Candida Diaper Rash (Infant/Toddler)
Candida is type of yeast. It grows almost everywhere, especially in warm, moist areas. It is common for Candida to grow in the skin folds under a child’s diaper. Candida can also grow in cracks of an untreated diaper rash. These conditions are called a Candida diaper rash.
With a Candida rash, the entire area under the diaper may be bright red. The borders of the rash may be raised. Smaller patches may grow outward. But they eventually blend in with the larger rash. The rash may have small bumps and pimples filled with pus. The scrotum in boys may be very red and scaly. The area will itch and cause the child to be fussy.
Candida diaper rash is most often treated with an antifungal cream or ointment. The rash will clear a few days after starting the medicine. Infections that don’t go away may need a prescription medicine. In rare cases, a bacterial infection can also occur.
Your child’s health care provider will recommend an antifungal cream or ointment for the diaper rash. He or she may also prescribe a medicine for the itch. Follow all instructions for giving these medicines to your child. Apply a thick layer of cream or ointment on the rash. It can be left on the skin between diaper changes. You can apply more cream or ointment on top, if the area is clean.
Follow these tips when caring for your child:
Change your child’s diaper as soon as it is soiled. Always change the diaper at least once at night. Put the diaper on loosely.
Gently pat the area clean with a warm, wet soft cloth. Dried stool can be loosened by squeezing warm water on the area or adding a few drops of mineral oil. If you use soap, it should be gentle and scent-free.
Allow your child to go without a diaper for periods of time. Exposing the skin to air will help it to heal. Don’t use a hair dryer or heat lamp on your child’s skin. These can cause skin burns.
Use a breathable cover for cloth diapers instead of rubber pants. Slit the elastic legs or cover of a disposable diaper in a few places. This will allow air to reach your child’s skin.
Don’t use powders such as talc or cornstarch. Talc is harmful to a child’s lungs. Cornstarch can cause the Candida infection to get worse.
Wash your hands well with soap and warm water before and after changing your child’s diaper.
Follow up with your child’s health care provider.
When to seek medical advice
Call your child’s health care provider right away if any of these occur:
Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
Symptoms that don’t get better with treatment
Symptoms that get worse
New symptoms, such as blisters, open sores, raw skin, or bleeding
Foul-smelling drainage from the skin