What Are the Symptoms of a Yeast Diaper Rash?

Mother changing baby's diaper
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A stubborn diaper rash that refuses to go away despite typical treatment with diaper rash cream might be a yeast diaper rash. If the yeast infection goes untreated, there will be symptoms to help you tell the difference.

Yeast Diaper Rash Causes

Diaper rashes caused by infection with a yeast (fungus) called Candida are most common in babies between 4 and 15 months old. This can happen to any child. Candida grows best in warm, moist places and under a diaper is a perfect environment for them.

There are several factors that may increase your infant's risk of developing this type of diaper rash. These include: 

  • Not being kept clean and dry
  • The baby is given antibiotics or has a breastfeeding mother who is taking antibiotics 
  • Having frequent stools or diarrhea
  • Wearing too-tight diapers that rub the skin
  • Having reactions to cleaning products used for cloth diapers

Symptoms of a Yeast Diaper Rash

Take a peek under your baby’s diaper. If it's a yeast diaper rash, you'll see some or all of the following symptoms: 

  • The bold red rash will be contained within a slightly raised border.
  • "Satellite lesions" may appear. These are smaller spots of inflamed areas separated from the main rash.
  • The skin may become scaly.
  • The rash is still hanging around after two days of diaper rash treatments.
  • The infection is in the skin folds of the groin area.

Home Treatment for Yeast Diaper Rash

If your baby has a yeast infection, she may not necessarily need to see a doctor right away.

Yeast diaper rash responds well to simple tactics and home treatments.

The yeast infection may be nipped in the bud by taking steps to keep your baby's skin clean and dry under the diaper. These steps include giving your baby time out of the diaper, laying on a towel without a diaper. Be sure to change your baby's diaper often and as soon as it gets wet or soiled.

Keep the diapers loose for awhile so there is air flow around the area.

You may also treat it with over-the-counter yeast infection treatments, although it may be best to call your doctor or advice nurse to see what they recommend for home treatment.

Signs to Contact Your Pediatrician

If your baby develops a fever or the rash begins oozing or has open sores, be sure to reach out to your health provider. This could be a sign of a bacterial infection that requires medical attention.

Call your doctor if:

  • Your baby is less than 6 weeks old
  • The rash gets worse or doesn't subside
  • The rash spreads to the abdomen, back, arms or face
  • The rash is accompanied by a fever
  • You notice pimples, blisters or large sores filled with pus

Your doctor will often diagnose the rash as a yeast diaper rash just by looking at it. She can further confirm it by doing a KOH test, which uses a microscope on a sample to see whether the typical Candida yeast is present.


    Diaper rash. National Institutes of Health. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000964.htm.