Baby Yeast Infection: Diaper, Neck, or Mouth Treatment

How to treat Candida found on baby’s skin or in the body

A yeast infection on your baby's neck, diaper area, or other skin folds around the armpit or mouth can cause a red rash with a slightly raised border. This rash is caused by the Candida yeast, which is normally present in the body in harmless amounts but can sometimes grow out of control. When this happens, it causes yeast infections.

Some cases of baby yeast infections can be treated with home remedies or over-the-counter treatments, but others may require a healthcare provider’s attention.

This article looks at yeast infections in babies and how they can be treated at home or by a healthcare provider.

mother with protective mask holding baby

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Medicated Creams

Medicated creams with antifungal properties can be used to treat a baby's yeast infection. Those typically used for treating yeast infections, available by prescription, include:

  • Bio-statin (nystatin)
  • Mycelex Troche (clotrimazole)
  • Mitrazol (miconazole)

You can put diaper cream on your baby's neck, but use a cotton swab and apply it only to the rash itself. If the rash appears in the diaper area, make sure to apply the cream after each diaper change. Never apply topical medications around the mouth.

With treatment, the rash should resolve in four to seven days.

Don't use this kind of medication if your baby is younger than 4 weeks old.

If you notice side effects such as upset stomach, itchiness, or dry skin, contact your healthcare provider to determine if you should continue using the medication.

Oral Medications

Candida albicans, the strain that most commonly causes yeast infections, naturally resides in the body. This is why healthcare providers sometimes recommend oral antifungal medications.

The effectiveness of antifungal creams can decrease gradually, so an oral medication may be a better choice for some babies.

Diflucan (fluconazole) is a prescription oral drug that primarily slows down the growth of yeast. Children between the ages of 6 months and 13 years old may take it once daily for two weeks.

If your baby is under 6 months old and has a yeast infection, consult your healthcare provider about other treatment options.

You should also contact your healthcare provider if your child is taking this medication and you notice severe side effects like nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.

IV Medications

Your child's healthcare provider will likely recommend IV medication if the yeast infection has spread around your baby’s body.

Some of these IV medicines cause unpleasant side effects, but they are reliable medicine for severe fungal infections.

Home Care and Remedies

Yeast infections in babies can also be managed with a few home care remedies. Proper cleaning, frequent diaper changes, and barrier creams are just a few ways you can treat your baby’s yeast infection.

Always remember to consult your healthcare provider before you try home remedies to make sure they are safe in your baby's case.

Frequent Diaper Changes 

Candida thrives in moist and warm areas, so promptly changing your baby when they are wet or soiled can help prevent yeast overgrowth in their diaper area. Using highly absorbent disposable diapers can also create an environment that does not encourage yeast growth.

Diaper-Free Time

Giving your child regular diaper-free time allows your baby to stay dry and prevents having too much moisture around their diaper area. Places like your backyard or a tile floor in your home are good places to let your baby go without a diaper.

Proper Cleaning

It is important that you properly clean your baby’s diaper area during each diaper change. Avoid using scented baby soaps and lotions, since they can irritate your child’s skin. You don’t need to use wipes every time you change your baby’s diaper since super-absorbent diapers reduce the amount of urine that comes in contact with your baby’s skin.

For baby girls, it’s advisable to wipe from front to back to prevent yeast infections. For baby boys, use a diaper or cloth to cover the penis and avoid getting sprayed as you carefully clean the creases and folds in the genitals. 

If your baby's rash appears on the neck or other parts of the body, make sure to clean and dry the area regularly with a mild cleanser and sterile washcloth. After bathing or undressing, let your baby's neck or other affected body parts air dry.

Barrier Creams 

Applying barrier creams or diaper rash creams like zinc oxide and petroleum jelly to the affected region can help prevent or cure a yeast infection.

Barrier creams reduce the moisture in the diaper area or skin folds that are prone to yeast infections.

Natural Remedies

Natural oil mixtures can alleviate the symptoms of yeast infections. Application of a small amount of oils or vinegar can help relieve the discomfort of a yeast infection. Steer clear of using these in the genital area, however.

What Not to Do

Don't use talcum or baby powder on your baby's rash, especially in the diaper area. The powder is not really effective for controlling or preventing diaper rash, and it may even have harmful long-term health consequences.

When to See the Healthcare Provider

A baby's yeast infection can often be easily managed at home, but there are times when you need to visit your practitioner. 

If you notice that your baby’s rash is bleeding or infected, or if your child is constantly crying and appears ill, you may need the urgent attention of your healthcare provider.

You should also bring your baby to be checked out if you notice open sores or that the rash is spreading to the arms or face. 

Your practitioner can identify a yeast infection via a physical exam. In rare cases, skin specialists called dermatologists may need to obtain samples of the affected area to test for a fungal infection in the laboratory.


Yeast infections usually clear up through use of natural home remedies like frequent diaper changes, air-drying, ointments, and other remedies mentioned above. 


In severe yeast infections, your baby’s bloodstream may become contaminated by the Candida yeast, which can cause serious illness.

Other babies may also experience oral thrush. A breastfeeding mom may develop yeast rash on their breast due to infection from their baby’s oral thrush. 

Long-lasting thrush is sometimes a result of pacifiers or bottles not being properly boiled to remove the fungus.

Preventing Recurrence

Tips to help you prevent the recurrence of a yeast infection in your baby include:

  • Frequently bathe your baby in warm water and clean their diaper region after each change.
  • Avoid rubber pants or tight diapers, as they tend to trap moisture that can encourage yeast growth.
  • Change your baby’s wet diapers frequently to avoid fungal infections.
  • Let your baby’s skin air-dry naturally or use a soft cloth to speed up the drying process.
  • Double-check your baby’s products (like soaps and creams) to ensure they don’t contain fragrances and substances that can irritate their skin.
  • Try a barrier cream to protect your baby’s skin from the surface of stool and urine.
  • Don’t give your baby unnecessary antibiotics, since they disrupt the balance of healthy bacteria and yeast and can lead to yeast infections.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene if your are breastfeeding, and clean your baby’s pacifiers to help your baby avoid oral thrush.
  • Make sure to put your baby to sleep on their back so the neck stays straight, and don't let them sleep upright in a way that causes the head to slouch.
  • Choose clothing that doesn't cover the neck unless the weather calls for it. Make sure clothing is loose and made of a soft material.


Your baby may get a yeast infection if they wear dirty or wet diapers for too long. They can also get a yeast infection on other parts of the body such as the neck or armpits.

Using a number of home remedies and maintaining good hygiene for your baby can help get rid of your baby's yeast infection. If you notice any bleeding, have your baby checked out by a healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What causes a yeast infection in babies?

    Yeast infections in babies are usually caused by an outbreak of Candida albicans, a strain of yeast. This strain is found in most people and is considered normal. However, since a baby's immune system is still developing, they are more prone to infection. An infection can take on the form of oral thrush or a yeast diaper rash.

  • Which antifungal creams can be used for a diaper rash?

    Medicated antifungal creams that can be used for a diaper rash include Bio-statin (nystatin), Mycelex Troche (clotrimazole), and Mitrazol (miconazole). The cream should be applied after every diaper change, and may take four to seven days to clear up the rash.

  • Is cornstarch an effective treatment for a yeast infection?

    No, cornstarch has not been proven to be an effective treatment for a yeast infection. The same goes for talcum powder. Instead, measures like proper cleaning, regular diaper changes, and diaper rash creams can help prevent or cure a yeast infection.

5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Candidiasis.

  2. Bonifaz A, Rojas R, Tirado-Sánchez A, et al. Superficial mycoses associated with diaper dermatitis. Mycopathologia. 2016;181(9-10):671-679. doi:10.1007/s11046-016-0020-9

  3. Seifinadergoli Z, Nahidi F, Safaiyan A, Javadzadeh Y, Eteraf Oskouei T. Comparison of the efficacy of honey gel and clotrimazole cream in the treatment of vaginal candidiasis signs: a randomized clinical trial. J Caring Sci. 2020;9(3):162-167. doi:10.34172/jcs.2020.024

  4. Woolen SA, Lazar AA, Smith-Bindman R. Association between the frequent use of perineal talcum powder products and ovarian cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37(10):2526-32. doi:10.1007/s11606-022-07414-7

  5. Nemours KidsHealth. Oral thrush.

Additional Reading

By Margaret Etudo
Margaret Etudo is a health writing expert with extensive experience in simplifying complex health-based information for the public on topics, like respiratory health, mental health and sexual health.