A baby's growth stage is not just one happy journey as it has its own share of road blockages. While every milestone reached is a high-point in the life of a baby, it comes with its own share of problems too. In a newborn baby, the skin is often perfect in every sense. But overnight, something happens and you see redness and lesions taking over its once-perfect skin at the bottoms. Wonder what went wrong? It is the diaper that caused the problem. The usage of diaper has increased by leaps and bounds over the years, thanks to their easy handling and efficiency. However, just like other things, diapers come with their share of problems too. When in contact with a baby's skin for too long amidst the chemicals and moisture of urine and stools, and it rubbing back and forth, a diaper rash is inevitable. The rash often becomes serious in form of yeast infection, if the diaper remains moist for long. Baby yeast infection may appear as dark rashes that can bring pus in them. If not cured at early stage, this yeast infection can spread to other parts of the body and then the condition may acquire a severe status. But for the same, you need to first understand what caused it and what its symptoms are. Remember, this infection is easily preventable if taken care of some basic and easy precautions. Take a look at the various causes, symptoms, treatment and even prevention tips for baby yeast infection.
Baby Yeast Infection
One of the very common thriving places of candida yeast is dirty diaper. Dirty diaper can cause feces and urine to rest against the skin, hence posing more risk of yeast infection. You can spot candida diaper rash by its scaly and red appearance. It can also cause small pimple-like bumps.
Both breastfeeding mother, who is taking antibiotics, and infant, who is on prescription of antibiotics are at greater risk of developing yeast infection. Healthy bacteria in the body check the growth of yeast infection, but as the antibiotics kill the healthy bacteria, yeast tend to thrive and grow exponentially.
Thrush is caused by yeast infection in the mouth. During delivery, a baby has to travel through the birth canal, where it gets exposed to yeast and develops thrush shortly after birth. Breastfeeding can also cause thrush in a baby. This yeast infection can repeatedly transfer between mother and baby.
Tight-fitting diapers on infants can prevent airflow hence excessively warming the baby. This warm atmosphere promotes the growth of microorganisms including yeast.
During the initial phase, it is difficult to recognize a yeast infection. It is only after a considerable amount of time that the yeast lesions become more evident and appear very red. In girls, the body parts such as the labia, vaginal opening, perineum and rectum turn bright red. In case of boys, they may have redness on the penis, scrotum, perineum and rectum.
The area affected by yeast rash and its surrounding appear scaly. In an infant, it can cause white pattern on skin that appears to get peeled off easily.
Another common sign of yeast infection is the gray-white coating on the tongue, gums and inside cheeks. It will be hard to wipe off this coating. Though oral thrush is rare, it may be severe and painful for the baby.
If not treated properly, the yeast infections can become more severe and take the shape of pimples, fluid-filled blisters, open wounds, large bumps or pus-filled sores.
Unlike adults, babies are not comfortable with medications. As such, when it comes to treating babies, it is best to opt for natural remedies.
Application of tea tree oil is a great way for treating diaper rash in babies. Take a cotton swab and apply it on the affected area. The antifungal properties of the oil would help treat the yeast infection.
Apple cider vinegar can be used for treating diaper rash. Its application is same as that is followed in tea tree oil. However, if you are using apple cider vinegar to treat thrush, dilute it with water and swab the tongue and insides of the baby's mouth with it using cotton.
Crushed garlic when applied onto the affected areas also helps cure diaper rash in babies, thus reliving them off the pain.
You can also choose to use a topical ointment or cream for your baby's yeast infection. The cream that is used to treat athletes' foot can also help in fighting the Candida fungus that causes yeast infection from diaper rash.
If the baby is suffering from thrush, give it a small spoonful of plain yoghurt every hour. Apply anti-fungal gel three to four times a day for five to seven days.
In case the breastfeeding mother is the cause of passing Candida from her body to the baby, the mother should eat plenty of yogurt and garlic. Eating these can curb the amount of yeast she can pass to her infant. Avoid dairy products for a couple of weeks and eliminate sugar from the diet to prevent further yeast infections in the baby.
To prevent diaper rash, avoid using baby wipes containing alcohol. Instead opt for warm water and a soft washcloth. Using a mild soap that does not contain any antibacterial ingredients can also be helpful. Washing and drying the baby's diaper area gently can be really effective in preventing further growth.
Make sure you change the diaper at the first sign of wetness or a bowel movement. Before putting on a new diaper, thoroughly clean and dry the area. In case there is chafing, you may consider changing to a different type of diaper or applying an ointment to the area. Using powder after cleaning baby’s bottom can also cut down on dampness in the diaper.
Give your baby some diaper-free time so that its bottoms are well aerated. Diapers do not allow the area to be well-aerated, since they are waterproof. As such, even when urine is not present, the conditions inside the diaper have enough moisture to contribute to yeast overgrowth.
Now you know the common causes, symptoms and cures of baby yeast infection, take necessary precautions to keep your baby health and happy.