One of the things I am frequently asked about is how to treat Yeast Rashes, especially since the yeast lingers in cloth diapers and is very difficult to get rid of. I decided to turn the tables around and ask all of YOU whose babies have had it to help provide some advice. I released a diaper rash survey that asked TONS of questions about treating different rashes and in this post and thus far have received close to 250 responses (survey is still open). Of those respondents, 14% filled out the survey for yeast rashes. In this article, I am going to discuss some things that worked for those who were treating yeast rashes with their babies.
Please note: I do not want this post to replace the advice of a doctor. This is just to give you some information so that you may get a sense of if a yeast rash is possible and some methods cloth diaperers have used to treat it.
What Does the Rash Look Like?
I asked survey respondents to give descriptions of what yeast rashes looked like and the most common description was small bumps. Doctors will often call these “satellite blisters” as they are scattered around the area. Another common description was that there were red, raised patches. According to Dr. Sears, this rash can develop either because of a prolonged rash or antibiotic treatment. It can also happen if a breastfeeding mother is on antibiotics (Babycenter.com). The rash thrives in moist spaces that have little room to breathe.
You can see a sample picture in this BabyCenter article. I asked survey respondents to try and describe in their own words what the rash looked like, and here were some descriptions. I have ONLY included responses here that were diagnosed by a doctor:
It looked like acne
Looked like a burn in some areas and was really red and oozy, like if you tried to put cream on the affected area it didn’t stick on the open burn like areas.
Splotchy, raised, red patches. Thick feeling.
Red splotches that had bumps in them.
Bumpy, red, and yellow– crusty, dry, close to legs
Started off as patches of red raised areas and turned into open sores. Patches grew so that they covered large areas on the bum & genitals.
Little red dots and some broken skin
Small red bumps in creases
She was red everywhere with small red bumps around the outside of the rash. Sometimes her skin would peel as well.
Red all over, with small bumps clustered into patches
Small white and red open sores
How Do You Treat the Rash?
There are a lot of different products out there that can help treat the rash, and many people try out several different options and are frustrated that nothing is working. I asked survey respondents what worked the most and a large number said that an anti fungal cream finally helped to clear it up. Some creams include Clotrimazole (over the counter), Nystatin (prescription), Acidophilus (a natural powder) (see askdrsears.com for more info). While treating the rash, give your baby’s bum plenty of opportunities to get some air. Good old naked time would do the trick. When wiping, use just plain water and a wash cloth. Also, be sure that you change diapers as soon as you know they are wet, so that the baby isn’t sitting in moisture for an extended period of time (diaper jungle.com).
Once people found what treatment worked for them, it didn’t seem to take too long for it to clear up. On average, it took anywhere from a couple of days up to a week for the yeast rash to clear.
Was the Baby in Cloth Diapers During Treatment?
Only 20% of the survey respondents used cloth diapers while treating the rash. If they did so, they generally used a liner so that no products got on the cloth diapers. However, since yeast gets embedded in your cloth diapers, while you are treating your baby’s rash, this is a prime time to take that opportunity to treat the diapers.
How Do You Treat the Diapers?
If you don’t treat the diapers, chances are your baby will get the yeast rash again. As I said in the section above, it is best to try to rid the diapers of any yeast while your baby is being treated with creams that may harm your diapers (therefore, you may want to consider putting your baby in disposables during that time).
The most common method for treating cloth diapers was to do a thorough strip. You can find information on how to strip the diaper here.
Another common method was to use Chlorine Bleach (most often people had used this when stripping the diapers). Just be careful, you may void your diaper’s warranty by doing this.
Several individuals said that HOT water was the best. You’ll want to do at least 2-3 full washes on hot. In that first wash, add whatever you decide to add to help kill the yeast. In the second wash, you may want to either repeat that step, or try an additional product (some people said they used a couple of drops of tea tree oil or grapefruit seed extract). Wash again to make sure everything is out (both yeast and whatever product you used). After these steps, a large number of people also found that laying the diapers out in the sun did the trick.
If you are currently battling this with your little one, I truly wish you the best. I’ve been there and it is so frustrating. Hugs to your little one. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or if you just need to vent. I’m all ears.
Have you battled yeast rash and overcome? Please fill out this survey here and I will update statistics if I notice any shift in the data.
Tara moved on to other career endeavors in 2014 but can still be found online blogging about health and fitness at Fit Baby Steps.
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