Chances are that your baby will develop a yeast infection at some point during the diaper-wearing years. Yeast infections result from a naturally occurring fungus called Candida albicans, which can spread in a warm, dark and moist area -- the exact conditions lurking in your baby’s diaper. Skin that is irritated by diaper rash is more susceptible to developing a yeast infection. Learning a few tricks can help heal your child’s diaper rash quicker and prevent future yeast infections.
Because yeast likes moist areas, allow your baby’s diaper area to fully dry whenever possible, letting him go without bottoms for a few hours at home, according to Yeastinfection.org. Elsewhere, change wet diapers immediately to reduce irritation to the skin. Always clean your baby’s bottom well when changing his diaper, wiping gently with water and a soft cloth or unscented baby wipes. For bath time, wash him with a mild, fragrance-free soap, pat the skin dry and allow it to air dry for a while before putting on a clean diaper. In a pinch, use a hair dryer set on the lowest setting to dry the delicate skin. If the diaper rash persists, try changing your brand of diapers or wipes.
Several over-the-counter creams and ointments are available to treat diaper rash without a prescription. Select creams that are natural and irritant-free, such as petroleum ointment, white zinc oxide, butt paste or Clotrimazole anti-fungal cream. Pure lanolin ointment is soothing to baby’s skin and applying hydrocortisone 1 percent cream for a few days can reduce inflammation and severe rashes. Always ask your pediatrician for his recommendation for a diaper rash ointment or anti-fungal cream for your baby.
Your baby’s diet -- and yours, if you are breastfeeding -- can influence diaper rash and yeast infections. It is best to avoid acid-forming and sugary foods when trying to heal a yeast infection. According to a study by the Annals of Internal Medicine, consuming 8 ounces of yogurt each day decreases both the colonization of Candida and infection, making it the most recommended home remedy by medical professionals. Other alternative remedies include giving your child a probiotic capsule or powder each day, taking extract of grapefruit seeds, or taking garlic capsules specifically designed for yeast infections.
Call the Pediatrician
You do not have to rush your child to the emergency room or to the pediatrician if you suspect that she has a yeast infection. Call for an appointment the next day so your doctor can accurately diagnose the infection and recommend a course for treatment. Schedule a follow-up appointment one to two weeks later to recheck the infection and ensure it is healing properly.