Diaper Dilemma: Choosing the Right Diaper for Infant Yeast Infection

A diaper rash causing infant yeast infection is common since the immune system is still developing. The folds or diapers cause a warm environment where the yeast grows. Choosing the right kind of diaper, using proper medication, and correctly changing the diaper can be helpful in reducing an infant yeast infection. Before applying the infected area, make sure the skin is dry.

Infant yeast infection is common, especially in the first six months. It’s a skin infection around the infant’s diaper region, causing red, swollen, and sore patches. 

Yeast infection is an overgrowth of fungus commonly known as Candida albicans, naturally present in the skin, intestines, vagina, and mouth. 

Candida albicans are generally on everybody’s skin and are controlled mainly by healthy bacteria to reduce overgrowth.

So, how do you treat a diaper rash that causes yeast infection in your baby? Continue reading to learn about the causes, symptoms, and how to treat a diaper rash causing infant yeast infection.

Importance of choosing the correct diaper for an infected infant

For parents with infants, choosing the correct diaper is crucial. Infants don’t have enough bladder and bowel control, so diapers come in handy to soak feces and urine.

Diapers cause skin rashes and yeast infections in infants, especially around the buttocks, hips, and thighs. 

This can occur if the diaper is too tight, has rough edges, contains an irritant, or leaks. Therefore, selecting the correct diaper for your infant is crucial.

To prevent or reduce yeast infection in infected infants, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Wash cloth diapers with a fragrance-free detergent and avoid drying them with other scented clothes.
  2. Undiaper your infant for part of the day and lay them on top of a few diaper clothes. For a boy, place another diaper cloth over his penis if he’s lying on his back, so he does not overspread urine. 
  3. Change the infant’s diaper regularly and clean the infected area gently. Rubbing or whipping can increase irritation.
  4. Use an antifungal ointment to heal the infection. Make sure the skin is dry before applying the cream.
  5. Clean the baby regularly with warm water. Avoid using baby wipes since some of them are chemical-based.

Causes of infant yeast infection

Infants are more prone to yeast infections than adults since their immune systems are still developing.

According to Brandi Kenner-Bell, an assistant professor of pediatrics and dermatologist at Northwestern Feinberg school of medicine, yeast infections in infants are common during warm and humid months because the sweat rate is high around the diaper area.

Antibiotics could also cause yeast infections in infants because they interfere with the balance of good and bad bacteria. 

An infant wearing a diaper is crawling on the bed.

“Yeast infections that don’t respond to medication could be a sign of underlying health conditions,” says Kenner-Bell. 

For the most part, yeast infections in babies do not indicate any underlying health issues, but if they persist and do not clear despite treatment, you should consult your doctor.

Factors contributing to the development of yeast diaper infection:

  1. Little or no air circulation on the skin
  2. Urine or stool contact with the skin for an extended time, for example, overnight
  3. Diaper material repeatedly rubs against the skin.
  4. Giving the infant antibiotics or receiving them from a breastfeeding parent.

Symptoms of infant yeast infections

If the diaper rash is mild, you may not detect yeast infection; however, a full-blown yeast infection can easily be identified if the inflammation:

  1. Doesn’t respond to any medication and has lasted longer than three days
  2. Rashes are clear and reddish or bright red.
  3. Manifests itself in the groin skin folds
  4. Rashes are scaly

Importance of prompt treatment

A proper diagnosis is essential for yeast infection treatment.

See a doctor if you suspect your baby has a yeast rash infection, has lasted more than a week, or doesn’t respond to medication.

A doctor’s physical examination of the rash could, in most cases, identify a yeast infection.

However, the doctor may need to scrape off a small amount of skin to test for yeast or bacterial infection in the rash.

If left untreated, the yeast infection will worsen, causing more itching, redness, and inflammation in the affected area.

A skin infection can occur if the skin becomes cracked or torn due to repeated scratching.

Most yeast diaper rash takes several weeks to improve after treatment Because yeast is a living organism that has to be killed.

If your baby’s diaper rash is persistent, does not improve, worsens with treatment, or is extremely painful, immediately take them to the doctor.

Difference between an infant yeast infection and a diaper rash

A yeast infection may be the main reason for a diaper rash. Still, the two diagnoses differ, so knowing the type of rash is essential. 

The table below shows the difference between the two diagnoses.

Infant yeast infectionDiaper rash 
The rash occurs more in the genitals, buttocks, and legs.The rash occurs on a larger area like the buttocks.
Treated with antifungal medication and takes a few weeks to clear.Treated with diaper cream and takes 2-3 days to clear.
Red sour skin with pimples.Dry, scaly, and smooth skin with a light pink tone.

Diaper rash in infants

A weak immune system, sensitivity, and fragility of an infant’s skin are the most favorable factors for the proliferation of yeast and the development of various infections, such as diaper rash.

Discover everything you need to know about this disease in infants.

A mother worried about a diaper rash is holding her baby on the bed.

What is diaper rash?

Diaper rash with yeast is a skin infection that affects infants during their first six months of life.

It appears as a red, swollen, and painful rash on the buttocks, thighs, and genitals of the newborn, worsening with the proliferation of the fungus known as “Candida Albican.”

Causes of the infection

  • Antibiotics administered as medication or received directly during breastfeeding interfere with the balance between good and bad bacteria.
  • Prolonged skin contact with urine or feces, especially at night.
  • Use of a poorly fitting diaper made of irritant products or with rough edges.
  • The heat that’s generated by tight-fitting diapers.

When to consult a doctor?

Untreated yeast infection can worsen, causing more itching, redness, and inflammation in the affected area.

It is recommended to consult a doctor if you suspect your baby has a yeast rash that has lasted more than a week or does not respond to medication.


Diaper rash treatment is done by applying an antifungal cream such as clotrimazole, miconazole, or nystatin on dry skin to treat infections caused by yeast (i.e., Candida).

It is also recommended to use a barrier ointment containing zinc oxide and petroleum jelly that acts as a physical barrier between the skin and irritants and as an absorbent for moisture.


To prevent diaper rash, it is crucial to:

  • Wash cloth diapers with fragrance-free detergent.
  •  Regularly change your baby’s diaper. 
  • Clean the baby with warm water and avoid baby wipes based on chemicals.
  •  Choose a diaper that fits your baby’s morphology and skin sensitivity. 

Take the time to choose a good diaper.

Choosing the right diaper

There are various diaper brands in the market today. You can use disposable diapers or cloth/reusable diapers.

The best approach is to start with small quantities of each brand.

Try what works best for your infant regarding comfort, leaks, and reactions. Once you know which one suits them best, stick to it.

For diaper safety and prevention of yeast rash infection, remember this:

  1. Frequently change your infant’s diaper.
  1. Purchase fragrance-free, chlorine-free, or dye-free diapers. Some disposable diapers have fragrance, lotion, or aloe to remove the pee or poop odor. 

These can cause a yeast infection in your baby instead.

Characteristics of a good diaper for infant yeast infection

Below are the elements of a good diaper for yeast infection

Soft liner

Feel the diapers before using them on your infant. The liner should be soft and fluffy, and any roughness may irritate the baby’s bum causing rashes.

Super absorbent

A diaper with a super-absorbent core will absorb moisture away from your baby’s skin, making them more comfortable and with no infection. 

Use a gentle diaper rash cream if your baby has a diaper rash.

Plant-based materials

Check the diaper’s ingredients before purchasing them. A plant-based diaper is much safe compared to diapers made from chemicals. 

What is the importance of the inner material of your diaper? Diapers can rip from time to time. 

If the diaper contains chemical-based materials and the yucky stuff gets on your baby’s skin, it can lead to a yeast rash infection.

What are the types of diapers in the market?

A mother is giving her baby some diaper-free time to air out the infected area as a part of treating it.

There are two types of diapers, disposable and cloth.

Both are excellent choices, but there are differences in terms of price, maintenance, and, of course, overall quality.

If the infant has a yeast infection, use a disposable diaper until they recover.

Disposable diapers are highly absorbent and designed to keep moisture away from the infant’s skin, keeping it dry.


Is it possible to treat a yeast diaper rash with over-the-counter medication?

To treat a yeast diaper rash, you can use over-the-counter antifungal creams.

This treatment option may be effective, but it is only certain that it will completely clear or treat the infection with a doctor’s diagnosis to target the specific type of yeast causing the rash.

What are the types of diapers in the market?

There are two types of diapers, disposable and cloth. Both are excellent choices, but there are differences in terms of price, maintenance, and, of course, overall quality.

Is it possible to treat a yeast diaper rash with over-the-counter medication?

To treat a yeast diaper rash, you can use over-the-counter antifungal creams.

This treatment option may be effective, but it’s best to consult a doctor to target the type of yeast causing the rash.


  • https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22307-yeast-diaper-rash
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/disposable-diaper#:~:text=Disposable%2520diapers%2520contain%2520absorbent%2520materials,their%2520effect%2520on%2520the%2520environment.
  • https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=90&ContentID=P01888
  • https://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/faculty-profiles/az/profile.html?xid=19544
  • https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000964.htm#:~:text=Diaper%20rashes%20caused%20by%20infection,not%20kept%20clean%20and%20dry
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