A baby yeast infection? Now that just seems unfair. Surely yeast infections should only befall adults who know how to deal with the itch and the burn. Unfortunately, the yeast beast takes no prisoners and can leave your baby feeling all sorts of ick.
The first thing to know is that baby yeast rash is common—and that there is nothing you’re doing wrong. Yeast is something we all have in and on our bodies. It can be found in our mouths, intestines, and skin.
A baby yeast infection simply means that something is throwing your little one’s microbial environment out of whack. Together with your doctor, your task is to find out what’s causing the infection and then move swiftly along to a treatment plan.
To get you started, here are the three things to know about yeast diaper rash:
- What the symptoms are
- What causes it
- How to treat it
Don’t worry, soon that baby yeast infection is going to be a distant memory.
Table of Contents 📝
- What are symptoms of yeast infection in babies?
- What causes yeast rash in babies?
- How do you treat a baby yeast infection?
What are symptoms of yeast infection in babies?
So what does a yeast infection look like on a baby? Quite simply: it’s very red, it’s very itchy, and it hangs out in skin folds.
Yeast loves a moist, warm space. That’s why it thrives in those adorable little skin folds.
Key areas of concern?
- Diaper area
Typically, a baby yeast infection will look like a dark red rash that doesn’t go away when regular diaper rash cream is applied. There may also be some little red bumps outside of the rash territory. The skin in and around the area may be scaly and you may also notice pimples, blisters, or even sores filled with pus.
If your doc suspects a yeast infection, they’ll usually do what is called a KOH test where they scrape off a tiny bit of skin and look at it under a microscope to search for fungus. Unfortunately, yes, the scraping can be a little uncomfortable, though it’s not usually painful.
Yeast diaper rash
To make matters more complicated, a baby yeast infection can cleverly disguise itself as regular ol’ diaper rash. You may uncover this crafty trick when you apply diaper rash cream and realize that it is powerless against the mighty yeast. If your baby’s bum rash doesn’t respond to standard cream, check in with your doc to see if they need to test for a yeast infection.
Yeast infection on baby face
If you’ve noticed red, scaly areas on your baby’s face, this could be what is called seborrheic dermatitis (or the far-easier-to-say: cradle cap). This is a common yeast infection and affects up to 10% of children in their first three months of life. These tiny red bumps can be burny and itchy for your little one (and, of course, distressing for you).
So why do baby yeast infections even happen? Let’s take a look:
What causes yeast rash in babies?
Yeast infection (AKA thrush, AKA Candidiasis) is usually caused by a fungus known as Candida. Candida is living on us and in us and, unless it grows to proportions that our bodies don’t like, it is pretty harmless. In very rare cases, a baby yeast infection can spread to the blood and can become serious—but this is an anomaly.
Baby yeast infection can affect your little one from the time they are born until toddlerdom. Hot, humid weather can make your baby more susceptible—so if you live in a climate where you’re all prone to a natural glow, chances are that your baby is more at risk.
Here are some other possible causes:
Infant yeast rash causes
- They got it from their mama. (Don’t worry. They’re going to get a whole lot of other awesome things from you, too.) Newborns can get an infant yeast rash from their mamas. These infections may have developed while they were in the womb. It’s also possible that a baby yeast infection can be transmitted during birth.
- Underlying health conditions. While often harmless, a baby yeast infection can be a sign that something else is up. Babies with conditions that lead to low immune systems are more susceptible. Low birthweight or needing an IV catheter can result in a baby yeast infection.
Toddler yeast infection causes
- Antibiotics. If your little one has been on antibiotics for any reason, the microbial environment in that little body may be a bit disrupted. It’s a good idea to keep antibiotic usage to only when it’s necessary and always under the guidance of your doctor.
- Diabetes. In children over 2 years old, Candida infections can be a sign of diabetes. If you are at all concerned about this, chat with your doc. Diabetes can be managed.
Next question: How do you treat a yeast diaper rash?
How do you treat a baby yeast infection?
The most common treatment for baby yeast infection is an antifungal cream that you can apply directly to the spots in question.
If the infection is in the mouth, your doc may prescribe a specific oral anti-fungal cream that is safe to use in this area.
And that should usually do the trick! In some cases, baby yeast infections recur and you may need to work with your doctor to resolve this.
But if all goes well, your little one should be right as rain within about two weeks.
And of course, prevention is always better than cure. Regular diaper changes can make the area unsuitable for a yeast party. And try to use antibiotics only when really needed. That helps too.