your normal load of diapers with detergent, use the least amount possible, we recommend 1/4 of the recommended amount for the load.
- Reminder: SoftBums doesn't recommend the use of vinegar or bleach on your diapers. Using these methods for stripping diapers will void your warranty. Never soak your shells (or if you do only soak them in water), and don't use the sanitize cycle if you have one. These things can severely degrade every part of your diaper, from the elastic to the fabric itself.
- Try using GSE (grapefruit seed extract, found on amazon) or tea tree oil in your wash to kill the yeast spores (15-20 drops)
- Apply yogurt directly to the bum, the live active probiotics will help get rid of the yeast.
- Let your baby sleep bare bottomed on a waterproof mattress pad and towels. Airing out time is good for their skin.
- Change your baby right away, as soon as they pee.
- Coconut oil can also be used as a barrier cream because it has antifungal properties, and its cloth diaper safe!
- A solution of 2 cups distilled water, 2-5 drops of tea tree oil and 2-5 drops of lavender oil makes a great anti-fungal wipe solution!
- Lessen the amount of detergent you use in your regular diaper laundry! Only use 1/4 of the recommended amount for the load, too much detergent can cause diaper rash!
(for top loaders) use 1 tbsp. less for HE front loaders
- Try adding probiotics to their diet to help keep the good bacteria level up in their tummy.
- If on antibiotics, change their diaper more frequently knowing they are more susceptible to yeast growth, yeast can multiply in the right conditions in 20 minutes.
- Diapers should be changed no later than 10 minutes after you know they pooped and generally every 2-2.5 hours during the day.
- Apply a barrier cream (cloth diaper safe of course) at every diaper change.
- Make sure the diaper is never too tight fitting, if the bottom cant get air flow yeast will grow!
It is easy to confused yeast rash with detergent build up rash because they look similar, and like yeast rash it wont go away until you do something about it. The easiest way to tell if you have detergent buildup is do a sniff test.
- On a dry clean diaper, it should mostly smell like nothing. If it smells like a strong perfume or other scent it probably has buildup.
- On a wet recently peed on diaper, it shouldn't smell like much at all. If it smells like strong ammonia or perfume, it's got buildup. You need to strip your diapers and then wash with ONLY baking soda for a few weeks.
How do I strip my diapers you ask?
1. Load washer with diapers, shells, pods, wipes.
2. Wash on Hot and Water Level HIGH with 3/4 the recommended amount of detergent
3. Wash on Hot and Water Level HIGH with NO Detergent
4. Wash on Hot and Water Level HIGH with NO detergent
5. Pull wet diapers from washer, and sniff them. They should smell fresh and clean. (if they still smell a bit fishy or like ammonia still, repeat #1 - 3, but only use 1/4 the recommended amount of detergent. Rinse an additional 1-2 times till they pass the sniff test.
Read more about stripping diapers here: http://bit.ly/13A3by5
Read More about cloth diaper safe creams here: http://bit.ly/14icouR
What are some of your tips for combating yeast diaper rash?