Dermatitis - diaper and Candida; Candida-associated diaper dermatitis; Diaper dermatitis; Dermatitis - irritant contact
A diaper rash is a skin problem that develops in the area under an infant's diaper.
Diaper rashes are common in babies between 4 to 15 months old. They may be noticed more when babies begin to eat solid foods.
Diaper rashes caused by infection with a yeast (fungus) called Candida are very common in children. Candida grows best in warm, moist places, such as under a diaper. Candida diaper rash is more likely to occur in babies who:
Other causes of diaper rash include:
You may notice the following in your child's diaper area:
Older infants may scratch when the diaper is removed.
Diaper rashes usually do not spread beyond the edge of the diaper.
The health care provider can often diagnose a yeast diaper rash by looking at your baby's skin. A KOH test can confirm if it is Candida.
The best treatment for a diaper rash is to keep the skin clean and dry. This also helps prevent new diaper rashes. Lay your baby on a towel without a diaper whenever possible. The more time the baby can be kept out of a diaper, the better.
Other tips include:
Certain skin creams and ointments will clear up infections caused by yeast. Nystatin, miconazole, clotrimazole, and ketaconazole are commonly used medicines for yeast diaper rashes. For severe rashes, a steroid ointment, such as 1% hydrocortisone, may be applied. You can buy these without a prescription. But ask your provider first if these medicines will help.
If you use cloth diapers:
The rash usually responds well to treatment.
Call your child's provider if:
Chayavichitsilp P, Eichenfield LF. Diaper dermatitis. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 58.
Ericson J, Smith PB, Benjamin DK. Candida. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW III, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 234.
Klunk C, Domingues E, Wiss K. An update on diaper dermatitis. Clin Dermatol. 2014;32:477-487. PMID: 25017459
Last reviewed on: 7/10/2015
Reviewed by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.