Just about every woman has experienced an uncomfortable yeast infection at one time or another, but many people do not know that baby yeast infections are fairly common as well. How can you tell if your child has a yeast infection, and what should you do about it?
What Is a Yeast Infection?
Yeast infections typically form when too much bacteria builds up around the private areas of a baby's or an adult's body. In girls, the vagina typically has an acidic environment, which helps to keep any yeast from growing. When that environment becomes less acidic, yeast can develop, causing an infection. Yeast infections don't just affect girls, however. Boys can get them, too!
How Do Babies Get Yeast Infections?
When you think about it, it is really surprising that babies don't actually get more yeast infections because of their diapers! Yeast actually comes from the food that babies eat. Stools can harbor yeast, and of course, this is how babies may become infected.
Diaper Rash or Yeast Infection
It can be tricky to tell if your baby is suffering from diaper rash or a full-blown yeast infection. Things to look for that indicate a yeast infection include a raised border around the rash, scaly skin, smaller rashes that appear near the rash, and continuation of the rash despite treatment with diaper rash cream. These are signs that the rash is much more than a diaper rash and may require special attention.
Baby Yeast Infection Treatment and Prevention
You may need more than a typical diaper cream. There are topical over-the-counter ointments available that treat yeast. You should follow the directions on the package. If this doesn't help after a couple of days, however, go ahead and contact your doctor.
You can't always prevent yeast infections, but there are some precautions that you can take to lower the chances of your baby getting one.
- Change your baby's diaper often and keep that area as clean as possible.
- If your infant is on antibiotics, he'll be more susceptible to yeast infections, so be even more vigilant about keeping his diaper area clean.
- If you are a breastfeeding mother on antibiotics, your baby is more at risk for yeast infections. Keep her diaper area as clean as possible.
- Let your baby's bottom air dry for a few moments before placing a new diaper on her and don't fasten that diaper so tightly that air can't get in!
Even if you follow all of these steps, your child might still get a yeast infection. Don't panic. Simply call your pediatrician or family health care provider for help with treating your baby's yeast infection.