Contact dermatitis causes most diaper rashes, but they can also result from yeast infections.
A diaper rash is any rash that occurs around or near the area that a diaper covers. It can occur on the buttocks, around the genitals, or on the upper parts of the legs.
When an overgrowth of Candida fungus is responsible, it is a yeast diaper rash.
Keep reading for more information about how to identify and treat a yeast diaper rash.
There are many possible causes of a diaper rash. A yeast infection occurs when there is an overgrowth of Candida, a type of fungus commonly found in the digestive tract.
A yeast infection may develop if a person does not take steps to treat a contact dermatitis rash within a few days. It is also common following a round of antibiotics.
Receiving treatment for a contact dermatitis rash early on can help prevent a yeast infection from developing.
Both infants and adults can develop diaper rash. Read more about diaper rash in adults in this article.
A yeast infection rash looks slightly different from other types of diaper rash.
If a yeast infection is responsible for a diaper rash:
- The rash tends to be worse in the folds around the groin.
- There may be inflamed patches with defined edges and small, pimple-like bumps.
- The patches may also appear beyond the diaper area.
- There may also be a yeast infection in the mouth.
- The skin may crack or develop sores that bleed or ooze, in severe cases.
When irritants, such as urine or feces, cause a diaper rash, the skin may develop inflamed, shiny patches. These contact rashes do not tend to form in the folds around the groin, unlike yeast infection rashes.
It is also important to note that a skin condition called seborrhea can resemble a yeast infection rash.
Seborrhea also develops in the folds of skin around the groin. It causes areas of skin that may be red and have oily, yellowish patches.
Similar to a yeast infection, seborrhea can appear in areas beyond the diaper region, such as the scalp, neck, and face.
Because it can be difficult to identify the cause of a rash, a doctor should advise about any diaper rash that persists for longer than 3 days.
Only a doctor can diagnose a yeast infection or any other cause of a diaper rash. See a doctor as soon as possible if:
- There is a fever and the rash is spreading.
- The infant is younger than 1 month and tiny blisters appear in patches.
- The rash peels off in sheets.
- There are other signs of infection, such as oozing pus.
- The infant is behaving as if they are ill.
Also, talk to a doctor if:
- The rash seems raw or is bleeding.
- The severity of the infection is unclear or concerning.
- The rash is spreading beyond the diaper area.
- There is no improvement after 3 days of using antifungal cream.
Often, a doctor can identify the cause of a diaper rash with a visual examination.
They will also examine other areas of the body and ask about other symptoms. In some cases, they may order tests.
If yeast is causing a diaper rash, the doctor will likely prescribe or recommend an antifungal cream. It is important to follow the instructions about how and when to apply the cream.
The doctor may also recommend keeping the area clean and dry, and that the infant or adult should spend some time each day diaper-free.
In some cases, over-the-counter antifungal creams treat these infections.
The following home care strategies can help treat and prevent yeast infections and other causes of diaper rash:
- changing diapers frequently
- keeping the skin clean and dry
- using wipes that are alcohol-free and unscented
- using gentle soaps and warm water to wash
- spending more time without a diaper
- using a barrier paste to help protect the skin
- using unscented products generally
Talk to a doctor before using any home remedies on an infant’s skin. Even natural products, such as essential oils, can be harmful.
For other types of diaper rash, a doctor may prescribe ointments, antibiotics, or corticosteroid creams.
An overgrowth of yeast is one cause of a diaper rash. This type of rash may develop due to untreated or persistent contact dermatitis or following a round of antibiotics.
If a diaper rash seems infected or has lasted longer than a few days, speak with a doctor.
If a yeast infection is responsible for the rash, a doctor will likely prescribe or recommend antifungal cream and advise about additional steps to help the area heal and prevent the rash from returning.