Diapers and tiny baby butts are part of a parent’s daily life. Unfortunately, diaper rash can be quite common, too. However, there’s a difference between a regular diaper rash and a yeast diaper rash. If you think your baby might have the latter, this article is for you.

We’ll discuss what causes a yeast diaper rash as well as what symptoms to look for. We’ll also share tips for treating this specific type of rash.

But before we dive in, let’s talk about exactly what this yeast diaper rash is and how it differs from other diaper rashes.

What Is A Yeast Diaper Rash?

Parent changing a diaper and checking for a yeast diaper rash

Diaper rash is not all that unusual. In fact, run-of-the-mill diaper rash (dermatitis) is caused simply by irritation. However, this average diaper rash is different from a yeast diaper rash.

Yeast (Candida) is a type of fungus that occurs naturally in the human body. But when growth is out of control, it creates what we call a “yeast infection.”

That yeast overgrowth is exactly what causes yeast diaper rash. It is, simply put, a fungal infection.

Because yeast thrives in warm, moist environments, it’s no surprise that a yeast diaper rash can quickly crop up. Let’s take a look at what causes a yeast diaper rash and what factors leave your baby’s skin susceptible.

Causes Of Yeast Diaper Rash

The cause of a yeast diaper rash is simple and what we just mentioned in the section above: an overgrowth of yeast. Here are some factors that can contribute or lead to a yeast overgrowth.

A Moist Environment

As we mentioned, yeast loves warm, moist environments, and your baby’s diaper area is just that — especially in the folds of their skin.

A Regular Diaper Rash

Unfortunately, if your little one has a regular diaper rash, it means their skin is already irritated, compromised, and susceptible to a yeast diaper rash.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are a marvel of modern medicine.

But, while they can do away with bacteria that may be making you or your baby sick, antibiotics can also alter the good bacteria in the body. Sometimes, a change in good bacteria gives yeast the chance to grow.

This means that babies who are on antibiotics may be more likely to develop a yeast diaper rash. The same is true for breastfeeding babies if their mom is taking antibiotics.

Thrush

Thrush is in the mouth and may seem like it has nothing to do with a diaper rash, but it does!

Since thrush is also a yeast infection, the yeast can go in one end and out the other (if you know what we mean). That means it can end up in your baby’s diaper and on their bum.

So, if your baby recently or currently has thrush, it won’t be surprising if they also develop a yeast diaper rash.

Yeast Diaper Rash Symptoms

Kid in diaper about to play with toys

What does a yeast diaper rash look like? Ingrid Polcari MD, FAAP writes this for the American Academy of Pediatrics:

“Clues that the rash might be due to a yeast infection include shiny, bright red or pink patches with sharp edges. This rash may also have little pink bumps or pimples. In severe cases, there may be sores or cracking skin that oozes or bleeds. Unlike with irritant diaper rash, a yeast diaper rash is usually worse in the groin folds.”

In addition, a yeast diaper rash is typically well-defined and may be slightly raised on the edges. It can also have “satellite” rashes near the main rash.

And, of course, one of the clues will be that it doesn’t go away when you treat it as you would a regular diaper rash.

That brings us to the final (but arguably most important) part of this article: how to treat your baby’s yeast diaper rash.

Treating Your Baby’s Yeast Diaper Rash

Baby laying down about to have her yeast diaper rash treated

First of all, if your baby has a diaper rash that just won’t go away, it’s a good idea to speak with their pediatrician — especially if the rash starts looking questionable or your little one has a fever.

If your baby does have a yeast diaper rash, the doctor will be able to confirm that and recommend treatment.

As soothing as regular diaper cream is, it doesn’t do away with yeast. You’ll need an antifungal cream and your pediatrician can advise you about this.

In addition to the cream, it’s essential to help your baby’s skin along as it heals. Below we’ll list several ways to care for your baby’s bum that can help kick a yeast diaper rash.

But keep in mind that these are also good habits to get into to help prevent diaper rash in the first place!

Change Your Baby Frequently

Because yeast grows in moist environments, you’ll want to change your baby’s diaper frequently so they are in a dry diaper as much as possible.

Clean Skin Thoroughly (But Gently!)

young girl sitting on diaper changing table

When you change your baby’s diaper, it’s important to clean their skin thoroughly but ever-so-gently. Use an extra-soft washcloth with warm water, or, if you prefer to use baby wipes, opt for natural, fragrance-free wipes that are designed for extra-sensitive skin.

Mustela’s Soothing Cleansing Wipes are ultra-soft, fragrance-free, and created to effectively and carefully clean very sensitive, rashy, or reactive skin.

Plus, they’re made of 99% plant-based ingredients and EWG Verified, so you can feel good about what you put on your little one’s delicate skin.

Air Dry

Instead of rubbing your baby’s bum dry and adding to the irritation, opt for air drying. When using this method, just be sure that their skin is dry before diapering them again.

If you’re in a rush, try a hair dryer on the cool setting.

Skip The Diaper

Whether it’s after a diaper change to help dry their skin or in the middle of the day when you’re at home, it’s always a good idea to skip the diaper and let your baby hang out in their birthday suit for a while.

Just remember to put your little one somewhere that’s easy to clean up in case nature calls!

Loosen The Diaper

When you fasten your baby’s diaper too tightly, the rubbing can irritate their skin, but that’s only one of the problems.

A tight diaper also keeps moisture in, which is exactly what you don’t want when dealing with yeast.

Wash Your Hands

This is a good rule of thumb for any diaper change, but, when dealing with a yeast diaper rash, be sure to clean your hands before and after changing your baby’s diaper.

This helps prevent the continuous spread of yeast to you and your baby.

Use Gentle Skincare Products

Family drying off boys after bathtime

A baby’s skin is often sensitive to lotions, creams, shampoos, and other skincare products. But if your baby has eczema-prone skin or is dealing with a rash, you’ll want to be extra careful with the products you use on them.

Bathe your baby with a soap designed especially for delicate skin, like Mustela’s Soothing Cleansing Gel. This EWG Verified product effectively cleans your baby’s hair and body while soothing their skin. And it’s designed with sensitive, rashy skin in mind.

For non-irritating skin moisturization, try Mustela’s Soothing Moisturizing Body Lotion to protect and relieve your baby’s skin.

Finally, when changing your baby’s diaper, opt for a gentle Liniment. Our Liniment formula contains 99% natural, skin-soothing ingredients to clean and moisturize your baby's delicate skin at every diaper change.

Post-Rash Care

Once your baby’s rash is gone, you can ditch the antifungal cream. However, the rest of these tips are still good practices to stick with to help keep your baby’s skin clean and healthy.

Plus, it’s important to get in the habit of using a soothing, protecting diaper cream every day. We recommend either our Diaper Rash Cream 1 2 3 or Diaper Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe.

Diaper Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe is a talc-free, EWG Verified formula that calms your baby’s bottom and leaves a moisturizing layer on their skin to soothe and diminish redness at every diaper change.

With organic olive oil and aloe vera, it's safe for even the most sensitive skin.

Careful Care For Baby’s Bum

Mom with baby after treating his yeast diaper rash

While diaper rash is common, it’s still uncomfortable for your little one! And if it’s a yeast diaper rash, you’ll need to treat it a little differently.

In addition to speaking with your doctor and following their advice about antifungal cream, care for your baby’s bum and rash with the tips we mentioned in this article.

When you change your baby (which should be frequently), clean their skin with Soothing Cleansing Wipes, let their bottom air dry, and put their diaper on a little bit more loosely.

Finally, when your baby’s yeast rash is all gone, do what you can to prevent future diaper rash with a cream like our Diaper Rash Cream 1 2 3 or Diaper Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe.

While you certainly can’t guarantee that your baby will never get a diaper rash, with careful care for your baby’s bum, you can reduce the chances and keep your little one happy and comfortable!