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Yeast Diaper Rash

What Causes a Yeast Diaper Rash?

Yeast is normally found on the skin of all humans and tends to be more heavily concentrated in moist areas. If the skin breaks even a tiny bit, these fungal invaders could get in there and develop into an infection. The most common type of yeast to cause a diaper rash is Candida albicans.
A yeast diaper rash is a common result of a simple diaper rash that has gotten worse.
Yeast diaper rashes are particularly common after treatment with antibiotics. Antibiotics kill bacteria -- even the good bacteria that normally keep the yeast population in check. If your baby is receiving antibiotics directly or through your breast milk, the yeast can overgrow quickly and cause the symptoms of a yeast diaper rash to appear.
Frequent yeast diaper rashes in young children could also be a sign of:
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis
  • A problem with the immune system.

Treating a Yeast Diaper Rash

The best treatment for a yeast diaper rash is to treat it for what it is. It is a fungal infection. Several over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal treatments have been used successfully in treating this type of diaper rash.
Before applying any of these creams, talk with your child's healthcare provider for his or her treatment suggestions.
You will have to search beyond the baby section to find most antifungals. Clotrimazole (an often recommended antifungal) is usually found in the athlete's foot section, and miconazole is found in the women's vaginal yeast infection section. Nystatin or ketoconazole (both available only with a prescription) may also be recommended.
There is one commercial prescription-only diaper rash ointment available -- Vusion® ointment, which contains miconazole (an antifungal), zinc oxide (a barrier skin protectant), and white petrolatum (also a barrier skin protectant). This product is specifically approved for treating yeast diaper rash.
Antifungal creams or ointments are applied to the diaper area beneath the barrier ointment at least two to three times a day until the rash gets better.
In order to allow the rash to heal more quickly, you should follow the other treatment suggestions for a regular diaper rash. This includes keeping the affected clean and dry, along with applying a protective barrier cream or ointment with each diaper change.
(Click Diaper Rash Treatment for specific suggestions on curing a diaper rash, including those caused by yeast.)
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