Tips for Treating Yeast Rashes

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 Porter

Tara Porter began using cloth diapers in 2011 when she felt that using disposable diapers was costing too much money. The problem was, a lot of the highly recommended diapers weren’t working for her baby. What she finally discovered was that her baby was skinny and a heavy wetter, and that diapers worked differently for those baby types. Because of her professional work with survey design and statistics, she designed Padded Tush Stats as a way to determine how different cloth diapers worked on different babies.

Tara moved on to other career endeavors in 2014 but can still be found online blogging about health and fitness at Fit Baby Steps.
  • http://facebook.com/katblueeyes Kat Aardsma Cornelius

    We are just finishing our most recent bout with yeast. Funny timing with this one. I do truly envy those who have the option to switch to disposable while this is happening. We do not have that option or I would be treating her bum for a variety of rashes.

    Just one note: as far as causes. Diabetes can make a mother more prone to yeast infections thereby also causing their babies to be more prone to yeast infections

  • Sarah

    Thanks so much for this post! Day 3 of the nystatin (sp?) and back to disposables til its gone. Was unsure of what to do exactly for my CD, this is very helpful!

  • Lindsay C.

    Great article! Thanks for the information. My son has been getting what I think is yeast rashes for a while now. In Nebraska there isn’t a lot of sun right now. What do you recommend instead of laying the diapers in the sun? Also, where can I buy tea tree oil to use to put in the wash with his diapers?
    Thanks & keep up all the great work you do! Your site has been a lifesaver since I started cloth diapering my son!! :)

    • Tara

      Awe thanks Lindsay! I am sorry to hear about your sun. I don’t really have a recommendation to replace sunning, but hopefully all of the other steps will help. You can normally find tea tree oil at the grocery store if there is a natural section (it’s an essential oil). I generally find it easily at stores like Whole Foods. You can also get it online. I usually use this because it is cheap and of therapeutic grade (http://www.amazon.com/Tree-100%25-Therapeutic-Grade-Essential/dp/B002RSILIG/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1329792980&sr=8-5).

      And thank you for the kind words about my site. I always wonder if it is actually helping people out, so it is great to hear that it is helping someone!

    • http://homeinthecountry.wordpress.com Jen

      Thanks for the info, Tara!

      We’re having the same problem — I just bought Tea Tree Oil & Grapefruit Seed Extract from Vitacost.com (http://www.vitacost.com/Referee?wlsrc=rsReferral&ReferralCode=3238007). The prices seem reasonable and it was delivered quickly, plus they have lots of other natural stuff that I like to buy. Also, if you click the link, you’ll get $10 towards your first order (and, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll get $10, too, for the referral).

      We, too, used the Nystatin for a little over a week (advised by the pharmacist), and I used strips of fleece as liners to keep it off the cloth diapes. (My baby always blows out of disposables so I was eager to get her out of them ASAP).

      Initally, I threw some bleach in the rinse (bleach works best with cold water), but didn’t want to do that every time I washed. I tried the Grapefruit Seed Extract, and the rash hasn’t come back, so I think that’s a good thing. (~20 drops in the rinse container on my front loader).

      I’ll go fill out the survey now. :)

  • http://forgetfulmomma.com Ashley

    My youngest daughter gets them every so often. She has had to have prescription before for them. They have gotten less frequent but also I tend to put a little vinegar or baking soda in with her diapers every wash now. From our experience, CD or not she would still get rashes, my oldest did (not CD) and I was told I did as well. I’ve noticed my youngest doesn’t get rashes any where near as often or as bad as my oldest. Go CD!! :-)

  • Bekah

    I’m going to have to strip my diapers for the first time because I believe LO has a touch of yeast rash. I use prefolds and Flip covers…do I need to include the covers in with everything else to strip? I’m thinking about trying vinegar and tea tree oil as my yeast killers. Do you know if the vinegar would harm my covers?

  • Emily

    THANK YOU for a wonderfully helpful article!!