Yeast infections are a very common cause of a beefy, red diaper rash that can often cover the entire diaper area. Infants under 3 months of age can often develop a yeast infection with no apparent cause. In older infants, toddlers and young children, the treatment of a bacterial infection with oral antibiotics can cause yeast to overgrow in moist, dark areas such as the diaper area.
Yeast may also appear in the mouth as white patches on the tongue or inside the cheeks, which do not scrape off as milk curds would. This condition is called "thrush." If your child has thrush, call the office. We can prescribe a medicine to swab the inside of his mouth. You will also need to boil all pacifiers and nipples daily. If you are breastfeeding and your baby gets thrush, you will also need to be treated so that you are not passing the yeast infection back and forth.
If you notice the diaper rash described above, things to do include:
- Change diapers frequently and keep the areas as dry as possible, but do not use powders or cornstarch.
- Clean the diaper area with warm water or Cetaphil Cleanser with each diaper change.
- Eliminate rubber pants for infants and use only white, cotton pants for toddlers or young children.
- Buy Gyne-Lotrimin Cream (used for vaginal yeast infections) or Lotrimin AF and apply 3 times daily.
- Call the office during office hours if the rash is not improving after 3 days of medication. If this is an uncomplicated yeast infection, we can prescribe a cream for the diaper area and/or oral medication for the oral infection. Continue these medications for at least three full days following disappearance of the rash or thrush.
If you notice no improvement of the rash or thrush after one week of treatment, call back for further advice. It may take two weeks for the yeast to totally clear, and it may persist as long as your child is on oral antibiotics. Yeast infections also frequently recur each time a child is placed on antibiotics. If you require a refill on medication for yeast infections, please call during office hours, as yeast infections are not medical emergencies.