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How Do I Tell the Difference Between Diaper Rash and Yeast Infection?

Diaper rashes caused by yeast infections usually do not clear up from normal treatments.
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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Kathryn Hulick
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2014
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Several conditions can lead to diaper rash in babies. The rash can occur when the diaper is not changed quickly enough or if it fits too tight against the skin and chafes. Some diaper rashes are caused by a yeast infection or a bacterial infection. The main difference between a regular diaper rash and yeast infection rash is that yeast infections do not clear up with the usual diaper rash treatment.

Candida yeast grows well in warm and damp areas, such as the area of the body covered by an infant's diaper. If given the chance to grow out of control, Candida will cause an infection on the baby's skin. A baby who has to take antibiotics or who is breast fed by a mother who is taking a course of antibiotics may be more likely to get a yeast infection, since the medicine kills off the bacteria that often keep the yeast in check.

While a baby's rash is never a pleasant experience for parent or child, a diaper rash with a yeast infection is even worse because it generally lasts longer and requires special treatment. A yeast infection rash generally appears in the folds of a baby's skin. It will be bumpy and red, and the bumps may contain pus. Regular diaper rash is more mild looking and does not have bumps.

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If a parent is unsure whether her baby has diaper rash and yeast infection, she can try to treat it with an over-the-counter ointment or barrier cream. The rash may also clear up if a parent stops using soap to clean her baby, avoids perfumed baby wipes or lets the infant run around diaper-free for a while after a changing. She should consult a doctor if none of those methods help the baby's rash to clear up.

Diaper rash and yeast infection should be diagnosed by the baby's healthcare provider, who might prescribe an anti-fungal cream specifically designed to treat a yeast infection. A parent may also try an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream if the rash is in fact caused by yeast. These conditions may also be accompanied by thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth.

Parents of an infant with a yeast infection should inspect their baby's mouth as well. Thrush usually appears as white bumps on an infant's tongue or gums. A parent will be unable to remove the bumps by brushing the baby's gums. Treatment includes anti-fungal drops as well as boiling a baby's bottle to kill the yeast. A mother who breast feeds may have to be treated as well.

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anon965192
Post 4

If you have tried the creams, it is time to take your daughter to the doctor.

ddljohn
Post 3

@turquoise-- Is the rash raised or flat? Do you see any other spots around the rash? A yeast infection rash is usually slightly raised and may cause additional red spots around it.

serenesurface
Post 2

@turquoise-- How long it takes for a diaper rash to go away depends on the severity of the rash and how it's being treated.

When my kids had a diaper rash, it would usually go away in a day. If it was a severe rash, it could take two days.

Make sure to apply a good quality diaper rash cream with zinc oxide. Also, change her diapers frequently and wipe and powder when changing them. If possible, let her be without a diaper periodically because it helps keep skin dry and cool.

If her rash still doesn't go away in another day despite all this, then it might be a yeast infection. You will need to see her pediatrician for yeast diaper rash treatment in that case.

turquoise
Post 1

How long does it usually take for a diaper rash to go away?

My daughter has a diaper rash. I've been applying a cream and a powder that I got from the pharmacy. It's been two days and the rash has not gone away. Does this mean that it's a yeast infection?

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