Newborns



Yeast Diaper Rash (Candidiasis)

Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article

What is yeast diaper rash?

A shiny red rash, pinker than usual skin, or red bumps in the diaper area that may be caused by a yeast called Candida albicans. There are other causes of diaper rash that produce a similar skin appearance but are not caused by an infection.

What are the signs or symptoms?

  • Redness in the diaper area.

  • Rash is worse in the skinfolds (creases) within the diaper area.

  • Redness often bordered by red pimples (“satellite lesions”).

  • Rash may have a shiny appearance.

  • Sores or cracking or oozing skin present in severe cases.

What are the incubation and contagious periods?

  • Incubation period: Unknown.

  • Contagious period: The yeast that infects the diaper area is widespread in the environment, normally lives on the skin, and is found in the mouth and stool. Candida diaper rash may occur with or following antibiotic use. Repetitive or severe Candida diaper rash could signal immune problems.

How is it spread?

  • C albicans is present in the intestinal tract and mucous membranes of healthy people.

  • A warm environment (eg, diaper area) fosters growth and spread.

How do you control it?

  • Use good hand-hygiene technique at all the times listed in Chapter 2.

  • Treatment of individuals who have an infection so the quantity of yeast in any area is reduced to levels the body can control.

  • Keeping the skin dry and reducing irritation through friction from rubbing of a diaper or other clothing makes infection by yeast less likely. Therefore, frequent diaper changes, air exposure, or avoiding rubbing of material against the involved skin may help.

What are the roles of the teacher/caregiver and the family?

  • Report the infection to the staff member designated by the child care program or school for decision-making and action related to care of ill children. That person, in turn, alerts the parents/guardians so they can seek treatment for the child.

  • Administer prescribed medication as instructed by the child’s health professional.

Exclude from group setting?

No.

Listing of resources does not imply an endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP is not responsible for the content of external resources. Information was current at the time of publication.

The information contained in this publication should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Quick Reference Sheet from Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools: A Quick Reference Guide.

© 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved.