As the name suggests, a yeast diaper rash is an infection that affects the skin beneath the diaper. The following article provides information on the causes and symptoms of this infection.
Candida albicans is a fungus or yeast that is normally present on the skin and mucous membranes. It grows in warm, moist areas of the body. Problems arise in the event of overgrowth. In case of infants, yeast overgrowth can take place if the diaper is not changed as and when needed. Since Candida albicans thrives in moist regions, a rash can develop on the skin beneath the baby’s diaper. The yeast diaper rash is mostly observed in infants in the age group of 4 to 15 months.
Factors that may trigger this infection include:
- Babies who are put on antibiotics are at a greater risk as these drugs tend to destroy the friendly bacteria in the body. This paves way for the Candida albicans to take over and cause an infection. This might also occur if the breastfeeding mothers are on antibiotics.
- If the diapers are not changed quickly, and the skin remains moist for a long duration, yeast overgrowth could take place.
- Babies who have frequent bowel movements are also susceptible. Even diarrhea could be a contributing factor.
A KOH test can be conducted to determine if the rash is caused by the overgrowth of Candida albicans.
The symptoms are prominent and can be easily detected. The rash may appear as red dots, and may get bigger with time. It might also be accompanied by red and scaly areas on the genitals; the scrotum and penis of the boys, and the areas of the labia and vagina in case of girls. The rash could also occur in the form of blisters, ulcers, and sores (which may be filled with pus). The rash might be prominent in the skin fold that lies in the area between thighs and the genitals.
The first line of treatment is the use of antifungal drugs; usually topical preparations. Completing the full course of the medication is necessary for complete recovery and to prevent any recurrence. Equally important is to get the diaper changed as soon as it gets wet. Most mothers do this every two hours.
Keep the diaper area clean. It is advisable to use a soft wash cloth dipped in warm water, to wipe the child’s bottom. Instead of using soap, which is not recommended, a cotton ball dipped in mineral oil can be used to remove dried stool. After that, pat the skin dry with a clean towel. Make sure that the skin is completely dry, before you put on the new diaper.
You can also apply a mix of chamomile essential oil and lavender oil on the affected skin. First, you would have to wash the area with a solution made by mixing vinegar and warm water. After patting the skin dry, massage the oil, and let it get absorbed by the skin.
A diaper rash causes a great deal of discomfort to infants. However, it is easily preventable. Parents need to treat the rash as soon as the symptoms appear. Also, make sure that the baby’s diaper is not too tight or doesn’t rub against the skin. Make sure that you use good-quality detergents or soaps that are specifically meant for washing the baby’s cloth diapers.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.